Tofu is one of those vegan foods that has a pretty bad rap. Most people don’t know what to do with it to make it flavorful and interesting. I would compare tofu to a weird, unassuming cousin who just sits in the corner at family gatherings. The family does not expect much from this weird cousin, but when you engage him in conversation, he proves to be really cool and multifaceted. It’s totally the same with tofu. Most people just don’t know how to engage it just right, but once they do — they love tofu. This recipe takes a meager little protein and elevates it to dank dank status. There are a lot of ingredients, but there’s also a lot of overlap in what is needed for both components in the meal.
For the TOFU, gather the following:
- A pack of Extra Firm Tofu
- 1/4 Cup of Tamari
- 1/4 Cup of Rice Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
- 1.5 Tablespoons of Minced Ginger
- 2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
- 2-3 Chopped Garlic Cloves
Here’s the method for the illest Tofu you ever did eat:
Preheat the oven to a burning 450 degrees. Good job.
Next, grease a large baking sheet.
Now, open/drain/rinse your tofu. Get all that weird liquid out of the container.
Now, cut your tofu into squares, no more than a 1/4 inch thick. Keep it skinny. It is bikini season.
Now, put the tofu squares onto two sheets of paper towel and cover them with two sheets of paper towel. On top of that, place heavy books or cans to really get ALL the moisture out. Keep it like this for 30-40 minutes. Maybe even changing out the paper towels at some point. I cannot stress enough how important getting all the liquid out is. This is part of the reason tofu is so overlooked and disliked; many people don’t get the moisture out well enough so it turns into this tasteless, mushy mess. Nasty bro.
While the tofu is drying out like a blonde bimbo in the sun, make your marinade! Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or container and mix well.
After the tofu is dried, place the squares in the marinade and let soak in the fridge for like…an hour. This is where the magic happens.
After the soaking phase is complete, line the tofu squares on the greased baking sheet, cover with all the marinade and then bake in the oven for 16 minutes.
Flip the tofu pieces onto their other side. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until those tofu babies start to look burnt!
Now it is ZOODLE PAD THAI TIME!
(You can really use any kind of noodle you want, I just used Zoodles because they are low-carb/low-calorie and they are a really mindful noodle substitute. You do need a veggie spiralizer for this).
For the Pad Thai:
- 3 Zucchinis (Or your noodles of choice)
- 1/4 Cup Lime Juice
- 1/4 Cup Tamari
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Water
- 1/4 Cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 Peeled and julienned Carrot
- Peanuts (halved) and Cilantro to Top
How to make:
Prepare your noodles however the package says, or make zoodles by rinsing/peeling your zucchinis and putting them through your spiralizer. Set noodles aside in a bowl. Steam your broccoli and set aside with noodles.
Now, make your Pad Thai sauce by combining the lime juice, tamari, brown sugar, tomato paste, rice vinegar, and water. Mix well.
Put your noodles and broccoli into the bowl with the sauce and coat the noodles and broccoli well. Add the peeled and julienned carrot into the mix. Put on a plate and top with a sprig or two of the cilantro and drizzle with halved peanuts. Put tofu on the place as well, or chop up and mix throughout the Pad Thai.
You can also add a few squirts of Sriracha or hot sauce! Yumtastic!