This recipe is unusual among my tofu ideas: It’s Chinese-flavored but contains no soy sauce, onion, or garlic! Its sweetness makes a nice contrast with something salty or spicy. Try it in a Tofu-Soba Supper (or over rice) with Salty String Beans.
To make 5 servings, you will need:
- 10 oz. firm tofu
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. tomato puree or ketchup
- 2 dried apricots
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- cooking oil, ideally sesame or peanut oil
- large skillet (You could use a wok, but for this recipe a skillet with flat bottom works better. Mine is cast iron. I don’t know how this cooking technique would work with nonstick coating, which is not safe to heat when the pan is empty.)
- clean cloth dish towel
Drain tofu, wrap in towel, and squish to remove water. Turn it over and leave it wrapped up while you do the next two steps.
Finely dice apricots and combine with honey, vinegar, juice, tomato, and ginger. (One way to do this is to put the ingredients in a jar, put on the lid, and shake it.)
Put the dry skillet over medium heat and let it warm up.
Unwrap tofu and slice to desired size–I usually make slices about 1 inch square and 1/2 inch thick.
Add oil to skillet and spread it around with the spatula. Use just enough oil to thoroughly coat the bottom of the skillet.
Place tofu slices in skillet. If it seems excessively steamy/smoky, turn down heat. Press each slice with spatula. Then go around again flipping over each slice. If they’re sticking, add more oil. Press them on the other side.
Add sauce. Reduce heat so it’s just slightly bubbling. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, flipping tofu halfway through.
Dissolve cornstarch in water (shaking in a jar works well for this, too) and add to pan. Bring to a low boil until sauce thickens. Turn off heat. It can be served right away or let stand while you finish making the rest of the meal.