Saturday, July 14, 2012

Miso-Glazed Tofu, Toaster Oven Edition

So, miso-glazing, round 2! This time's technique is maybe more properly called "miso-glazing" than the last time I posted about it. I mean, I've seen the spoon-ladling-sauce-in-a-skillet technique called "glazing", (oh yes, I did just use the British comma-quotation convention, because it makes sense) but with a broiler or grill I think more of a glaze actually develops. Wikipedia's short article on glaze only confirms the confusion, referring to glaze applied by brush or made by reducing a sauce.

In any case, broiler glazing. Specifically, toaster-oven broiling. I've really become enamored with toaster ovens, lately. They're so convenient to have around: easy to use and to clean up; use less energy and generate less heat than ovens do; actually have broiler components whereas my oven does not. Now that I've been using one a lot, it's on my list of appliances to be sure to have, along with a rice cooker and food processor.

I'd been wishing I had a broiler when occasionally I needed one, as for grilling fish or vegetables, kalbi, charring peppers, or making a fruit crisp. And then I finally looked at my roommate's toaster oven sitting on the counter, which I'd stopped using at all since giving up bread, and remembered the upper heating elements and the "broil" button I'd seen on the panel. Excellent!

So it was that when I came across this very simple recipe for toaster oven miso-glazed salmon I was reminded of my intention to try miso-glazing with a broiler. And the toaster oven method is as delicious as it is easy-mode--which is to say very.

Toaster Oven Miso-Glazed Tofu
serves 2

1 block (14-16 oz.) medium-firm or firm tofu, pressed for 10 minutes and cut in half

1 TBS white miso paste
1 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS rice wine
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp vegetable oil

  1. Whisk the miso, sugar, rice wine, soy sauce, and oil together, and combine with pressed tofu blocks in a ziplock bag or other container to marinate for 10 minutes. Make sure to expose all surfaces to the marinade.
  2. Line your toaster oven's baking pan with aluminum foil (I crumple up the foil and open it up again so that food is less likely to stick). Pick up tofu blocks, allowing excess marinade to drain off them back into the container, and place on baking pan on top rack of toaster oven. Set to broil on high for about 15 minutes (cooking only takes maybe 10 minutes, but we just need it to keep going). Broil for about 5-7 minutes, until the top is starting to brown and char, and the marinade has dried on top.
  3. Pull out the top rack and brush the tops of the tofu with another coating of miso-marinade. Broil another 3 minutes, until the new layer has begun to char. Repeat another round if you like. Doing this gives the top a nice, crisp layer of glaze. Remove from toaster oven and serve. Ideas for garnish: aonori seaweed flakes, sesame seeds, very finely sliced scallions...
Note: unlike with grilled salmon, where you want the inside to be rare to medium-rare still, you actually want the tofu to cook through its center since that makes the texture velvety soft inside.

What?? I'm eating what look like wheat noodles of some sort? Those are actually a rice-based "spaghetti". I don't particularly recommend them, though: they're kind of mealy, releasing a lot of starch  and breaking off smaller pieces as they cook. I do remember having a pretty good gluten-free spaghetti, though--I'll have to find it again and report back. It had sold out the the last time I was in the market for gluten-free pasta.


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