Dry Fried Tofu with Asian-Inspired Cilantro Pesto

  • Asian-Inspired Cilantro Pesto
  • Bowl of Dry Fry Tofu w/ Cilantro Pesto
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Asian-Inspired Cilantro PestoI had something like this dish at a Whole Foods somewhere in suburban northern California.  I’d just finished up an appointment with an Apple Genius – replacing my iPad which I’d dropped (after having it less than a month…Ms. Butterfingers strikes again.  Or is that Ms. Earth Balancefingers??) – and was famished.  Luckily for me, getting lost in a mall-heavy area meant stumbling onto a big, beautiful Whole Foods.  After cruising the parking lot for about 20 minutes looking for a space to ditch the rental car, I made it inside just before fainting dead away from hunger.  I liked my lunch so much, I decided to try and recreate it when I returned to Oklahoma.  I humbly think that my version is better – probably owing a lot to the fact that it didn’t sit in a salad bar tray for a few hours.

Dry Fried Tofu with Asian-Inspired Cilantro Pesto
Serves 4

Cilantro Pesto:
Bowl of Dry Fry Tofu w/ Cilantro Pesto3 bunches fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 pine nuts, toasted
ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. chile garlic sauce

1 package extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 3/4″ cubes

1 cup cooked brown rice, quinoa or your favorite grain

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic and pine nuts.  Process for a few seconds, then add in the remaining sauce ingredients.  Process until nearly smooth, adjusting for desired consistency.

Heat a large skillet (I used two so I could cook all of the tofu at once) until nice and hot.  Add the tofu cubes and brown on two sides.  When the tofu is done, divide brown rice or other grain between four bowls, divide up the tofu and top with cilantro pesto.

It doesn’t get much easier than that.

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  1. trueindigo says:

    Look at those nicely crisped tofu cubes! Do you use a non-stick skillet? My neighbor who avoids all oils does but all I have is cast iron that are well seasoned.

    • I use a non-stick brand called Scanpan (no funky coating). I find that if you leave the tofu alone, when it’s nice and brown and ready to be turned – the pieces don’t stick. Often I get impatient and try to turn them too quickly.

      • Gabby @ the veggie nook says:

        I am very impatient too…with everything from pancakes to tofu, to veggies, I always try to flip to early. Ah well. When I try to make these, I will force myself to wait an extra or minute or two after I want to flip them to actually do it lol.

      • I know – sometimes I have to remind myself to: walk away!

    • emmycooks says:

      Sorry for butting in, but I just wanted to let you know that I have no trouble using this method in my cast iron pans. As AUV said, you just have to wait long enough–it will release easily when the bottom is cooked. Miraculous, really! And that cilantro sauce looks GREAT.

  2. meizac says:

    That looks nice and easy and, more importantly, delicious!

  3. Shira says:

    Looks awesome – the cilantro pesto looks divine and I need more ways to enjoy tofu!

  4. tearoomdelights says:

    That sounds really wholesome and tasty. I sympathise with the fainting away, it’s terrible when you’re stuck with a vehicle you can’t park! I sometimes wish I could shrink mine to a few inches long, pop it into my pocket and walk off, and then enlarge it again when I need to drive it again. It would solve the parking problem.

  5. tinykitchenstories says:

    I am ALL OVER THIS. Can’t wait to make it!

  6. filingawaycupcakes says:

    I love fusion recipes, asian/italian here just like me, love!

  7. Richgail Enriquez says:

    Yum! I love Asian fusion cuisine, my kind of cooking ;) I’ll try this with brown rice or mountain black rice.

  8. Heather says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just made this recipe, and it is fantastic. I imagine that I’ll be making it often. The smell of cilantro in the air! Toasted tofu! I bit of spiciness! What could be better?!?

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