Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brussels sprouts and Tofu

Another recipe from the infamous Yotam Ottolenghi. I am on a bit of a tofu bender at the moment, and after buying my last block, I realised that I wasn't sure how I wanted to cook it. A brief flick through Yotam's Plenty, and I had found the perfect recipe; Brussels sprouts and Tofu. I quite enjoy Brussels sprouts, but I know a lot of people don't feel the same way. I think the key is to sauté them rather than boil them to oblivion (as is often the case). They really need to be just cooked through, overcooking is the enemy of the Brussels sprout.

This is kind of a stir fry and kind of not, but whatever you call it, it's delicious. The marinade really flavours the tofu, which is something I usually find quite hard to do. I didn't have any maple syrup, so I substituted honey, and mis-read the rice wine vinegar amount (I used 1 tbs instead of 1 tsp) but it was still great. If anything, I would cook the sprouts for a little longer next time, some were not quite cooked and a bit tough.

Brussels sprouts and tofu
Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty
Serves 3 
(Yotam says 4, but I didn't get that much - maybe I'm just a big eater...)
  • 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 ½ tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs sesame oil (Yotam recommends toasted sesame oil, but I have no idea where you'd find this)
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 150g firm tofu, sliced into 1cm widths, then halved into rough squares
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced into longways thirds
  • 6-8 tbs plain oil (rice bran/sunflower etc)
  • 100g spring onions, sliced
  • ½ small red chilli, deseeded and freshly chopped
  • 120g shitake mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 15g coriander leaves
  • 1 tbs (toasted) sesame seeds (optional)
  • salt

First, marinate the tofu. In a bowl, whisk together the chilli and soy sauces, two tablespoons of the sesame oil, the vinegar and maplr syrup.Gently stir the tofu into the marinade and set aside.
Browning/burning the Brussels sprouts

Take a large, non-stick pan, add two tablespoons of oil and heat up well. Throw in half the sprouts and a little salt, and cook on high heat for two minutes. Don't stir much. You want the sprouts to almost to burn in a few places and cook through but remain crunchy. Remove to a bowl. Repeat with more oil, salt and the rest of the sprouts. Remove all sprouts from the pan

Add two more tablespoons of oil to the pan, heat up and sauté the spring onions, chilli and mushrooms for a minute or two. Transfer to the sprout bowl.

Leave the pan on high heat. Use tongs to lift half the tofu pieces from the marinade and gently lay in the pan (be careful as the oil will spit!), spacing apart and in one layer. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for two minutes on each side, or until they get a nice caramelised colour. Transfer to the sprout bowl and repeat with the rest of the tofu.
Caramelised tofu

Once all the tofu is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and return all the cooked ingredients to it. Add the remaining tofu marinade and half the coriander. Toss together and allow to cool slightly in the pan. Taste and add salt if needed. Stir in the remaining sesame oil (extra, if you like) and serve warm, not hot, garnished with sesame seeds, if using, and the rest of the coriander.

Serve with hot steamed rice.


  1. I'm not really a huge tofu or brussel sprout fan, but this recipe looks delish! Will defs have to try it out :)