Chili Cauliflower and Tofu Recipe
There’s no question that Indo-Chinese cuisine is adored across India and abroad for its tangy, salty, and spicy flavors. This dish of cauliflower and tofu has classic Indo-Chinese flavors, primarily umami and spicy. Roast both before stir-frying to enhance and develop their textures.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil, such as sunflower
- 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari, if gluten-free)
- 1 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed for 1 hour and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 medium cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- 1 ½ tsp neutral oil, such as sunflower
- Pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sriracha or sambal oelek, to taste
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil, such as sunflower
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 ½ Tbsp)
- 4 to 6 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
- 3 dried red chilies, optional
- Salt, to taste
- Jasmine rice (or preferred alternative), optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To prepare the tofu, whisk together the cornstarch, oil, and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add the tofu and mix gently with a spatula until each piece is coated. Place the tofu onto one baking sheet in an even layer, ensuring that the pieces are not touching.
- To prepare the cauliflower, place the florets onto the other baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Massage the oil in the florets until each piece is coated, then spread the pieces into a single layer, ensuring that the pieces are not touching.
- Place the tofu sheet in the oven on the middle rack and the cauliflower sheet on the top rack. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the tofu and cauliflower pieces to evenly roast both sides. Return to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and charred and the tofu is firm, crisp, and lightly charred. Remove from the oven and keep near the stove.
- While the tofu and cauliflower are baking, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, sriracha, cornstarch, and pepper in a small bowl with ½ cup water until well incorporated. Leave the bowl near the stove.
- Heat a large wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers and easily coats the pan. Add the ginger, garlic, white part of the scallions, and red chilies (if using), and cook until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved sauce and simmer until bubbly and starting to thicken, about 1 minute.
- Add the tofu and cauliflower and stir to coat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Garnish with the green part of the scallions and serve hot with rice, if desired.
Recipe from Plant-Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition © Dr. Sheil Shukla, 2022. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available everywhere books are sold. Learn more at TheExperimentPublishing.com.
Dr. Sheil Shukla@plantbasedartist
Dr. Sheil Shukla is an internal medicine physician and food artist who is passionate about the intersection of food, art, and medicine. He loves exploring cultures through food, and his primary experience is with South Asian foods. His recipes and photographs have garnered the support of over 59,000 followers on Instagram. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Rachel, and son, Shrey.
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