Marinated Tofu with Crispy Rice

I’ve got to be honest. During quarantine, we’ve really been flexing our culinary muscles. Cooking with new ingredients, trying new methods – it has truly been so much fun!

Enter: tofu. In my 30 years on this earth, I have certainly eaten it many times… but never attempted it at home. I caught a wild hair at Publix last week and bought a package, made up a dish, shared some photos on Instagram stories and got a TON of requests for the recipe… so here we are! This marinated tofu with crispy rice is so incredibly easy and flavorful. And if you are more of a carnivore, you can certainly substitute tofu with marinated chicken, beef, or shrimp.

The most time-consuming part of this entire recipe is getting the water out of the tofu. Dan and I had the bright idea to consult with our friends on the interwebs before cooking and thank goodness we did! If you don’t employ some method to dry the tofu out, it can get mushy and break apart when you cook it… not a good look.

We took the block of tofu out of the package and placed it on a plate lined with a few sheets of paper towels. More sheets were set over top and then we weighted it all down with our Le Creuset skillet (any heavy-bottom pot or pan will do) and let it sit for 30 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much liquid comes out!

When it comes to the rice, you can use whatever brand/style/flavor you desire. My pro tip is that, if you’re cooking the rice fresh for this dish, make sure that you spread it out on either parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking oil to cool. Doing this will ensure a perfectly toasted, crispy rice when you add it to the hot oil.

We opted to top our bowls of crispy rice and tofu with thinly sliced avocado, green onion and sriracha… though you could certainly add whatever you like! Toasted sesame seeds would also be a delicious topping.

Alright enough chit chat – here is the recipe:

Marinated Tofu & Crispy Rice

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 c. rice of your choice, cooked
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 c. Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce
  • 1/2 c. Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Miso salad dressing
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onion (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. First, prep the tofu. You'll want to get as much liquid out of it as possible before cooking to make sure it doesn't break down or get mushy. To do this, remove the block from its packaging and place it on a plate lined with paper towels. Layer more paper towels over top and then set a heavy-bottomed pot or skillet on top. Leave it for 20-30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade. Combine the Soyaki sauce, salad dressing, minced garlic, sriracha and grated ginger in a ziplock bag or large bowl. Once the tofu has drained, cut the block into bite-sized cubes and add to the marinade. Let it sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

  3. Prepare the rice of your choice according to package directions. Once cooked, spread the rice out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking oil to cool.

  4. Once the tofu has marinated and the rice has cooled, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a grain or two of rice – if they sizzle when placed in the oil, you’re ready to add the rest. Add the rice and spread it all out evenly – DO NOT TOUCH for 3-4minutes. This is crucial for maximum crispiness! Continue to flip/spread/wait until the rice is browned and toasty throughout.

  5. Simultaneously, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil in another skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated tofu cubes and cook until golden brown on all sides.

  6. To serve, add crispy rice to a bowl and put desired amount of tofu on top. Serve with thinly sliced avocado, chopped green onion and a drizzle of sriracha. Enjoy!

Please let me know if you try this dish at home. We have decided that it will be a regular around here. And if there are any other ways you like to prepare tofu, drop me a line in the comments below. As always, I thank you for being here.

Cheers,

E

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