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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Grilled Tofu with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice

Yet another recipe courtesy of Oh She Glows, this recipe is adventurous and delicious. It features a variety of flavors, from the delicate flavoring of the tofu to the spicy salsa to the sweetened rice. I highly recommend it if you need to break out of a boring dinner routine into an island-inspired flavor extravaganza!

Grilled Tofu with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice
for the tofu:
1 package firm or extra-firm tofu
cooking oil for brushing
Herbamare or salt, for seasoning
for the coconut rice:
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dry/uncooked short grain brown rice
1 can (400ml) light coconut milk
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
Sprinkle of nutmeg  
 for the pineapple salsa (this makes over 5 cups, so you may want to only make half of a batch!):
1 pineapple, cored & diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 jalape├▒os, seeded and diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

First, you need to press the tofu. Remove tofu from package and rinse with water. Place a couple kitchen towels on the counter. Wrap the tofu with another towel, place another towel on top, and finally several heavy cookbooks on top. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to soak out the water.

After pressing, slice the tofu block down the middle, lengthwise to make two halves. Now slice each piece diagonally to make 4 triangles total. Brush each side with cooking oil and then season generously. This tofu is plain, but you can marinate it if you prefer.

Preheat oven to 300F. Toast shredded coconut for about 8-12 minutes until golden. Rinse brown rice in colander and then place into a medium-sized pot. Add the can of coconut milk and stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat immediately to low. Cover with lid and cook for about 25-30 minutes until most of the coconut milk is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat, keep lid on, and let it “steam” for another 10 minutes or so. Stir in brown sugar and optional coconut oil. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut.

Meanwhile, add all salsa ingredients into a large bowl, adjusting to taste. Pineapple may need draining if it is very watery (to do this, place it in a colander for ~10 minutes prior to adding to the salsa mixture).

To grill the tofu, preheat the bbq grill for about 15-30 minutes  on high. Turn heat down to medium/low. Carefully, grease the grill with a cooking oil safe for high heat (e.g., canola, sunflower, safflower, or sesame). Grill the tofu for about 5 minutes on each side (this will vary). Be sure not to overcook the tofu or it will be dry. (**I don't own a real barbeque, just a miniature one without a top. So, to speed things up, I simply fried the tofu for a few minutes on each side. It didn't get a grilled flavor but was still tasty, especially because the other parts of this dish are so flavorful).

To serve, poon coconut rice on a plate and sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg if desired. Add grilled tofu next and then spoon over a generous amount of pineapple salsa. Sprinkle everything with more toasted coconut and garnish with mint leaves. Feel free to serve with a bit of BBQ sauce on the side to spruce up the tofu.

 Bottom line: This was an incredibly flavorful, sweet-and-spicy dish that I'd recommend for any palate craving some adventure. Also a great way to use up lots of aging kitchen produce, if you tend to have that problem like I do =)

Recipe found here on Oh She Glows.

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