For the tofu:
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 Ener-G eggs
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 (15-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, divided
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushroom caps (about 10 caps)
- 2 cups (2-inch) sliced green onions
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sweet and sour sauce*
Note: cut the block of tofu in half width-wise, then make 9 cuts cross-wise. If that doesn't make sense, see my photo below for a quick visual.
2. Working with 1 tofu piece at a time, dip in the Ener-G mixture, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining tofu pieces. Give each tofu piece a second dip in the Ener-G mixture and a second dredging in the breadcrumb mixture.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 9 tofu pieces, and cook for 4 minutes, turning so they brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil and the remaining tofu pieces; keep warm while you prepare the vegetables.
4. To prepare the vegetables, pour the pineapple juice into a pan. Bring to a boil, then continue to cook for 5 minutes, until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Set aside.
5. Heat a pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms; saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions, tomatoes, and thyme; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the reduced pineapple juice and balsamic vinegar; cook for a final 30 seconds.
6. Arrange 1/2 cup vegetable mixture on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with 3 tofu sticks. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon of the sweet and sour sauce. This dish will be best served immediately.
To round out the meal, I just added hot cooked long-grain rice on the side. Playing off the pineapple juice flavor in the main dish, try this broiled pineapple recipe for a second side dish or for dessert: peel, quarter, and core 1 whole pineapple. Combine 1/4 cup vegan brown sugar and 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add the pineapple pieces; seal and shake to coat. Place the pineapple on a baking sheet and broil for 8 minutes, turning over halfway through. Slice the pineapple, and divide the slices evenly among 6 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon toasted coconut. (Note: you can quickly toast flaked coconut by sprinkling on a baking sheet and baking at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn).
*Sweet and sour sauce was the only ingredient that posed some vegan difficulty - most versions on the market are sweetened with honey. I was delighted, however, when I stumbled across Steel's agave nectar-sweetened version. If your local grocery store doesn't carry it, you can order it online from places like Vitacost or Amazon.
6 servings (3 tofu sticks, 1/2 cup vegetables), Calories 253