Fried Tofu in Black Bean SauceI often take other cuisines for granted. Yes, when I cook, it’s often Italian food. I love the simplicity, ingredients, and explosive flavors of Italian, however, I always forget about Asian food. Each time I eat something Asian (other than sushi), I always think to myself, “why don’t I cook this at home?”

Well, I’ve been making this dish now for a few months, and in my opinion this recipe is still a work in progress, however, I made it last night, and it was out of this world. It was, in fact, the best version of this dish I’ve made. It’s not terribly difficult, but it does take some TLC to get it right. Enjoy!

Brown rice (I use the boil-in-a-bag kind…it’s easier to portion)
Broccolini (1 bunch)
1 package Extra firm tofu
3 TB black bean sauce
1 TB sugar
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
Olive oil

1. Take your block of tofu and slice it into 1/2 inch slices. Then slice those in half and take those halves and cut diagonal. The end goal is to end up with triangle pieces of tofu about 1/2″ thick. Take those slices of tofu and lay them out in a single layer on a paper towel, then cover with another paper towel to remove as much water as you can. Doing this reduces the explosive mixture of the water with the hot oil when you fry them.

2. Cut your broccolini florets in about 3 inch cuts. Discard the bottom stems.

3. Mix the black bean sauce, sugar, red wine vinegar and Sriracha with about 2 TB of water in a mixing bowl and completely whisk together. Pour in a small saucepan and simmer until it begins to reduce/thicken – about 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Cover the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with a generous amount of olive oil and heat up. The way I tell if the oil is ready, is I’ll dip my finger in some water and sprinkle it in the oil. If it crackles, it’s ready. Add the tofu and fry each side until it’s golden brown. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

5. Steam the broccolini in a pan with just a tad of water for about 3 – 5 minutes. You want it still crisp.

6. Layer some brown rice on a plate, layer with some broccolini and tofu, and drizzle some of the black bean sauce over it. Eat and enjoy!