Contains: Soy, legumes. Is: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, quick and easy.
This what happened to the other half of my tofu from Friday’s recipe.
I had the Swiss chard from a farmer’s market hanging around in my fridge, begging to be used. I’m not one to not oblige, especially since Swiss chard is a really good and tasty leafy green (or yellow… or red… or white… if we look at some of their stems!)
Let’s face it, tofu can be kind of bland. It’s up to us to season and spice it up properly. And fried SOFT tofu just basically can break apart, although I like it in age dashi tofu, which is very gently fried. (But it won’t brown up and caramelize nicely, as it has too much water.) And without the sauce, that rendition of tofu, lightly breaded with corn starch as it may be… needs a sauce!
So, by steaming, we’re going to do something like that here. Cook it, have it enveloped in the chard, and kicked up a bunch of notches with added seasonings.
I put the Swiss chard and the tofu on a plate to cook in the steamer so as to make this easier to remove for serving. Since my steamer isn’t very large, this limited what I could cook – but perhaps you have a larger steamer, or are willing to do multiple batches and keep the first batch or two in an oven on “warm” or lowest setting. One could also serve this dish at room temperature, and it should still be quite good (I let a section of my meal drop to room temperature to test this for you, my readers – though it turns out I prefer it warm.)
Prep Time: 10 minutes (most can be done while the Swish chard/tofu is cooking and then cooling).
Cook Time: 5 minutes.
Rest Time: About 5 minutes or until cool enough to retrieve from steamer.
Cuisine: East Meets West.
Steamed Soft Tofu with Swiss Chard
The Dish Proper:
- 3 leaves of Swiss chard.
- 7 ounces / 200 grams soft tofu. (Half a package as sold in the US.)
- Juice of one lemon.
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari or soy. (You could happily thicken the sauce by using a good gluten-free teriyaki sauce instead.)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (mild or spicy).
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1 scallion/green onion.
Find your steamer, and be sure you have a plate that can fit in it. Then, arrange the chard leaves on that plate, cutting or breaking into halves if you need to.
Rinse and slice the tofu, and cut into 10 slices. Arrange atop the Swiss chard so that much of their surface is exposed.
Set up your steamer – as the water in the main pot below begins to simmer, then boil, put the plate in the top part of the steamer, off stage. When the water boils, insert the steamer part with the chard and tofu, cover, and reduce heat to about half.
Steam for five minutes, then remove from heat, and remove lid. (You may start prepping the sauce, now.)
Allow to cool long enough that the steaming element can be removed from the pot.
Remove that, and then gently remove the plate with the food from the steaming element.
For the sauce, combine all the sauce items except the scallion in a small bowl.
Spoon the quantity of sauce you want over the top of the tofu. Sprinkle some of the scallion on, from both the white and the green ends. Any leftovers can be reserved for a future dish.
NOTE: Beet or turnip greens should work as well as Swiss chard – spinach should work too, but will not hold its shape. If you are not vegetarian, oyster sauce can be used instead of soy sauce, and will provide even more body to the sauce – however I’ve yet to run into a gluten-free rendition of said sauce, if you prefer or need to eat gluten-free. (If you find one, let me know.)