Soy-Glazed Tofu

Tofu is weird.  Weird people eat tofu.  I get it and I’m OK with it, especially when I can make a meal of it in 10 minutes.  I spent a large portion of my life as a vegetarian and here is something important I took away from that experience:

Meat is meat.  Fake meat is not meat.

For me, choosing to abstain from meat didn’t mean trying to recreate meat and meat dishes from the past.  There are countless bean and vegetable dishes that are much more appetizing than meat-lookalikes.  Sure, you have to think about protein sources when meal planning, but I never understood the urge to recreate a tuna or egg sandwich with tofu.  Exhibit A:

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So, you will never find me posting a recipe disguising tofu as meat or dairy.  What you will get is the following recipe, which is one that meets tofu head on and embraces it for all it’s jiggly soybeaniness.  It needs some love and attention to be delicious, but that is neither complicated, nor time consuming.  In fact, this is one of my fastest dinners!

I almost always make this when we have leftover cooked rice.  Paired with some steamed green beans or a quick salad, it’s a quick, balanced meal that everyone enjoys.  Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!  You may end up with the same result I did:


Soy-Glazed Tofu
Recipe from Catherine Newman

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
14 ounces firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into about 12 thin slices
Juice of half a lemon

Begin by cutting the tofu and then heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet on medium.  Add the tofu when the butter is melted, turning the heat up to medium-high.  Fry slices for about 5 minutes per side.  Flip once, when golden brown.  Reduce heat to low and add soy sauce and lemon juice.  Swirl to coat.  Flip the tofu and heat for one minute more.  Serve.

The tofu tends to splatter quite a bit as it sautes.  Use a splatter shield, or this alternate oven method to avoid excessive cleanup:

Alternate Oven Method:

This method works best with a double recipe, so use two boxes of tofu.  Preheat oven to 450° F.  Slice butter into thin pats and line a jelly roll pan with them.  Arrange tofu over butter and roast 10 minutes.  Switch oven to broil and broil 2 minutes per side, or until golden.  Add lemon juice and soy sauce, swirl to mix , flip the tofu so the other side is coated and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes more, until slices are nicely glazed.  Enjoy without having to wipe the stove top.

Quick and Easy Dinners: Ham Fried Rice

Fried rice is a quick, crowd-pleaser of a one-dish dinner.  I love it for it’s adaptability as much as its taste.  You can switch the protein out for chicken, shrimp or even tofu (gasp!) and the veggies are whatever you have on hand.  Ideally, it is made with leftover, cooled rice, but I’ve been known to whip up a quick batch of white rice and then fry it into this dinner in under 30 minutes.  None of the hungry people at my house seemed to mind!  Assemble the necessaries and have everything ready to go so that when you begin stir frying you can stir continuously.  (Not pictured are soy sauce and the actual ham.  Do as I say, not as I photograph.  Get everything out before.)IMG_0945

Begin by frying the onions in a wok or large skillet on medium to medium-low heat in some avocado oil (or other oil appropriate for high-heat) for several minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and turn the heat up to medium-high (if your stove top is lacking in ooomph you may need to use a high-heat setting here).  Stir continuously for 1 minute.  Then add the veggies, reserving any soft ones for last (peppers, zucchini, etc.).  Stir fry for several minutes, adding remaining veggies for the final 30 seconds or so.


Scoot everything over to the side of the wok and add another tablespoon of oil.  Put the rice right on the new oil and begin stir frying.  Add all sauce ingredients and the chopped ham.

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Meanwhile, with your third and fourth arms, because your other two are busy stirring continually, cook the scrambled eggs.  I like to do this as I would an omelette and then slice it into strips afterwards:

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Serve to hungry people.


Ham Fried Rice
3 Tbsp avocado oil, divided (or other oil suitable for high-heat)
1 small to medium onion, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
3 cups or so veggies, diced or cut into small pieces (peas, carrots, corn, green beans, peppers, zucchini, sugar snap peas and broccoli all work well here, as does one of those bags of mixed veggies from the frozen food section of the grocery store)
4-5 cups cooked rice, white or brown
2 cups cooked ham, diced
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce.  Start with 3 and then taste for seasoning
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
dash fish sauce
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 0r 4 eggs, beaten.

Cook onions in oil over medium until translucent.  Increase heat to medium/high and add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute.  Add vegetables (reserving softer veggies for later) and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, just until crisp-tender.  Add soft veggies for the last 30 seconds or so.

Scoot everything over in the wok and add another tablespoon of oil.  Place rice on top of new oil and begin to stir fry.  Add ham, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and pepper.  Continue stir frying till everything is well mixed and the ham is warmed through.  Meanwhile, cook the eggs omelette style and then remove to a cutting board.  Slice into strips.

Place rice mix in large serving bowl and top with strips of egg.  Serve with additional soy sauce at the table.