Cilantro Guajillo Chili Tofu

cilantro guajillo chili tofu - trust in kimguajillo chili tofu - trust in kim

This is one of my favourite new recipes, and I’ve made it a few times this summer already.  I can honestly say that this is my favourite tofu recipes I’ve ever made, and right now one of my favourite meals period.  And I’m not a vegetarian!

The guajillo chili salsa is a garlicky olive oil sauce with orange juice and cilantro – packed with flavour, which is just what tofu needs.  I make up a recipe of the salsa and keep it in the fridge to use on various foods, including grilled chicken and shrimp.  This time I served it on a bed of greens with grilled fresh zucchini. Another time I made it with spinach and my favourite dressing. 

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 dried guajillo peppers, cut into strips (I use kitchen scissors to do this)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
  • 1 block medium-firm tofu

What you do:

  1. I like to prepare the guajillo chili salsa a while before I need to use it so the flavours have a chance to mingle.  To begin, heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the garlic, pepper and a liberal amount of salt, and stir once in a while.  When it is slightly golden add the orange juice and guajillo pepper strips, seeds and all.  Let this simmer for a few minutes. Set aside to cool, then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend with the cilantro, stems and all.  Season to taste with salt and pepper; I find it usually needs a bit more salt. Refrigerate to use when you wish.
  2. Pat the tofu dry on a towel then slice about 1.5 – 2 cm thick.  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the tofu strips. Spoon about one teaspoonful of guajillo chili salsa on each strip of tofu, then flip them.  Let them fry for about 2-3  minutes on that side, then add another teaspoonful of salsa to the other side and fry that for another 2 minutes or so until it has darkened a bit.
  3. When you remove it from the pan make sure to scrape up any baked-on bits of salsa and spread them over the tofu.  So tasty!

guajillo chili in olive oil - trust in kim

Palak “Paneer” aka silken tofu

I’ve had this recipe in draft mode for months because I can’t seem to get a picture that makes it look as appealing as it truly is.  So now I’m going to be okay with the photo, and just let you know that it’s so good – it’s vegan comfort food.

Paneer is a fresh cheese you can make at home with milk and lemon – the silken tofu does a great job of representing the creamy, almost melty texture of paneer.  Tofu will also satisfy your umami cravings – umami is known as the fifth or savoury taste, which is often satisfied by meat.  Tofu also contains the compounds that the taste buds register to satisfy the savoury cravings.  Maybe that’s why this one seems like comfort food to me.

You need:

2 red onions

1 garlic clove

3 small green chillies

2 cm piece of ginger, grated

5 tablespoons vegetable oil (butter if you eat dairy)

500g/2 bunches spinach

1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch

1 block soft silken tofu (the “paneer”)

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 or more cups plain yogurt

salt to taste

What you do:

1.  This is great served on Brown Basmati Coconut Rice, so you’ll want to start that first.  White rice won’t take as long, so if you’re using that you don’t need to start it yet.

2.  Put onions, garlic, chillies and ginger in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  You may need to add a little water.

3.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil/butter in a large frying pan, then cook the spices on medium heat until fragrant.  Add the other 3 tablespoons of oil/butter and the onion paste,  cooking for about 10 minutes.

4.  Cook the spinach until wilted and add to the food processor along with the cornstarch and puree it.  Add the spinach, along with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, to the paste. Bring it to a boil and cook for about two minutes.  At this time have a taste and see if it needs more salt; it probably will.

6.  Cut the tofu into squares and add it to the pan to heat it.  Once it is hot, stir in the yogurt carefully so the tofu doesn’t break too much, and serve right away.

I enjoy this one for leftovers too!

You can substitute the spinach with swiss chard if you like.