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Spinach, Baked Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry

Baked tofu with tamari, sesami oil and seeds

If you think you don’t like tofu, try this recipe—I swear it will make you a convert! If you do like tofu, you will love it baked! Now, not all tofu is the same and my favorite is The Bridge, made by a small company in Connecticut, because it’s nice and firm and tastes so fresh. Baking the tofu changes its texture from soft and spongy to firm and chewy. In this recipe, I add both sesame oil and tamari, but you can omit sesame oil and it will still be good.

There are not a lot of low carb non-meat or cheese choices, but tofu is one of them, with 4 ounces containing only 1 gram. I love beans, for example, but they really aren’t low carb, so I eat them sparingly.

I use one pound of organic frozen spinach from Trader Joe’s—good and cheap. You can use baby spinach, but it’s expensive and really not worth it—plus, with frozen, you can have it on hand and ready to make this easy dish anytime. You can substitute broccoli, cabbage, bok choy or other greens, too. Kimchi adds more flavor, but the dish is good with it or without.

I also like to cook Asian meals with good quality peanut oil and use Loriva which is delicious and very fragrant.

Good quality peanut oil

Peanut oil is nice because it has a high smoke point.

Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry

1 tablespoon peanut or extra virgin olive oil

1 pound extra firm tofu, cut in small bite sized pieces

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1” piece teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper

Soy or tamari sauce to taste

1-pound frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

½ bunch scallion, chopped

Black pepper

½ cup kimchi, chopped and use liquid (optional)

PREPARATION

Rinse tofu and blot dry with a paper or kitchen towel. Put tofu on parchment paper on an oven tray and coat tofu with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and soy sauce. If you have the time, let tofu marinate 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour or until golden. Put tofu aside. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet, cast iron pan or wok, and add garlic, scallion, peppers and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute, and add soy sauce to taste. Add the spinach and kimchi and stir-fry until the spinach is hot, about one minute. Add tofu. Stir in the sesame seeds, and add more soy sauce to taste. Remove from the heat and add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.

Tofu cubed in sesami oil and tamari

Serve with spiralized, sautéed zucchini or sautéed riced cauliflower.

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