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:

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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.