Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baked Tofu with Sauteed Rainbow Carrots and Tsoi Tsim

I apologize ahead of time for the complete lack of photos accompanying this post - a total shame, because rainbow carrots and tsoi tsim are both extremely photogenic! Last night was hectic, checking and re-checking out an apartment while coordinating with the parents, the future roommate, and the realtor. This place had an amazing location, but ultimately I think we're going to have to compromise on location so that we can get a huge place, good for cooking and entertaining. So, the search continues.

I had picked up a giant bunch of rainbow carrots and tsoi tsim at the Copley market yesterday, intrigued by the pretty carrots and excited to find tsoi tsim again. Walking around Boston with a giant tree of carrot leaves sprouting up out of my bag was fun.

Rainbow carrots are the same as normal orange carrots; they've just been selectively bred with a variety of pigments, resulting in dark purple, white, and yellow carrots, to name a few. This is more than an aesthetic improvement: the different colors are a result of different plant pigments, and different pigments have a variety of biological effects. For example, the orange pigment found abundantly in standard carrots, carotene, is an antioxidant that is good for the human eye. A purple pigment, anthocyanin, is present in dark purple carrots. Anthocyanin research in blackberries has suggested positive cancer-fighting effects.

We had a lot of seafood and red meat over the last week or so, and I saw adorable baby chicks at work yesterday, so we decided to skip meat and chicken for the evening, settling on tofu.

Baked Tofu
I have absolutely no experience with tofu. I've enjoyed it fried in some Thai and Chinese dishes, but in general, the texture weirds me out a bit. For dinner, I picked up a block of extra firm, pressed it between plates and under soup cans as recommended by more experienced tofu-eating friends, sliced it (extremely poorly), and haphazardly marinated it in a strange mixture that actually turned out really well:
  • Soy sauce - enough to lightly coat both sides of each piece
  • Orange marmalade - enough to put a generous dab on one side of each piece
  • BBQ sauce (I used the inimitable Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sensuous Slathering Sauce) - a generous pour into the marinating baggie (probably about a half cup)
  • Rice wine vinegar - a generous splash into the marinating baggie (probably about a quarter cup)
I threw it in the oven at 350, turned the pieces over after about 10 minutes, and then cooked it for another 15 minutes or so. It firmed up nicely, and the marinade miraculously tasted delicious! It had a light BBQ taste with an occasional sweet bite of orange marmaladey yumminess.

Sauteed Tsoi Tsim
I did pretty much the same thing as last time, although this time I threw the blossoms in the sautee pan as well. They sort of shriveled up; I didn't see very many in the finished product. Like I mentioned in my earlier tsoi tsim post, the vegetable retains its bright colors very well; no need to blanch it. It has a lovely not-too-salty kale flavor, and the stems give it a fun crunch. I sauteed my tsoi tsim for 3-4 minutes.

Sauteed Rainbow Carrots
I sliced them into coin-shaped pieces and sauteed them for 5-6 minutes in a little bit of unsalted butter with a pinch of salt, black pepper, and dried parsley. They got a little brown around the edges and remained crunchy and flavorful. Plus, they looked beautiful on the plate! I have some carrots left, so hopefully I'll get a chance to make this again and show you a photo.

We accompanied the meal with a fresh baguette from the New Breadsong Corner Bakery stand (Copley market) and ended with a sweet dessert: raspberries and blueberries in those mini angel food cups that Shaw's always has near the berries, topped with a dollop of Cool Whip.

It was a nice summer meal, and tofu is really starting to win me over!

Feed Me
What's your favorite tofu dish to make for people that are on the fence about tofu?

More information on Foodista
Baked Bbq Orange Tofu on FoodistaBaked Bbq Orange TofuTsoi Tsim on FoodistaTsoi Tsim 


    1. moosewood has an awesome recipe in the enchanted broccoli forest cookbook--it's a thai dish, i believe called tofu with peanut sauce. the sauce is taaaasty!!

    2. I've been meaning to pick up a Moosewood book for awhile. That sounds really yummy! Can't wait for you to move back. You'll have to help me eat my way through Boston :)


    Related Posts with Thumbnails