[cue dramatic voice-over]
Previously, on eat your vegetables…vanilla bean-flecked milk transforming into yogurt! pomegranate juice being transformed into molasses! a wok of pasty tofu cubes being transformed into…well…crispy tofu cubes!
I’ll be honest. I was really looking forward to that yogurt. But the combination of a not-so-good starter and an overly-sleepy caretaker produced a truly heinous yogurt…grainy, face-contortingly sour, oddly curdled. I’ll try again.
The pomegranate-chile tofu, though, was a raging success. Sweet, sour, and spicy; delicious over a fluffy bed of rice.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wrap my noctournal brain around the fact that I somehow have to stay awake all day (ow, the sun! my eyes!) so that I can sleep all night and go to a very exciting, early-morning appointment tomorrow. Like a normal, adult human. Should be interesting :)
Pomegranate-Chile Tofu (adapted from MongolianKitchen.com)
makes about 4 servings
2 (14-ounce) blocks of firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1″ cubes
soy sauce, to taste
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
an equivalent amount of fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or 1 cup rice wine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1-2 tablespoons fresh chile paste, to taste
1 medium white or yellow onion, cut into 1″ pieces
2 bell peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat; fry tofu cubes in a little oil, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has evaporated and the cubes have started to brown, turn the heat down to medium high and begin stirring more frequently. Cook until cubes are a deep, golden brown. Just before taking off the heat, add soy sauce to taste, stirring and tossing until absorbed. Dump tofu onto a large plate.
To the same pan, add a bit more oil along with garlic and ginger. Saute over medium-high heat for just a minute. Add rice wine, if using, and boil for a minute or two to reduce and burn off the alcohol, then add the rest of sauce ingredients. If using stock, add along with the rest of your ingredients–rice vinegar, molasses, and chile paste. Stir and cook until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Pour over awaiting tofu.
Again, using the same pan, add a bit more oil along with peppers and onions. Stir-fry over high heat until softened and a bit caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add tofu/sauce back to pan and stir until everything is well-combined. Serve over rice.
Pomegranate Molasses (from simply recipes)
for those of you who, like me, just couldn’t find this stuff in the grocery stores
makes about 1 cup
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a large saucepan, heat juice, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain just a simmer. Cook for about an hour, until the juice is syrupy and has reduced to about a cup. Pour into a glass jar, let cool, then store in the refrigerator.