Sambal Tofu With Pac Choi

Recipe adapted from: Erin Wysocarski, Olives For Dinner

*Notes: Feel free to substitute any meat for this tofu. Beef would work best.

For the marinade + tofu
1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice cultured seasoning - available at most natural food stores)
3 TB toasted sesame oil
2 TB soy sauce
1/2 TB (or more if you like it spicy) Sambal Oelek (hot chili paste made from fresh red chilies - available at most natural food stores)
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 block firm tofu, cut into 6-8 evenly sized slabs and towel pressed for about an hour
For the rest
2 heads of baby pac choi
1 cup prepared rice or noodles
sesame seeds (optional)
scallions (optional)
cilantro (optional)

To make the marinade
Cut the tofu into cubes and lay out on a kitchen towel. Wrap the tofu in the towel and place something heavy on it it to press the liquid into the towel. Leave for an hour.

Combine all marinade ingredients except for the tofu in a medium-sized glass baking dish.

Place the pressed tofu into the marinade, flipping to cover on both sides.

Place into refrigerator for a few hours to marinate, flipping after 30 minutes to ensure even coverage.

To cook the tofu + reduce the marinade
Preheat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat with 2 TB of vegetable oil.
Place the tofu into the hot pan and allow to brown on one side. Flip and repeat on the other sides.

Remove the tofu, then pour the remaining marinade into the cast iron pan. Allow to sizzle until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

To prepare the pac choi
Preheat pan to medium heat with 2 TB vegetable oil. Cut pac choi lengthwise down the centre. Once pan is heated, place pac choi cut-side down and cook until starting to brown.

Flip over and sauté for another minute or so.

Remove from pan and cut away inner core.

To serve
Distribute the tofu onto two plates. Drizzle the reduced sauce over both. Add the pac choi and rice/noodles as desired, along with sesame seeds, and scallions.
Serve immediately.

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