Ok, first let me get something out there. I am so not a food photographer. In fact, I’m a photographer ( very amateur lol) and I do love food and cooking it but I have not yet mastered the art of food photography. I cannot do the beautiful food photos for a few reasons but the main two are that 1.) I suck at it and 2.) I’m way too lazy to make “pretty food” lol. In all honesty the photo used for this recipe was taken on my phone and then downloaded from my facebook page as I had no intent on doing much more than eating it…much less of blogging it. Low and behold though it was absolutely amazing and one of those recipes that MUST be shared and so… here it is lol. ( Yes, I really do get that excited over food….but better tofu than twinkies at least, right?) I’ve seen this recipe on Pinterest a few times but there was always something that just didn’t quite work for me in each one. Last night I decided to wing it and change out a few things that didn’t work for me and although it invoked a terrible bout of Japan nostalgia it was a fantastic addition to my Meatless Monday repertoire!
Tofu ( extra firm, pref. organic :P)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Toasted Sesame Seeds
1/4 C organic sugar
1/3C soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1T sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
2-3 scallions, chopped
** Note : Please be sure that Panko bread crumbs are used. Generally I think substituting with what you have is fine. However, after living in Japan for 2 years I have come to a belief that you simply cannot match the texture and flavor of “crispy Japanese food” without Panko. American bread crumbs are so very different.
Do Beforehand :
Drain the tofu and let dry out for as long as possible. If you have all day, great! If you have 20 minutes, no big deal it will still turn out ok so don’t sweat this one just do what you can.
Combine Sugar, Soy, lime juice, sesame oil, and garlic and let sit while you are preparing the rest. On this one the longer the better so that the flavors of all of the ingredients intermingle into one ( amazing) flavor. I really think this smell was what brought on the nostalgia for me.. there is a time of day in the smaller neighborhoods of Japan when all of the small family run restaurants would begin cooking for the dinner rush. Many time you would be hit with the smell of this sauce as you walked down the street… it is absolutely mouth watering! ( You know the old cartoons with the dog floating along happily sniffing at a steak or other enticing food? Yeah, that’s what it’s like walking down the street in Japan lol)
Cut the tofu lengthwise very carefully into 4 equal parts. ( I start in the middle, cut in half and then half each of those) You should end up with 4 rectangles about the size of Pop Tarts.
Combine Panko and Sesame Seeds in one shallow bowl and lightly beat the egg in a second. Dredge each slice of tofu first in the egg and then in the panko/sesame mixture. Tofu can crumble easily so be sure to work carefully.
Add EVOO to pan and heat over medium heat. Cook each slice of tofu 3 minutes on each side.
For my family, I used one slice cut in half for each person and topped with sliced scallions. I also used a salad as a side. However, you can plate as you wish. With the ingredients used, this recipe is 7 Weight Watchers points per serving.