Alas, gone are my lazy summer days! Days for aimless ponderings and thoughtful musings, romantic novels and suspenseful novellas, and other hours spent in contemplation of new and exciting recipes. But that’s okay, I’m glad to say that I love my studies; and they come as no bore or burden to me. We’ll just have to see if I can keep up with my blogging. :)
For me, this dish is pure comfort food. Really? Tofu, comfort food? Yup. There is something so very delightful in the smooth, soft bite of the tofu that I find wholly comforting. That along with the nutty and earthy toasted sesame oil is truly mesmerizing.
On the topic of sesame oil, for this dish to have an assertive sesame flavor, a dark sesame oil is absolutely required. Another good thing to look for (this goes for all oils) is cold-pressed. The flavor is much more deep and pronounced, plus the nutritional value remains much more intact. In this recipe, I use toasted sesame oil because it is what I have on hand, but I’m sure a dark sesame oil that is not toasted would also work as well. As a side note, I would definitely recommend keeping your oils refrigerated. I live in a warm climate where it isn’t uncommon for an oil, especially sesame or nut oils, to go rancid very fast. I even keep my olive oil in the fridge; just remember to pull them out in advance so they can warm up a bit.
And yesterday Mr. Rachmaninov went in for the surgery. He wasn’t entirely happy about it in the initial, but he has now regained his happy-go-lucky, though a bit lethargic, demeanor. Of course, a new nick-name has developed from the whole situation. He is now our little Mr. Spatch-Cocked, beings that he’s been lying around like a little spatch-cocked chicken. It’s quite darling, really.
Sesame Tofu and Leeks
Inspired by Nava Atlas
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2-3 leeks, dark greens removed
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cubed
4 Roma tomatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons shoyu or soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
4 scallions, sliced thin, to serve
1 heaping tablespoon sesame seeds, to serve
freshly cooked quinoa or soba noodles, to serve
First begin by heating a medium skillet over medium heat. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise, rinse well, and slice into paper-thin half-moons. In the pan, add in 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and 3 tablespoons of water. Toss in the leek slices, toss, and cover. Let saute/steam until bright and tender, about 5 minutes.
Add in the tofu, tomato, shoyu, vinegar, wine, and honey. Toss well to coat the tofu in the sauce and cover. Allow to steam until the tomatoes are just breaking down, about another 5 minutes.
Once done, drizzle with the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to finish. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds, and serve atop hot grains or noodles.