Broccoli Almond Sweet and Sour Tofu
3 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if sodium is a concern)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons water
1 tub extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 teaspoons cornstarch plus 4 teaspoons soy milk, almond milk or water, mixed
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil (use less if fat is a concern)
Sesame seeds for garnish
1-2 cups steamed broccoli
1/4 - 1/2 cup sliced almonds
Slice the tofu into triangles or small cubes. Smaller pieces are better for this recipe.
Toss the tofu with the cornstarch-and-milk/water mixture until coated. Then toss the pieces in the 1/4 cup of cornstarch until each piece is coated and dry, adding more cornstarch if needed.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.
While the oil is heating, mix the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch/water, in a small sauce pan and whisk over medium heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then add the cornstarch mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens.
Watch the sauce so it doesn't thicken too much and burn. When the sauce is thick enough to stick to food rather than puddle below it, turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
Place the tofu in the hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself. (Don't crowd the tofu pieces together or they will stick to each other, so fry them in batches if needed.) Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden on the bottom, then gently turn and brown the other side.
When the tofu is almost done frying, scatter the sliced almonds on top so they fall into the oil. As soon as the nuts start to turn color, take the pan off the heat and very carefully drain the oil into a heat-proof container to re-use or dispose of properly. Almonds taste burned before they look burned, so don't let them sit in the oil too long.
Transfer the tofu and almonds to a large bowl and add the steamed broccoli. Toss the mixture with the sweet-and-sour sauce, and serve it over rice.
(Slightly adapted from a recipe by Lauren Ulm of Vegan Yum Yum.)