Hello everybody and welcome back for a new dish!
Today I have for you a summery gluten-free recipe that involves one of my favourite meat substitutes paired with one of the sweetest tropical fruits: I’m talking about King Tofu and Queen Pineapple!
We are going to experience delicious Asian flavours through this dish.
Enriched with ginger, soy and hoisin sauce, this pineapple tofu is both sweet, sour and hot, that means your tastebuds will literally party in your mouth!
Also there are many different textures involved: from the crunchiness of the almonds and the black fungus, to the melt-in-the-mouth juicy pineapple.
Overall this dish will provide you the daily need of vitamin C, 11.5g of proteins and as little as 366 calories per portion.
To keep this recipe naturally Gluten Free I suggest to serve it with sticky rice or rice noodles as a richer main course.
Let’s learn how to prepare this Sweet and Sour Pineapple Tofu dish!
If you’re going to serve this pineapple tofu inside pretty homemade pineapple bowls, make sure you select a good looking pineapple, that is not too ripe if you don’t like the dish to be too sweet.
First make sure to wash well both the fruit and the leaves of the pineapple.
With a chef knife carefully cut the fruit in two, perpendicularly, making sure you’ll have a clean cut on both fruit and leaves.
Score the pulp to form 1 cm cubes.
With a spoon gently scoop out the cubes and place them in a bowl.
We will fry the pineapple cubes later on in a bit of sesame oil until well caramelized.
Do not forget to save the juice, because you are going to need it later for the sauce!
Tofu is really my favourite meat substitute.
It’s so versatile and I use it literally for everything: in quiches, desserts, fillings (like I did with these mouthwatering Mediterranean Empanadas), in salads and both as a meat or even fish substitute (lots of recipes are coming very soon)!
The only advice that I’d love to give you is to use a good quality one.
Since going vegan (and even before, when I was a veggie) I tried tons of different tofus and brands, and I’m currently in love with a brand from the UK, that doesn’t even need to be pressed!
This is a very firm tofu, ideal for this recipe. And the version I used is the naked one, which basically is the plain tofu.
If you don’t live in the UK or you cannot find any already pressed extra firm tofu, don’t worry! All you will need to do is to grab a block of tofu (the firmer, the better!) and press it for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe.
Once the extra water has been drained, cube the tofu and coat it with 1/3 cup (20 gr) of corn starch.
To do so, I placed the tofu cubes in a large bowl, sprinkled over the starch, covered with a plate and while holding firmly both the plate and the bowl, shaked the bowl well for a few seconds.
Another way, although less environmental friendly, would be to place both the tofu and the starch in a large sandwich bag, seal the bag and shake it until the tofu is all coated.
Or, lastly, you can simply pour the corn starch over the tofu cubes and toss the cubes manually.
After coating the tofu in corn starch, the next step would be frying the cubes in a little sesame oil (roughly 1 tbsp) until golden and super crispy.
Black Fungus (also known as cloud ear, wood ear or wood tree mushrooms) are a type of mushrooms that grow on trees. They are usually sold dried and largely used in Asian cooking, especially in Chinese dishes.
The thing I like the most about these mushrooms is their consistency.
Once cooked they’re crunchy and slighly rubbery and gelatinous, which I find it to be a great added texture to Asian-inspired dishes.
Taste is not very strong, and I won’t say they actually taste like mushrooms. They’re so unique and they taste fantastic!
They require to be re-hydrated in a bit of hot water for at least 15 minutes before using them, then they can be washed and used as we like.
For this reason I reccomend to start this recipe by soaking the black mushrooms in a cup of hot water, and set aside.
The best ingredient to match with the rest of the elements of this dish would be sweet red bell peppers.
To prep the peppers simply wash, cut in half, remove the seeds and chop into a 1 inch squares.
Add a little of vegetable oil to a pan follow by the peppers, then stir fry for 5 minutes.
After the mushrooms have been soaked and rinsed, if you think they’re still too big rougly chop then with a knife and add to the peppers.
Stir fry all together for another 3-4 minutes, then set aside.
If you are going to use skin-on almonds like I have, you will also need to soak them in hot water for a few moments, in order to remove their skin more easily.
After 2-3 minutes simply press each almond between two fingers and you’ll see that their peel will come off straight away.
If you are using blanched almonds simply skip this step.
Next up is to toast the almonds in a very hot pan for around 1 minute in total moving them constantly.
Tasty and super simple, this sauce is only made by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl and heat on the stove until it thickens (4-5 minutes).
Then tofu, veggies, pineapple cubes and toasted almonds are added, stir well together and this gorgeus dish is finally ready to be served!
Feel free to top it with some sesame seeds, freshly chopped spring onions and fresh chili pepper.
Enjoy plain or with some fragrant jasmine rice or noodles.
Now I’ll leave you with the full recipe, hope you enjoy it!
Sweet and Sour Pineapple Tofu with Veggies Recipe
280g Firm Tofu
1/3 cup Corn Starch
1/3 cup Dried Black Mushrooms
1/4 cup Almonds
1 Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
…for the sauce…
1 cup Vegetable Broth
1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
1/3 cup Corn Starch
2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Chili Pepper
1 inch Ginger
1/2 Chili Pepper
1 Spring Onion
2 tsp Sesame Seeds
1. Soak the mushrooms and the almonds separately in 1 cup of water each.
2. Cut the pineapple in half and score the pulp into 1 cm cubes. Carefully scoop out the cubes, save the juice and set both aside.
3. Cut red peppers into 1 inch squares and set aside as well.
4. Finely slice the chili pepper, grate both the ginger and the garlic and set aside.
5. Cube the tofu and coat it in corn starch.
6. In a large pan heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil, add the tofu and fry until golden and crispy. Remove the tofu from the pan.
7. In the same pan heat a dash of olive oil, then stir fry the red peppers for aroud 5 minutes.
8. Wash and roughly chop the soaked mushrooms, add it to the pan with the peppers and stir fry all together for another 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
9. Add another dash of sesame oil, and stir fry the pineapple cubes until caramelized. Set aside.
10. Peel the almonds by simply press each of them between two fingers. Toast on a very hot pan for around 1 minutes on both sides. Set aside.
11. The sauce. In a bowl combine corn starch, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, soy sauce, pineapple juice and hosin sauce. Whisk well. Add the vegetable stock, whisk again, then heat on a pan until it thickens (4-5 minutes).
12. Mix in the crispy tofu, the stir fried veggies, the caramelized pineapple and the toasted almond. Cook for a couple of minutes then serve into the pineapple bowls topped with sesame seeds, chili pepper and spring onions.