Monday, October 24, 2011

Grilled Tofu with Scallion relish

Tofu is a great protein for vegetarians, but on its own it has no taste. We eat a lot of it cooked in a sauce of some kind or the other, but grilled with a dab of relish is great too. I had eaten a version of  this dish in a Japanese restaurant which used silken tofu (fresh of course), sprinkled with chopped relish ingredients and dressed with hot sesame oil.

Since I did not have access to fresh tofu, I decided to try it with firm tofu and instead of a chopped relish, I decided to create a spreadable relish. I add sesame seeds to the relish to give it a slight crunch and it helps to bind the ingredients together. The tiny bit of heat from the Jalapeno give the relish another dimension of heat that differs from that of the ginger. If  you like tangy sauce, you could increase the amount of rice vinegar in the relish by 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.

Grilled Tofu with Scallion Relish

1 14 oz container of firm organic tofu, drained and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon canola oil
Kosher salt
Nanami togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) for sprinkling

For the relish
1/2 cup chopped scallions (green and white parts - about 2 skinny scallions)
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno, seeds and flesh
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Spray some canola oil to prevent the tofu from sticking.

2. To make the relish, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process till it is a coarse paste.

3.  Pat the tofu slabs dry with a paper towel. Brush the tofu on both sides with canola oil, sprinkle with salt and the chili pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes one each side.

4. Serve hot with the relish.

Serves 2 to 3

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