Sesame Tofu with Orangey-Soy Dressing
Searching, searching, through my pile of recipes for something to write up and publish. Something to ease me back into this delightful, frustrating world of blogging, trying to work out if there’s any possible way I can take what I do and make it into a business, thinking up new recipes, constantly being amazed at what I have actually achieved whenever I’ve taken a hiatus and come back to it. Oh, and trying to remember where the keys are on the keyboard! I’m doing ok so far this evening. The colour and texture of food, as it appears on a photograph, is always stunning, not only visually, but also in the way that it exposes the ingredients for what they are, highlighting each individual ingredient in its own right, and also in the context of the meal it has become a part of. This is a bonus for me, because I take great delight in using language to describe the beauty of whatever I’m looking at or experiencing.
Looking back through my archive of unpublished recipes, I was drawn to this as the ideal comeback recipe on a purely visual level, aside from the incredible collection of simple, yet utterly nourishing ingredients. Consider each one of those sesame seeds, black and white together, harmonious yet fighting for prevalence. Light glisters on sliced-open segments of lustrous orange, which seems barely able to contain the refreshment dying to burst forth. When you are familiar with the texture of a food between your teeth, you can almost feel the avocado as its firm yet malleable flesh succumbs to the pressure of molars; or the minute grid pattern demarcating the outside of the block of firm tofu, another familiar texture, which in the mouth puckers and squashes, slipping against itself. What a delight is food; what a blessing to experience; what an exciting and exhilarating experience it is to EAT! To enjoy the produce of the ground, designed to work in symbiosis with our wonderfully created bodies; to replace organically what we have lost through the breaking down of proteins into amino acids, then into the new proteins our bodies need; to enable these natural machines to work, process, imagine, and dream.
With those thoughts in mind, here’s to dreaming, to what gets us through so many days. To building on our vision and imagining how it could play out, and how each of us, as individuals, could make a positive difference in the lives of others through those dreams.
- Block of firm tofu (Cauldron is the most commonly available brand)
- Tbsp each of black and white sesame seeds
- 1 egg
- Watercress, spinach and rocket salad
- Half an avocado
- 1 orange
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Ras el Hanout
First, make the dressing. Halve the orange and squeeze one half. Pour the juice into a bowl and add one tbsp of the olive oil, the soy sauce, honey, and Ras el Hanout. Stir together and set aside.
Slice the tofu into triangles, as shown in the process photos. Crack the egg into a bowl and beat, and put the sesame seeds into another dish. Dip each slice of tofu into the egg then the sesame seeds, coating the outsides with seeds as much as possible. Place each triangle on a plate as you coat them.
Place a frying pan on a medium-high heat and add the tofu triangles. Fry on all sides until golden, then remove from the heat.
Serve the leaves into a pasta bowl. Slice the avocado and arrange on top, followed by the tofu triangles. Slice the remaining orange half as pictured, and add to the bowl, then drizzle over the dressing.
I create an awful lot of meals like this, with variations on the same or similar ingredients. They are usually comprised of what I have left in the fridge, although occasionally I will have been inspired by something, and therefore have bought an ingredient deliberately. When you consider it for a minute, these are the simplest of ingredients with the minority of processing (although it’s easy to forget that any type of changing a food from its purest form to another form, even if that’s mixing it with other raw ingredients to make a dressing, counts as processing) yet similar remnants of packets of salad, the last orange in a net (dreadful things, by the way) or a jar of sesame seeds, can be found in fridges and store cupboards up and down the country. My intention is always to inspire; to encourage people to think, “Well I have this in my fridge, but not that. How could I adapt this easy recipe to include the ingredients I have to hand, whilst fighting food waste and getting creative at the same time?” Be creative with your cooking, look upon it as an outlet and let it become a passion. I promise this approach will enrich your life.
Thank you for your precious time.