Inspired by a recent revelation with coworker Chris Cain about the goodness of sticky tofu bites and Jonny D’s yen for comforting Chinese food, I was lead to create this very easy, very affordable summertime supper. It’s great with Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, a grassy light drinkable number or some crisp fizzy kombucha.
1 c. long grain white rice
2 c. water or veg. stock
1 sm. onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, paste
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and garlic in vegetable oil on medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic, and saute another minute. Add the rice, and stir to combine. Cover with water or stock and a bit of salt, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
During that time, thaw frozen edamame according to package directions. I usually go on the low side of package directions since I’m going to add it to the hot rice, and a little carryover cooking is bound to ensue.
When the pilaf is done and has had a minute to rest before being fork-fluffed, add the edamame.
1 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 Tbs. garlic, paste
1 tsp. ginger, minced
3/4 c. eel sauce* (don’t have eel sauce?
make it without, and then afterwards, go do yourself a favor and buy some eel sauce.)
1/2 c. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 lb. tofu
1 c. cornstarch
vegetable oil for pan-frying tofu
Prepare tofu by slicing in half to make two equal long halves. Place between two clean kitchen towels, and weigh down with something heavy that you don’t mind getting slightly wet. I use a casserole dish.
While the tofu is draining, combine the first five ingredients and simmer for approximately 12 minutes, to thicken and melt the sugar. Turn the heat off, and add the eel sauce, sesame seeds, and white pepper.
Cut the tofu into 16 equal squares and dredge lightly in cornstarch. Pan fry in vegetable oil on medium-high heat until crispy. Then drop into the Sesame sauce and allow sauce to soak in on both sides.
Serve with edamame rice pilaf and top with scallions and basil.
Enjoy saucy rice leftovers for lunch the next day!