Tofu Teriyaki

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This started off as a fairly complicated recipe from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. The original recipe involved using half the teriyaki sauce for marinating tofu “steaks” and simmering the other half of the marinade with orange juice and sake to make a reduction sauce. The tofu steaks then get baked and served with the reduction over udon noodles with basil, snow peas, water chestnuts, wild mushrooms and a basil/red chile/scallion garnish.

I have a much simpler approach. I use the teriyaki sauce for marinating cubed tofu, which I then sear in a skillet. The leftover marinade is poured over the seared tofu in the skillet and reduced down and thickened with a little cornstarch. The tofu can be served over rice or noodles.

Tofu Teriyaki
The marinade is adapted from Crazy Sexy Kitchen’s Teriyaki Tofu with Wild Mushrooms and Soba Noodles, which is a much more involved recipe. If you want to make a larger amount of tofu, the amount of marinade is sufficient for double the amount of tofu listed (there will be less sauce afterward, though). Make sure to drain the tofu very well, pressing it as dry as you can.

14 ounces extra or super firm tofu, cubed and drained well

Marinade:
5 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice (original recipe called for pineapple juice, but I prefer OJ for this recipe)
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
5 gloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger

For making the sauce:
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Combine the tofu and the marinade. The tofu can be marinated for as little as one hour but benefits from a much longer marinade (overnight).

Heat a nonstick skillet, lightly sprayed with oil, on high heat. Take the tofu out of the marinade (which should be reserved for later use) and place the tofu in the hot skillet. When the tofu is seared golden brown on one side, turn the tofu to sear it on the other side. After the tofu is seared all over, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook the tofu to drive off excess moisture. The texture of the tofu should go from soft to firm and a little chewy.  This extra cooking over low heat is about texture, and it isn’t strictly necessary.

At this point, you can serve the tofu as is, or you can cook the tofu with the reserved marinade. If you want a sauce for the tofu, leave the tofu in the skillet, add the reserved marinade and an additional 1/2 cup of orange juice. Cook down the liquid a bit. Combine the cornstarch with a Tbl. of water or orange juice and add the cornstarch slurry to the skillet. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens.

Serve the tofu over rice or noodles.

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