If you’re looking for easy and impressive vegan date night recipes that don’t require too many ingredients, look no further than this orange and ginger glazed tofu. This plant-based tofu recipe requires just a few ingredients in the marinade, and is also quick to cook.
It’s safe to say that tofu has a pretty bad rep. Despite it’s high protein content and versatility, much of the general public still label it as boring and tasteless – but numerous tofu recipes have proved this to be false.
What is tofu?
Tofu – also known as bean curd – refers to a product made from curdled soy milk. It’s often condensed into a solid block, but tofu comes in varying levels of firmness (firm, extra firm, silken, etc).
On its own, tofu is pretty tasteless, but it can be utilized in a wide range of dishes and absorb a multitude of flavors. It’s a popular meat replacement in stir fries and curries, and can also be used to make smoothies and desserts. It can be served in a variety of forms – including crispy and soft – and it’s worth learning how to cook with it if you follow a vegan diet.
Where to buy tofu
Tofu is readily available in mainstream stores all over the world. In the UK and USA, you should be able to find it at most supermarkets and grocery stores. You can also buy tofu from Asian supermarkets and many health food shops. Tofu doesn’t tend to be too expensive, but some specialized brands may cost more (particularly if they’re flavored). If you buy a plain block of firm tofu, it shouldn’t cost you too much in most stores.
What are the health benefits of tofu? How much protein does it have?
Tofu is widely considered to be a good protein source for vegans: a standard 100g serving of tofu provides around 8.1g. Tofu is also a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that our bodies need. Tofu is nutrient dense, providing relatively more nutrients then calories.
Some studies have also found that tofu may be good for heart health, alleviate peri-menopausal symptoms, and help manage cholesterol.
And it can also be delicious. Check out this orange and ginger glazed tofu, which comes from plant-based blogger Romy London, recipe below. It’s an ideal vegan date night recipe, and can be served with rice, noodles, or whatever you wish.
For the tofu
- 1 400g block of tofu
- olive oil, for frying
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
Orange and ginger marinade
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice roughly one medium orange
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Press your tofu block for at least 30 minutes. This step is optional, but the tofu takes on the flavors of the marinade better when it’s pressed
- In the meantime, prepare your marinade: In a small saucepan, heat your olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic slices. Heat them for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the garlic does not turn brown. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside
- In a large bowl, add the orange juice, maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, ginger and black pepper. Strain the garlic oil through a sieve to remove the garlic pieces. Discard the garlic and add the garlic oil to the marinade. Stir to combine
- Use a sharp knife to cut diagonal lines across the top and bottom of your pressed tofu, about 1⁄4inch (6 mm) deep. Place the tofu in a small container and add your marinade so that it covers the tofu. Place it in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 390°F (200°C). Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat with a generous dash of olive oil. Remove your tofu from the marinade and allow for any excess to drip off the tofu block
- Sprinkle the cornstarch onto a shallow plate and place the tofu block on top, thinly coating the top and bottom. Transfer the tofu block to the frying plan and fry both sides of the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes each, until crispy and golden. Place it into an ovenproof dish
- Whisk about 2 teaspoons (5 g) of the cornstarch into the remainder of the marinade and pour about half of the marinade over the tofu. Roast for 10 minutes, then carefully pour the rest of the marinade over the top and roast for 10 minutes
- Remove the tofu from the ovenproof dish and place it onto a serving plate. Cut it into 1⁄2-inch(1-cm) slices and serve as part of your roast meal. Try this with green beans, a parsnip mash and some delicious miso onion gravy
For more plant-based recipes from Romy London, check out her website.