Yesterday, I was bummed that I didn't have some ingredients to make Thai sweet chili tofu to go with some delicious brussel sprouts and black rice. Then, it occurred to me that it's been a long time since I had any Jamaican style food.
One thing I have to remind myself about tofu is that it's like a sponge. The longer the tofu has to absorb the ingredients, the better. Tofu's like a laid back friend, though. It will still be OK at the last minute without much prep.
So, here are some ingredient ideas and the official Zoobird rap on Jerk tofu:
1 Lb - tofu
2 Tbs - splash of olive oil
2 stalks - couple of chopped green onions
2 Tbs grated ginger
2 Tsp Orange Blossom honey (substitute your favorite honey, agave nectar or another sweetener you like, or none at all!)
1 green bell pepper
a pinch - allspice
a pinch - salt
a pinch - nutmeg
a pinch - thyme
a pinch - black pepper
1 Tbs - your favorite pepper. Scotch Bonnet is a Jamaican favorite. I used jalapeno.
1 cup - rice. I used black rice. The rice takes longer to cook, so allow for the additional time or prepare it in advance. I had some left over from another meal.
Mix the spices together with a little oil and marinate the tofu a few hours or overnight. Or, if you're in a hurry, just work with what you've got and it'll be nearly as good.
Preheat a large skillet or wok. Add the oil carefully. Saute the onions. Add the tofu, cut into our favorite sized pieces, but arranged so that they can be tossed around once the other spices and ingredients are added. Let the tofu brown about 4-5 minutes on each of 2 sides. The rest will cook enough over 10 minutes or so. Then, add the spice mixture. The heat from the skillet will help spread the spices over the tofu. Toss it a little for about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to break up the tofu or burn yourself. Add the green bell peppers and stir fry until tender. Then, add the rice or pour the finished tofu over rice. I like to mix it all together.
Green onions are giant this time of year here in Florida! I got these at Ward's, a local grocer here in Gainesville, FL. They've got a cool website you can check out, especially if you're not in Gainesville. You'll see their locally sourced foods, private label stuff and notice that Ward's is a source of locally grown sprouts for gardens.
You can grab a prepared seasoning mix like this one and see how their blend tastes. I got this at a little shop in Gainesville. Prepared spices like this work great but fresh mixes always taste better. We be jammin!
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