Mmmmm. Fried tofu…
Not long ago, Sam got to meet the scholar whose research was the foundation for Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals. Needless to say, Sam came home from this encounter ready to seriously reduce our meat consumption. My only response? “I guess I could do more with tofu.”
The thing is that I really like food, even (and maybe especially) the animal portions of it. I know where I can get good local beef (at roughly double grocery store rates), and I’m sure I can coordinate a pre-order, pick it up at the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market, and be set there for a while. But since a trip to SB was out of the question for a while, I picked up some extra tofu.
What happened though, is that I started really thinking about how compromised most of my food choices really are. Sure, I can get tofu. I can even find organic (read non-GMO) tofu. It’s shipped in from God-knows-where, and packaged in plastic tubs. Ditto my milk options, none of which are local or sustainably packaged. It might technically be possible to track down non-packaged tofu and milk in glass jars somewhere in Ventura County, so I might be able to solve the packaging (if not the sourcing) issues, but with there being a set numbers of hours in a day, and what with my general unwillingness to dial the clock back to the early 1900’s, I’m unlikly to actually commit to these options. And that’s just two of the many many items that my family consumes on a weekly (or daily) basis.
(Of course, I haven’t even touched on the question of personal health, which raises a whole new set of issues to work around.)
Look, It’s complicated. You could write a whole book about it.
Literally the ONLY food that I eat that isn’t compromised is from the CSA. This fact alone makes me grateful for our commitment. At least a *small* portion of what we do is a choice I can feel great about.
Here’s what I did with the tofu:
- 1/2 C PB
- 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
- 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
- smidge prepared chile-garlic sauce
- 1/4 – 1/2 C water (less, if you want your sauce really thick)
- 1 9oz package soba noodles
- 1/2 C cilantro
- 2 C chopped broccoli
- 1 large daikon (cut into 1/4″ slices or thinner)
- 1 brick tofu, cubed
Remove tofu from packaging. Fold up two paper towels into fourths, place one on top and bottom of the tofu. On top of tofu, place a heavy cutting board with a can or other small weight to press out any excess water. Let sit for at leats 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, set a large pot of water to boil, and prepare your other ingredients. Mix up the peanut sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. If needed, microwave the sauce for just 30 seconds to melt the peanut butter slightly.
OPTIONAL: Fry tofu cubes for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. The tofu is good cold, warmed slightly in a non-stick pan, or deep fried, which is how my kids like it best.
My soba noodles cook for 4 minutes. Assuming yours do too, add soba and broccoli to the boiling water. after 3 minutes, add the daikon and boil one minute more. Drain the vegetables and noodles. Toss with the sauce, and top with tofu and cilantro.