Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Coconut-crusted tofu with umeboshi plum sauce and guanciale

After surveying the various ingredients on hand in my kitchen I came up with this concoction, and it didn't even leave me wishing for meat or fish! I'm not sure I'll go out of my way to make it again, but it was pretty tasty (if very salty) and Lane liked it. Jasper not so much.

I had coconut left over from the bunny cake I made last weekend. When I think coconut, I find myself wanting something tart as a foil, and this lead me to the umeboshi paste. I also thought adding real meat of some sort would help, and picked the handy guanciale. You could use bacon or pancetta as a substitute.

First I cut the tofu into 1/2-inch slabs and marinated it in half mirin, half soy sauce for about an hour. Then I browned about 1/3 cup minced guanciale, draining most of the fat and reserving the meat. I drained the tofu, reserving the marinade, dusted each slice of tofu in rice flour, then pressed each piece into unsweetened coconut flakes. I cooked these on the guanciale pan just enough to toast the coconut on each side. Then I set the tofu aside.

To make the sauce I poured the marinade into the hot pan (after removing the tofu), whisked in about 2 tablespoons of umeboshi plum paste, and let boil, scraping up the bits. When I had a nice, thick syrup I strained it over the tofu. Then I topped with the browned guanciale.

We had this with carrots and soba noodles.


ks said...

That looks really good... Any suggestions for something that could be used in place of the guanciale? Maybe dried figs or something? For texture/sweetness, not because they taste like meat.

I'll send you some seitan recipe ideas soon, when I dig out from my current cave of work. For me, it is much more like eating meat than tofu...and for a vegetarian who actually likes and misses meat, this is a good thing.

Adriana Velez said...

You'll want to substitute with something with umami, so I would try shiitake mushrooms instead. Sautee in sesame or coconut oil.

Can't wait to see your seitan recipes!

hippittee said...

so my husband was walking by as i was reading this...and he started to take his breath in at the anticipation at "coconut crusted" but as he transition to the tofu...he quickly rescinded his excitement. i'm about to show him your previous posting re: tofu!!