I had been saving the a block of tofu for weeks, wanting to make the Mushroom Mapo Tofu from the same book, but I discovered that all my local pan-Asian supermarkets were closed. A very fruitless trek in the baking midday sun to stock up on my store-cupboard essentials. Luckily, I had everything I needed to make Meera’s honey, soy and ginger braised tofu – right down to the solitary conference pear courtesy of my veg box delivery.
Spicy, sweet, salty – this recipe had all the things I look for in a recipe. I got the ingredients together for the sauce first of all. I find with anything saucy and east-asian, getting your mise en place together its especially important because there are usually a lot of components. The tofu is sliced, fried in a little oil till golden and a bit crispy and patted dry to remove the oil. The rest of the ingredients that make up the sauce are then added to the pan and cooked for a hot minute before adding the tofu back to the pan to braise in the sauce.
Not being a natural multi-talsker, I took my attention away from the pan and probably over-reduced the sauce as it became very thick and jammy. If I had a few more minutes I would’ve whisked some water in to thin it out, but time was of the essence and I was so hungry I was ready to start eating the kitchen counter.
Thick or thin, the honey, soy and ginger braised tofu was very tasty. It gave me everything I could want from a tofu recipe. Fairly low effort leading to a high flavour result. The honey in this recipe means it’s not vegan, but Meera suggests an easy substitute with some brown rice syrup if needs must.
I had some steamed rice and Meera’s Sweet Potato Momos (also from East) alongside the braised tofu. The combo neared pudding levels of sweetness, which I can just about handle with my sweet tooth. Both this tofu and the momos are 100% worth cooking, but maybe not at the same time.
The recipe for the Honey, soy and ginger braised tofu is on page 175 of Meera Sodha’s East, but sadly not published in her weekly guardian column. However, the Mushroom Mapo Tofu recipe I did want to make is available online.