How can you not want to make a recipe that has Yum-Yum in the title?
Tofu Yum-Yum Rice Bowl was a recipe request in an issue of Bon Appétit earlier this year. A Minneapolis restaurant, World Street Kitchen, evidently kills it with this vegetarian dish. Since I am loving bowl food lately, Yum-Yum for dinner it was.
The most Yum-Yum part of this meal was the killer marinade. I could have eaten it all like a soup. It transforms the tofu pieces into the most delicious morsels. The amazing contrast of flavors and textures also made this recipe a winner. Spicy, hot, creamy, cool, salty, crunchy….it has got it all.
Tofu Yum-Yum Rice Bowl
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 8 pieces
1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1½ teaspoons coarsely chopped peeled ginger
2 cups short-grain rice
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 4 cups)
½ cup cornstarch
4 poached or sunny side up eggs
1 cup kimchi
1 cup cilantro leaves
½ cup basil leaves
Thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup unsalted, roasted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1. Place tofu on a rimmed baking sheet layered with paper towels. Top with several more paper towels and press gently to squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer tofu to a shallow baking dish.
2. Place garlic, soy sauce, chili paste, 1/4 cup cilantro, and ginger in a blender and process until smooth, about 3 minutes. Pour over tofu and turn to coat. Chill at least 2 hours. (Note: The tofu can be marinated 12 hours ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)
3. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Let drain in a sieve for 5 minutes.
4. Transfer rice to a medium saucepan and cover with 3 cups water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 12–15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and fluff rice with a fork. Cover with a kitchen towel, then replace lid. Let sit 10 minutes for steam to absorb.
5. Pour oil into a medium pot to a depth of 2 inches and fit pot with thermometer. Heat oil over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°F. (Or use a deep fryer)
6. Place cornstarch in a shallow bowl.
7. Working in batches, remove tofu from marinade and toss in cornstarch then shake off excess. Fry tofu, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and let drain.
8. Divide rice among bowls. Make a small well in the center of each and nestle an egg inside. Top with fried tofu, then kimchi, cilantro, basil, green onions, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
Recipe from Bon Appétit
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