Friday, August 17, 2012

Healthy vegan Fridays: Teriyaki tofu steaks with cauliflower rice

According to my rough, every-other-day posting schedule, this should have gone out yesterday. However, yesterday I was writing work papers and trying to turn a 20 minutes presentation into a 12 minute presentation. Also, I wanted to link this into the healthy vegan Fridays recipe round up.

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This is the fourth such Friday, hosted by Shelby at Everyday Vegan Girl, Gabby at the Veggie Nook, and Carrie at Carrie on Vegan. Whilst it's the first I've participated in, I am a fan of the concept and will try to link my relevant recipes in when applicable.

Today's recipe involves some processed ingredients, but also captures much of what I love about vegan dishes. Easy. Incredibly delicious. Fun. Packed full of vegetables. And yes - healthy.


I had my doubts about the cauliflower rice, which was born out of a need to use up cauliflower that I foolishly bought with no recipe plans, in large quantities, without anyone in the house to eat it with me. I don't understand my vegetable purchase decisions sometimes.

As it turns out, the cauliflower rice was a perfect match for this dish, to the extent that I may not have liked it as much with regular rice. The cauliflower base was not only lighter than real rice, allowing the tofu to take pride of place, but seemed more flavoursome than rice would have been. It soaked up the sauce flavours and was really quite incredible to eat.


My only (minor) complaint with this dish is that it was slightly too salty for my low-salt preferring taste buds. I may reduce the soy sauce slightly next time, or if you use reduced sodium soy sauce that would work well.

Such minor changes aside, I will, without a doubt, be making this again!


Teriyaki tofu steaks with cauliflower rice
One of my favourite meals to date for 2012

Teriyaki sauce adapted from the teriyaki tofu in Peas and Thank You (the book)
Vegan
Serves 3


Ingredients
500g (1 1/2 blocks) firm tofu
1/3 cup soy sauce (I might use a little less next time)
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp mirin (or rice vinegar)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets and tough stems removed
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium capsicum, thinly sliced


Method
Slice your tofu into six thick 'steaks'. If you're using regular sized tofu blocks, one block gives four steaks. 

Press the tofu steaks using a tofu press (if you have one) or for at least 15 minutes between tea towels and chopping boards, under a pile of books (if you're like me).

While the tofu is pressing, combine all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a bowl or jar and whisk to combine. The mixture will thicken on heating.

Place your tofu steaks in a shallow baking dish and cover with half of the teriyaki sauce mixture. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Set the remaining sauce aside.

To make the cauliflower rice, process the cauliflower in a food processor until crumbly and rice-like in appearance. (If you don't have a food processor, you could try mashing it but I haven't tried that. You could also use regular rice.)

When the tofu has marinated, heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu steaks for ~12 minutes, turning every few minutes, until crispy. Remove the tofu from the pan and allow to stand while you cook the vegetables.

Add the carrot and capsicum to the non-stick pan, along with a few tablespoons of the remaining teriyaki sauce. Stir fry for ~5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low-medium and add the cauliflower rice and the remaining teriyaki sauce. Stir regularly for a further 2-4 minutes.

Return the tofu steaks to the pan to heat through, and then serve.


I think I may be in love with this dish. It could become one of the few recipes that I force myself to follow exactly for re-makes, so I don't deviate off and ruin the result.



It is definitely my favourite way, ever, to eat cauliflower!

Do you enjoy cauliflower rice? What about tofu in large serves, as here?

28 comments:

  1. That looks like an amazing dish! I have used cauliflower rice to make a pizza crust and it was SO good. Can't you make mock potatoes out of this as well? Yum!

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    1. Oh wow, I love the idea of cauliflower rice in pizza crust. Great idea! I am sure you could make mock potatoes too - just steam the cauliflower and then mash :)

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  2. I've never tried cauliflower rice, because I just can't get past cauliflower popcorn & aloo ghobi. But, this looks pretty amazing, so I might have to try it out.

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    1. We might have to swap - I think I need to try cauliflower popcorn!

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  3. I like anything teriyaki so this looks good. I doubt I would get my husband to eat tofu though. I tricked him one night into eating tofu noodles and it didn't go over well. Ooops. At least I tried!

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    1. Teehee :P I must admit, I didn't give this to Mr Bite either - somethings are best kept all for me!

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  4. It sounds like a great meal! I love cauliflower recipes and have been interested to try cauliflower rice/couscous recipes but haven't got around to it yet. If I've ever got a cauli in the fridge with no plans it usually ends up in my smoky cauliflower soup as it's one of our favourites. I made a teriyaki grilled tofu recipe earlier this year which we really enjoyed so I should give it another go perhaps with the rice next time. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. I think I'm going to be trying many more cauliflower rice recipes - I can't believe it too me so long to catch on! I never used to like it much but I'm quite the convert now.

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  5. Oh I really like cauliflower but S doesn't. This could be a good option to get him eating it!

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    1. It could! Or you could just have it all to yourself, which is what I did :D

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  6. I recently did a cauliflower rice - but added cream cheese to it (wondering if you could mix it with a soft tofu for the same creamy effect) - it's not my favourite - one I have to work on some more.

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    1. I'm intrigued by the cream cheese addition - like a creamy risotto approach?

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  7. Looks delicious! I love cauliflower rice :) Thanks for submitting this to HVF!

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  8. I have cauliflower in the fridge because I want to try cauli pizza base but as usual I make a regular pizza and feel I can't have another pizza too soon - so am not sure what to do with my cauli - had a cauli rice style dish recently that was ok but not quite as good as the cauli rice I have had before - love teriyaki sauce but don't think I have ever made my own - sounds great for tofu

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    1. You are the second person to mention cauliflower pizza base. I am now very intrigued! Please do make it, and then post a recipe for me? :)

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  9. I adore cauliflower rice, but I've only had it raw before. I'd kind of love this right now - as delicious as Luna, Clif, and Lara bars are, mama needs some non-candy-bar-esque food in Utah! :P

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    1. There is only a certain amount of bars one can take before vegetables start to seem essential :P Does Utah offer cauliflower?

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  10. Sounds like a great combo! And any new way to enjoy tofu is a great idea in my mind. I'm bookmarking this recipe so I can give those "steaks" a try--looks delish. :)

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    1. Thank you Ricki :) I hope you enjoy them!

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  11. This is a tasty looking meal. Have a great weekend Kari.

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  12. I think the tofu steaks with cauliflower rice would be very delicious. What a great Friday night meal and like you say, plenty of goodness in this dish xx

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  13. Yum yum glorious yum - this is SO my kinda dish. I have been eating so much cauliflower rice during my candida cleanse - I really love the stuff. Viper thinks I'm weird but I don't care. I'm a salt-freak so I BET I would love the sodium factor in this dish ;) So naughty.

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    1. Ah well, if you're not having sugar, it's probably just as well you're having salt!

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  14. check out ur awesome vegan cooking skills!! :) i actually love cauliflower and it's not just cuz i think they look like baby trees...hehe. sounds like u're crazy busy over there...stay sane sista and u play by ur own rules, dem blog posts will go out when they go out, schedule or now schedule!! :) haha...do u think i could get any more wanna be gansta sounding on that last sentence?? ;)

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    1. Thank you Cait - I really appreciate that :)

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