Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Spouts and Saffron Rice

Back in my middle school days, at least once a week I'd be over at my best friend's house and her family would invite me to stay for dinner. Her Dad would make this really delicious yellow rice, and I always loved when it was on the menu. Last month when I was visiting my friend in Philadelphia, I asked her if she had her Dad's recipe for the rice. She did, and so we made some. It was just how I remembered it (I probably hadn't eaten it in 8 years). I knew I had to get the recipe from her and share it with all of you!

This yellow rice was delicious as always, and went with the brussels and tofu dish perfectly. The tofu has a crispy and sweet coating and the brussels have a nice crunch. A great easy dinner!

Caramelized Tofu with Brussels Spouts
serves 3-4, adapted from 101cookbooks

1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into 1" strips
sea salt
sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, cut into thin ribbons

 Press your tofu to drain excess water. Cut into 1 inch strips. Heat a skillet with a splash of sesame oil, and cook the tofu strips until golden on both sides. Add the minced garlic and the walnuts and saute for another minute. Add the brown sugar and stir. Cook for another minute to allow the sugar to caramelize. Remove tofu from the pan and set to side.

Add another splash of sesame oil, and a pinch of sea salt to the pan. Add the brussel sprouts ribbons and cook over medium high heat. Saute for a couple minutes until the brussels are cooked through but not entirely wilted. Serve topped with the tofu pieces.

Yellow Saffron Rice
1 and 1/4 C rice, rinsed
1/2 inch diameter handful of vermicelli or angel hair pasta (break into small pieces)
2.5 C vegetable broth
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
4-6 strings of saffron
1 Tbsp oil

Add all ingredients to a pot. Stir while bringing to boil. 
Lower heat, cover and stir every 10 minutes, and toward the end every 5 minutes until done - about 30 minutes total.
(If rice seems dry, add more vegetable broth or water as needed).

I have finally achieved tofu success! Every attempt before this (besides in a scramble) has been kind of a flop, but this tofu recipe turned out great. The outside got crispy and had a delicious sweet flavor. I was so excited that I even did a celebratory fist pump in the air. True story - my husband witnessed it.

He is also now as equally obsessed with the yellow rice as I am. I see a lot of yellow rice in our future. Thanks for sharing the recipe, D. As your Dad would say... it was yum yum. :)

What is your favorite recipe success story?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. i love the way the brussels sprouts look in this dish. yummmm. i LOVE brussels sprouts.

  2. This sounds like such a satisfying dish! And I love the idea of your friend's dad's yellow rice- saffron is one of my most favorite spices! I also like how crispy and caramelized the tofu looks- I bet this meal was just fantastic!

    1. Thanks Kristy, it is totally a new favorite. :)

  3. that is such a gorgeous plate of delicious food!

    1. Thank you Richa! I can't think of a better compliment than that.

  4. This looks awesome! I'm so proud of you. Love you!!

  5. The rice looks delicious! Its always amazing to taste something we had not tasted for a while. The tofu looks delicious...and brussels sprouts...miam!

  6. I love crispy-sweet tofu! And saffrom rice is so good; I used to love eating it at Hops restuarant.
    I think tofu is the one thing I haven't messed up. My favorite recipe success was my key-lime habanero cheesecake. I was combining a vegan and non-vegan recipe and I'm by no means a baker, but it came out great!

    1. Ooh that sounds like a great recipe to have success on!

  7. Last week I just felll in love with saffron rice, i need to ramp up and take it to the next level with your version!

  8. thanks for sharing.


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