Steamed Soft Tofu with Swiss Chard & Sauce

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.

steamed, tofu, swiss chard, lemon, soy, nutmeg, sesame oil, recipe, gluten-free, vegan

Served! It was very good and should be on rotation around here.

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!

steamed, tofu, swiss chard, lemon, soy, nutmeg, sesame oil, recipe, gluten-free, vegan

Waiting with baited breath to be steamed!  (Sauna-time?)

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.)

steamed, tofu, swiss chard, lemon, soy, nutmeg, sesame oil, recipe, gluten-free, vegan

Post steaming. I set the steamer insert aside, and used a flatware knife to get an angle on the plate in there, to pull this dish out. Worked fine!

Let’s cook!

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.
Serves: 1-2.
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.)

The Sauce:  

  • 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.

steamed, tofu, swiss chard, lemon, soy, nutmeg, sesame oil, recipe, gluten-free, vegan

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.)  

Let’s go share at:  Fiesta Friday (co-hostess this time is the wonderfully-creative  Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau ).  And with Full Plate Thursday.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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10 Responses to Steamed Soft Tofu with Swiss Chard & Sauce

  1. My husband won’t eat tofu, which is very saddening. This looks delicious and healthy.

    • I understand that. I wasn’t fond of tofu for a number of years. This steamed soft tofu is probably not a good “starter” recipe – you want tofu that can marinate for awhile in sauce. I’d do a harder tofu, press out extra water prior (this should draw in marinate once soaking), and marinate with bastings and seasonings your husband might appreciate… Stir fry it up, with veggies he likes, and yes, even with some meat he likes.

    • In addition to the previous post… I’d pan fry it hot enough that the exterior of a firmer tofu gets crispy, but has lived in its marinate for several hours first. You really don’t want to start off a tofu-reluctant person with steamed.

  2. petra08 says:

    I love tofu and the flavors here sounds delicious! I am the only one in the household who actually appreciates it but it would work as a side dish! 🙂

  3. Beautiful idea to steam it in the chard! I usually just eat soft tofu out of the package with a spoon, lol!! It’s time to up m y game! The sauce sounds fun, too. Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!


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