Friday, October 14, 2011

Tofu Dengaku (Broiled Tofu with Miso)

What do you do when it's 8:00 pm and you realize that your dinner that you were in the midst of making is going to take another 2 hours?  Well if it's the weekend and you're Alex and I you probably have a snack and stick with it.  But if it's mid-week, you scramble for something else that cooks up in 30 minutes or less.  In this case, you go ahead and broil up some tofu smeared with miso paste.  We have made a similar recipe before with eggplant, but I have been holding onto this recipe for an occasion like last night where you need to whip something up in a hurry for some time.  And man does this cook up in a hurry.  Miso packs such a punch that a little goes a long way - the tofu doesn't require any salt (or additional seasoning) whatsoever.  I think Alex liked the dish a little more than I did, but he generally likes miso more than I do.  For the record, it's not that I disliked the dish in anyway, it's just that I had my heart set on something else and somehow this didn't quite satisfy in comparison.  I also tend to find almost straight up miso a little overwhelming at times.  But no complaints here.  The dish was very quick, super easy and fairly tasty.  What more can you ask for?

Recipe after the jump!

Tofu Dengaku (Broiled Tofu with Miso)
June 2009

1 (14-to 16-ounces) block firm tofu, drained
1/3 cup red (dark) miso (preferably Japanese; see Shopping List, page 104)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sake, dry Sherry, or dry white wine
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then wrap in fresh paper towels and put in a microwave-safe dish (see cooks' note, below). Microwave at high power 30 seconds. Pour off any liquid and wrap tofu in fresh paper towels. Microwave 1 or 2 more times for 30 seconds each time, pouring off any liquid, until tofu feels firmer.

Preheat broiler.

Stir together miso, sugar, and sake in a small saucepan. (If miso mixture is very thick, stir in 1 tablespoon water.) Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until bubbling, glossy, and the consistency of ketchup, 1 to 3 minutes.

Cut tofu in half horizontally and arrange, cut sides up, on a cutting board. Cut each half into 6 squares (pieces might not be perfectly square).

Arrange tofu on a foil-lined broiler pan, cut sides up, and broil about 2 inches from heat until a crust just forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oven and spread crusted side of each square with about 3/4 teaspoon miso mixture. Broil until tops are just bubbling and starting to color, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Skewer each square with 1 two-pronged pick or 2 parallel straight picks. Sprinkle with seeds.

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