Fried Tofu on Red Quinoa: A Healthy, Hearty and Easy Recipe

Written by | Food & Wine

Fried Tofu on Quinoa with Black Garlic and Dashi

Want to wow your guests with tofu? Yes, the often pooh-poohed ingredient can be tasty when well seasoned with spice and shallow pan fried as in this recipe of Fried Tofu on Red Quinoa with Black Garlic and Dashi. Not only is it a palate-pleaser, but it’s also super healthy too. Tofu is packed with protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous. On top of that, tofu is a good source of magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. The quinoa (another ingredient that intimidates many home cooks) takes on a sweet, syrupy flavor here — with hints of balsamic and tamarind. The process of producing black garlic is sometimes referred to as “fermentation,” but unlike actual fermentation, it does not involve microbial action. Regardless, the process intensifies both the flavor and all of the health benefits of regular raw garlic. It’s absolutely a must-try and can be found in specialty stores.

Ingredients for Tofu

  • 1 14 oz package firm tofu
  • olive oil
  • grapeseed oil
  • ground fenugreek

Ingredients for Red Quinoa

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 2 cups seasoned water or stock
  • 3 cloves black garlic sliced
  • the zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 scallions sliced

Tofu Preparation

  1. Dry tofu with kitchen towel or paper towel to prevent splattering.
  2. Cut the tofu into rectangular pieces — or you can cut it any way you like.
  3. Use cast iron or carbon steel pan. Heat the pan till hot. Coat with oil (about half olive and half grapeseed), and let the oil heat up before you place the tofu into the hot pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, slowly and gently place tofu into the oil. The white, dense, mozzarella-like texture of the tofu will puff up and take on a spongy texture. Depending on how hot your oil is and how much oil you put in, it usually takes about 15 minutes to fry all the pieces before you remove the golden brown tofu and let it drain.

Quinoa Preparation

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under running water.
  2. Drop the rinsed quinoa into your saucepan of boiling stock. Add garlic powder, fenugreek and pepper.
  3. Simmer for 12-15 minutes with a lid on. Drain any excess water from the pan by maneuvering the lid very slightly. Let the quinoa ‘dry steam’ in the saucepan on your counter top for a few more minutes to eliminate the possibility of soggy quinoa.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients, and add lemon juice to taste.
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Last modified: June 26, 2019