Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tofu with Tomatoes in a Garlic Ponzu Sauce

To me, tofu is the ultimate ingredient for a quick and easy dinner. You don't have to worry about cooking it to a certain temperature, it cooks quickly (or it can simmer for a bit to soak up more flavor), and it is so versatile that you can really use it with any flavors. I usually choose to prepare it with Asian flavors and ingredients, but have also tried Mexican and Italian flavors as well.
Tonight I didn't have much time to cook, and I only knew I would be making tofu. I opened the fridge and did my favorite thing - started grabbing ingredients to use to come up with a quick tofu dinner. I spotted a bottle of Ponzu that Jon bought last week. We never used it, so I opened it, gave it a quick taste, and based the rest of the dish on it.
Ponzu has a soy flavor with great brightness since it is citrus based. It isn't as heavy as soy, but still adds that basic flavor and saltiness. Along with the ponzu I also used a touch of soy sauce, Sriracha sauce, mirin as well as tomatoes, garlic, green onions, and spinach.
This dish came together in about 15 minutes, and had a great spicy and tangy flavor. My daughter even ate the rice that was sitting in the sauce and loved it. I served it over Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice that I buy in the frozen section - it cooks in THREE minutes in the bag it comes in (no extra pot to clean!) and it's good!

Tofu with Tomatoes in a Garlic Ponzu Sauce
Original Recipe by Mary Ellen


  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 c vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp ponzu sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp mirin
  • Sriracha to taste; I used about 1 Tbsp
  • 1/4 c broth mixed with 1 Tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • Press your tofu - if you know you are making tofu for dinner, take it out a few hours early, remove it from the container with water, and wrap it in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Press gently, and put it in a dish in the fridge with something on top of it, such as a block of cheese. This will get all of the extra water out and let the tofu absorb more flavors. Once you are ready to cook, cut the tofu into cubes.
  • Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add the tofu and sauté 5 minutes until browned on all sides (let it sit on each side for a minute or so, don't constantly flip it around - you'll get a better crust this way).
  • Add the tomatoes and stir; let cook for one minute.
  • Add the garlic, and then pour in the ponzu sauce, soy sauce, mirin, and sriracha. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust any of the flavors before adding the slurry (broth mixed with the flour/cornstarch). Let simmer 2 minutes before serving.  


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