This recipe came about when one day, I found ginger soy chicken in my thoughts. I wasn’t actually craving it, but it somehow popped into my mind. I know it’s kinda weird, but random dishes do kind of enter my thoughts from time to time. Maybe its an occupational hazard 😉
So I thought, why not make it vegan? What would be a good cruelty-free replacement for chicken?
You guessed it.
Or if you didn’t…it’s in the title anyway. Heh.
Tofu is like the miracle vegan/vegetarian food. It is not only a great source of protein, but it is so versatile. You can make anything from smoothies to scrambled eggs with it. It can be savory and it can be sweet. This is because tofu is tasteless and it absorbs flavour easily, which is what makes this dish such a delicious one!
The main ingredients for the ginger soy sauce are ginger, soy sauce (obviously!) and rice syrup (or any other sweetener such as agave). If you don’t like to bite into small bits of ginger, then you may want to use sliced ginger instead and pick out the ginger when you eat the dish. Naturally, you don’t get as strong a ginger presence as you would with minced or grated ginger, but it is still there and it still adds that gingery dimension to the dish.
The sugar also goes very well with the ginger soy mixture, although I’ll admit the sugar level in this dish is pretty conservative. Some people prefer it to be more like a glaze, so they will add more sugar and probably some starch. I don’t like to add sugar unnecessarily so this is what I went with 🙂
Another thing you can vary with this dish is the firmness of the tofu. In these pictures, I used firm tofu bought from the store, but in my opinion, it isn’t really that firm for a dish like this. Don’t get me wrong though, I do like it this way. It is still silky but not too soft to the point you can’t even put it in a frying pan without it falling apart, which is nice. However, if you prefer a chewier texture, I suggest that you press it further, or just go for extra firm tofu altogether. It really is all up to you!
Also, since the tofu is going to be covered in sauce anyway, you don’t really have to worry about it not browning. Mine don’t brown perfectly either (especially since I used firm and not extra firm tofu)! Just allowing it to cook on the sides before pouring the sauce in is good enough. Salting the tofu most certainly helps though, so I highly recommend doing that before pan-frying the tofu.
This dish goes great with rice and a side of vegetables, such as this cabbage and oyster mushroom stir-fry (recipe). It’d be great if you can give these two dishes a try!
As usual, please let me know how it worked out for you 🙂
Vegan + Gluten Free + Low Carb + No Onion No Garlic
Tofu In Ginger Soy Sauce
- 1 block extra firm tofu firm or extra firm
- 2 teaspoons ginger minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 4 teaspoons water
- salt for sprinkling on tofu
- Slice tofu into 1/4" thick slices, about 1" in length.
- Blot tofu dry using paper towels and sprinkle salt on each side of each tofu slice. The salt helps the tofu to brown. Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a (preferably non-stick) pan.
- Pan fry the tofu first on high heat until it browns on both sides. Don't worry if it fails to brown since this tofu will be covered in sauce later.
- Bring down the flame and then combine soy sauce, sugar, ginger, and water into the pan with the tofu. Make sure you bring down the flame or else the soy sauce will burn! Let the liquid reduce to as little as you'd like it to be. Done!