Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baked Tofu with Bamboo Shoots and Snow Peas

In making up the menu for my daughter's bear-themed birthday party, it was easy to find things to make that reflected the diets of brown and black bears. For one thing, they live in the same regions of the world as we do, so the foods available to them are the foods available to us. Black and brown bears are also omnivorous, as are humans, and they eat a wide variety of foods, as do humans. The greater challenges came with the diets of Pandas and Polar bears. Polar bears eat seals and Pandas eat bamboo almost exclusively. I admit, I finally gave up on trying to find a way to get Polar bears represented in the menu. For the Panda bears, I thought I ought to make something with bamboo shoots, and so, this salad was born (not that any Panda would eat it):

Baked Tofu with Bamboo Shoots and Snow Peas
2 lbs. firm tofu
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsps. brown rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4 cup orange juice
Coconut oil
2 Tbsps. orange zest
1 lb. snow peas, trimmed of ends and halved
2 15 oz. cans sliced bamboo shoots, drained

Place the tofu in a medium bowl. Place a plate on top of the tofu and weigh the plate down with something heavy, like a can. Place the weighed-down tofu in the refrigerate to drain overnight. Pour off the liquid. Cube the tofu and set aside in a covered container.

In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, and orange juice. Pour the
mixture over the tofu and allow to marinate for 1 hour, turning the tofu midway through.

Pre-heat the oven to 300F. Prepare a large cookie sheet by greasing it with coconut oil. Remove the tofu from the marinade (reserve marinade) and spread around the cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, turning every 30 minutes.

In a large salad bowl, toss together baked tofu, orange zest, snow peas, and bamboo shoots. Dress with remaining marinade. Serve cold or room temperature.

Serves 20-25 as a side dish

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