Let’s face it, tofu doesn’t have much flavour of its own to offer, so it needs help to make it taste good. The marinade in this recipe is similar to a Japanese teriyaki, but the sugar has been replaced with date molasses, which adds richness when combined with the soy sauce and then helps to form a sticky glaze when reduced down. To offset this salty sweetness, the dressing for the broccoli is extra sharp but also fresh and crunchy whilst risotto rice makes a more than decent alternative to an Asian sticky rice.
4 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tbsp Date Molasses
1 tbsp mirin
1 inch knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper
400g firm tofu
1 head broccoli
3 tbsp Chardonnay White Wine Vinegar (or good quality white wine vinegar)
2 tsp sugar.
1/4 tsp salt
2 spring onions, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ cucumber, cut into a small dice
1 ½ tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little extra for frying the tofu
Small bunch coriander (approx. 15g) – optional
1 lime, cut into quarters – optional
Make the marinade by combining the soy sauce, Date Molasses, mirin, grated ginger and garlic in a bowl. Use a pepper mill to add plenty of ground black pepper, probably around 20 turns, then stir to mix everything together.
Slice the tofu into 2cm thick slices, or so that you have 8 slices (enough for 2 each), then place on a plate or tray and drizzle with a little of the marinade, just enough so the all the edges have received a coating but not so much so that it is swimming in it. Set aside till ready to cook.
Place the rice in a small saucepan and pour over 300ml of boiling water. Season with a few pinches salt and bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest setting and cover with a lid or some baking paper and a plate. Cook for 20 minutes then turn off the heat.
Place a medium pan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil. prepare the broccoli by removing the tough outer layer from the stalk with a peeler, then cut the head into quarters, cutting through the stalk first, towards the outer edges. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the broccoli and blanch for 90 seconds. Remove from the water and allow to cool on a plate or tray.
Whilst the broccoli is cooling, make the dressing by combining the Chardonnay White Wine Vinegar, salt and sugar in a bowl and stirring till the sugar and salt has dissolved, then add the spring onions, cucumber, and sesame oil. Once the broccoli has cooled, cut into small, bite-sized pieces, add to the dressing and gently mix to coat and be absorbed by the broccoli. Finally add the olive oil and stir to combine everything.
Place a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) on a medium to high heat and when hot, add a small amount of olive oil. Carefully lay the tofu into the pan and fry for 1 – 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly coloured and starting to crispy, but not burning. Take the pan off the heat to cool for 1 minute then add the remaining marinade to the pan. Return to a medium heat and use a spoon to coat the tofu with marinade. It should be hot enough to bubble so that the marinade reduces. Keep spooning over the tofu so that as the marinade reduces it will stick to the tofu and from a glaze. Once thick enough to coat the tofu turn the heat off.
Divide the rice between plates then place 2 slices of tofu on top, along with some of the glaze. Divide the broccoli salad between plates, placing next to the rice and tofu. Scatter coriander on top, if using, and add a wedge of lime to each plate.