The Whole Foods by my old office has a great lunch deal. $6 gets you a huge stack of marinated, grilled tofu planks, plus two sides of your choice. It's one of the rare occasions where you can eat a healthy meal out for less than ten bucks.
I love this tofu. It's firm, deeply flavored umami goodness, with just the right tang of miso. But. The problem with the lunch special is the choice of sides. It's always a selection of about twelve raw kale salads, two vaguely autumn-themed brussels sprouts dishes, and couscous. Nothing that remotely goes with an Asian-inflected stack of tofu.
So I took matters into my own hands. I painstakingly memorized the ingredients on the tiny deli counter label so I could tinker with my own version of the recipe. Then I added what the Whole Foods tofu has been screaming for all along - stir-fried Asian greens, with a classic chili, garlic and soy dressing.
Miso Mustard Tofu over Asian Greens
Yield: Serves 3-4
Prep Time: 1 hr, including marinating Cook Time: 10-15 min Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
1 block firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 cup / 60 mL white miso paste
2 tsp mustard (Dijon, Chinese, or whole grain)
1 Tbs ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced PLUS 2 cloves garlic, sliced
pinch cayenne pepper
Grapeseed, peanut, canola or vegetable oil
small chile pepper, sliced thin and deseeded if too hot
Large bunch Asian greens, such as Chinese broccoli or bok choy, ends trimmed and any thick stalks sliced into rounds, leaves reserved
2 Tbs mirin or sherry
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Garnish: Toasted sesame seeds, 2 thinly sliced green onions
First, drain the tofu: Slice the tofu block into 1/2" / 1 cm planks. Cover a cutting board with a layer of paper towels. Lay the planks over paper towels, then cover with another layer of paper towel, and place a cutting board on top. Place a stack of plates or another heavy object on top, and let drain for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make marinade: Mix together miso paste, mustard, ginger, 2 cloves minced garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper. If needed, add a splash of water to thin. Once tofu is drained, marinate in a wide dish for at least 15 minutes, ideally an hour if you have the time.
Make greens: Heat about 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat til shimmering. Add garlic and chile and cook about 30 seconds, then add any sliced stalks of greens and stir fry til just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add leaves and stir-fry another minute til just wilted. Add soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil and toss through, cooking about another minute. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
Cook tofu: Heat another Tbs oil in skillet over medium-high heat til shimmering. Fry planks of tofu about 1-2 minutes per side, til golden. To avoid steaming the tofu, don't dump in the remaining marinade and don't crowd the pan - you may need to do a few batches.
To serve: Place a pile of greens in a wide bowl and top with a few planks of tofu. Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and sliced green onions.