Who said meat, poultry and fish get to have all the fun? I wanted to make a citrus marinade for my tofu - my other white meat. This combination of flavors is tangy-savory-sour, within just the right amount of zest for a refreshing dinner on a warm evening (or a cool evening, or afternoon, or morning, or middle of the night...).
Okay, let's do this:
First, lets drain that tofu. Remove the tofu from the packaging and place on top of some folded paper towels. Place more folded paper towels on top of the tofu and gently press down to allow the towels to absorb the water. You can use clean dish towels instead if you like because tofu contains a lot of water that we don't need for this recipe. Continue pressing the tofu, changing the paper towels/dish towels as they become soaked, until the tofu is not so wet. Don't worry about getting ALL of the water out, we're just trying to dry it out a little. Then cut the tofu into equally-sized rectangular pieces about 1x2 inches. Carefully place the tofu pieces into a ziplock bag.
Can we give a quick shout out to lemon zest? It plays a leading role in this dish. The strong lemony aroma you smell while zesting the lemon actually promotes happiness. Lemon is a refreshing, uplifting food. Zesting can be annoying, and maybe even a little dangerous (be careful not to zest your knuckles!) but it's oh so worth it to get as much zest as you can from your lemon for this recipe. Aim for about 1 and a half tablespoons.
Next, we combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients for the marinade, except for the cornstarch. We'll use the cornstarch later when we give the tofu a nice little sauce. Stir the ingredients in a bowl and pour into the ziplock bag with the tofu.
Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Side story/rabbit trail: I actually marinated mine for about 7 hours! I was really excited to make it and didn't want to risk the chance of running out of time, so I started marinating it first thing in the morning. It turned out deliciously! So technically, if you want what I got, you'll need to do what I did...a 7 hour marinade.
But you may not have 7 spare hours to let your tofu marinate. And that's okay! Give it at least an hour; longer if you can. The longer it marinates, the more the tofu is able to become infused with all of those wonderful flavors we just added to it.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the tofu pieces, reserving the leftover marinade juices for later. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until tofu is brown. I suggest using silicone tongs to flip the tofu. Combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
When the tofu is browned on all sides, decrease heat to medium-low and pour the reserved marinade into the pan with the tofu. Pour the cornstarch-water mixture into the pan also, tossing and gently stirring until a sauce forms and thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!
This pairs exceptionally well with grilled asparagus and a fresh salad.
Zest Warning: this recipe is loaded with lemon-lime flavor. Feel free to use less lemon zest and citrus juices if you prefer less citrus.
Citrus Dijon Tofu
5 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 large lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Teaspoons cornstarch
1. Remove tofu from packaging and remove excess water from tofu by gently pressing between paper towels or clean dish towels. Cut into equally-sized rectangles about 1x2 inches in size. Carefully place in ziplock bag.
2. Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, onion, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, lime juice, soy sauce, dijon mustard and ground black pepper in a bowl. Stir and pour into the ziplock with the tofu.
3. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1-7 hours.
4. Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the tofu, reserving the leftover marinade juices for later. Stir fry until the tofu is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.
5. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan with the tofu. Pour the cornstarch-water mixture into the pan, tossing and stirring gently until a sauce forms and thickens, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!
Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the Comments section below or on Instagram: @howtogetawaywithcooking.