Seared Tofu with Chili Sauce


You know those weekends where you find yourself without any housework, work-work, or social engagements, and you can spend the whole weekend parked on your sofa watching movies? Those magical weekends that come few and far between? I lived it last weekend, and it was truly fantastic. I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated throughout the weekend, and thoroughly recharged by Monday morning. In fact, I’m still riding my weekend restfulness into Wednesday, which is amazing. What a few good nights of sleep can do for your body!

Over the weekend, I was left to my own devices. It snowed several inches, my friends were busy with work, and Chirag was traveling for business, so I was completely on my own. So, I rented a few movies, picked out a new television series to watch on Netflix, made myself delicious meals and snacks, and had a wonderful weekend to myself. The weekend also included yoga pants and unbrushed hair, but we don’t need to go into that much detail about my general laziness.

Anyway, the first meal I cooked at the onset of the weekend was a tofu dish. I love tofu. Sure, it can be mushy and slimy and tasteless, but when cooked and seasoned properly, it can be an excellent vehicle for great flavors. Tofu is a great ingredient that can hold up to a lot of cooking styles. I’ve baked, roasted, grilled, fried and (obviously) stir fried tofu in the past. This time, I chose to sear my tofu, which gave it a great crispy and chewy crust, and a nice soft-yet-not-mushy center. I whipped up a little salty/spicy/sweet chili sauce, and voila! Dinner for one in a flash!


Seared Tofu with Chili Sauce
Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

1 package extra firm tofu, drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp salt
2 sprays, olive oil spray
3 Tbsp less sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp red chili flakes, or more/less to taste
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds

  1. Cut tofu in half, and cut each half into 8 equal slices, approximately 3/8″ thick, to yield 16 slices. Place the tofu slices on double-layered paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for five minutes, flip over, and repeat.
  2. Heat olive oil spray in a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Gently press each tofu slice with a dry paper towel, then place into the hot pan. Sear for 5 minutes, or until a golden crust forms,  flip and repeat.
  4. In the meantime, whisk together the remaining ingredients to form the sauce in a small bowl.
  5. Remove tofu from pan, and top with sauce and garnish with fresh cilantro.