Tofu-wiches

Tofu-wiches

Gina Howe

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. extra firm tofu

  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil

  • ¼-½ tsp. black salt (Kala Namak)

  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika

  • ½ tsp. turmeric

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (Recommended: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes

  • 2 Tbsp. almonds, cashews, or tahini

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • ¼ C water

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1-1/2 tsp. soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions:

Press the block of tofu until most of the water is expelled.


Cut the tofu in half down the middle, then cut each half into ¼” thick  slices. You will have 10-12 rectangular slices of tofu.


Add the oil to the pan and spread into a thin layer. Fry the tofu on medium-high heat until lightly browned on one side.


In a small bowl or shaker, combine the black salt, smoked paprika,  turmeric, and black pepper; sprinkle over the tofu slices so it is  evenly distributed. Flip the tofu slices over to cook the seasoned side  until lightly browned.


Drizzle soy sauce over the tofu slices and turn off the heat.


Place the warm tofu slices on toasted bread of choice (recommended: New  Pioneer’s sourdough bread). Add desired toppings (lettuce, tomato, red  onion, kimchi, vegan mayonnaise, vegan cheese etc.).


Vegan Caesar Dressing:


This salad dressing is incredibly easy to make and can be doubled or tripled for an entire week’s salads.


Combine all ingredients in a blender (or use an immersion blender); process until smooth.


Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Recipe from Food.com


More from the Author:


As a child, I was always a bit picky about the meat I consumed. Whether  it was a chunk of cartilage I accidentally and regrettably bit into when  eating a McRib sandwich at school or the piece of chicken that looked a  bit dark where it rested against the bone, I always felt a sense of  unease when consuming “this thing” that seemingly had such variable  consistency in quality. As I became older and started preparing my own  food, these feelings of discontent were heightened when I decided to  prepare an evening meal of chicken teriyaki for my family. As I stood in  the kitchen washing, trimming, and cutting the chicken breasts, I could  not help but think how dirty this whole process was. As I rinsed the  meat in the sink, bacteria were inevitably splashing all around the  surfaces and beyond. Then came the handling of this slimy substance from  which I now had to tediously trim chunks of fat. When the meal was  over, I realized I had prepared a dish that was devoid of flavor and was  reminded of all the work I had just done for very little payback.


A few years later, I watched a documentary titled “Earthlings” that  would solidify every reservation I ever had about consuming meat. It  made the transition to a vegan lifestyle seem intuitive. After making  the switch, I effortlessly lost fifteen pounds. I became aware of tofu  as a protein alternative and was delighted to find there was no  cartilage or tough bits and pieces hidden in it. It came neatly sealed  in a water-packed container and was easy to slice into a variety of  different shapes and sizes. It became the basis for one of my favorite  and most beloved and original dishes, the “tofu-wich.”


Wanting a replacement for my childhood favorite pan-fried egg sandwich, I  discovered that using tofu with a little black salt (aka Kala Namak)  would mimic that eggy flavor I was seeking. While frying the tofu in a  pan just like an egg, I began playing around with adding seasonings such  as smoked paprika, turmeric, and soy sauce. It even came to mind that  some garlic and onion powder might ramp up the flavors even more. From  this point, I had the base for my egg sandwich substitute. With a little  vegan mayonnaise spread on a soft, fresh bun and a couple of slices of  warm tofu, I was taken back to my childhood in no time. Eventually, I  decided to take the tofu a step further and make it more of a deli  sandwich experience by adding toppings such as lettuce, tomato, and  onion. Then I learned about kimchi, a fermented cabbage and vegetable  mix of Korean origin, which offers a salty and flavorful punch to almost  any meal. Now the hunt was on to find the perfect bread to increase my  behemoth fillings. I settled on New Pioneer’s sourdough bread, toasted  until just lightly browned.


Today, any mention of making my famous “tofu-wiches” for lunch elicits  an enthusiastic response from my parents. It’s a crowd-pleaser and can  be varied to suit any palate, as the seasonings or toppings are easily  exchanged for alternatives. The slices can be cut in half lengthwise and  served warm or cold with the vegan Caesar dressing or other dipping  sauce. The Tofu-wich — served with a fresh vegetable salad topped with  this dressing and followed by peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for  dessert — makes an easy, delicious, and satisfying meal.