Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seared spicy tofu steaks

Breakfast: Cold porridge - don't knock it til you've tried it!

Lunch: Edamame salad with sushi

Dinner: Seared marinated spicy tofu steaks

The sounds and smells of a steak searing in a red-hot pan are a pure delight to any chef, and producing a steak that's cooked to perfection is a pure joy. So why should carnivores have all the fun?

The key to making these tofu 'steaks' is to cut the tofu into sections no less than 1 inch deep, and to marinade them all day before cooking.

You'll need:
(Feeds 2)
3 small red chilis
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
300g tofu cut into 4 inch-deep 'steaks'
Mix together the marinade ingredients and lay the tofu steaks in them for 8 hours or more at room temperature
Heat a little oil in a frying pan
Add the tofu steaks and the remaining marinade juices
Once the juices have reduced / sizzled off, press down on the tofu steaks as they cook for 2 minutes on each side
If neither side has that lovely chargrilled effect, cook a little more
Serve on a bed of salad with a pulse such as brown rice

Although searing meat involves ridding the food of all juice, adding the marinade to the pan here helps to seal the flavours - and that, after all, is what searing is all about.

Tofu has had a lot of bad publicity lately, due to the fact that is heavy in phytoestrogens, which are very similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. There have been a number of studies on the effect of phytoestrogens on the body, with some suggesting that they can have a negative effect and some suggesting that they can actually be beneficial to the body; as ever, these findings are more often than not affected by who funds the study.  However, tofu is fairly high in protein, and logic dictates that it is fine to eat on an irregular basis within a balanced diet. You can read more about this here.

Avoiding eating soy and tofu products on a daily basis is probably a good idea, and can be easy even if you're vegan when you bring things like almond, oat and rice milk into your diet. I myself do not drink soy milk and hardly eat tofu products, which just makes it even more of a treat when I have a nice tofu steak. Moderation in all things, including moderation!


  1. Heather how hot a pan do you use? I keep either over or undersearing...

  2. Its difficult to say exactly but I'd say it's a medium high heat, and I throw the tofu in just before the oil starts to spit. I put the extra marinade in an soon as I put the tofu in and that cools the oil slightly, but within a within or so it's mostly burned away and the pan is back to its heat again. Try with the marinade and it might stop you over searing :)