Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Crispy Honey Garlic Tofu Bites

Sometimes, I ponder about the silly things in life, such as gosh, why am I going to be a doctor? What am I doing with my life to help the world?

I'm a voracious news listener, and NPR podcasts are the most exciting part of my daily commute on the rail. There's people in Nepal suffering from the earthquake, and people dying in Africa with Ebola, and accidental deaths from drone strikes, and lots of other bad news.

I'm on my oncology month, so once I get to work, I get to hear more deaths and end of life/prognosis talks all day long; sometimes I feel like an ant climbing a mountain of bad news. My roommate said, jeez, cancer everywhere all the time sounds so depressing. But I really like oncology - not the cancer and chemo, obviously, but the "pushing forward and living and enjoying life anyway" spirit.

If these people can make it through their legitimate troubles, I can climb my mountain of "Gee, can I match to X residency" (which is really just a stupid molehill by comparison).
News and cancer and residency applications can be depressing, so then, I revert to pondering about random, less stressful stuff, such as what is tofu? 

Tofu, or bean curd, is coagulated soy milk curds pressed into blocks. (Sounds delicious, eh?) There's multiple wild theories on its invention, but my personal favorite is the "The Accidental Coagulation Theory," where sometime before 600 AD, someone in northern China noticed that curds formed when pureed soybean soup was seasoned with sea salt (specifically the nigari in the salt). If you want more info, Soy Info Center has a ridiculous 7 long page history.

Tofu is my huge comfort food, especially when it's fried and crispy. Here is a delicious quick tofu dish by i am a food blog that's easier (and healthier) because it's baked. Don't go crazy with the cornstarch like I did. 
PS. As I'm on oncology now, I feel obligated to say that, no, the amount of tofu in a normal, balanced diet does not have enough estrogen effects to cause breast cancer.

Crispy Honey Garlic Tofu Bites


Ingredients
1 pack pressed tofu *
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
pepper, to taste
sliced green onions and sesame seeds, to garnish

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Dry off tofu using a paper towel and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with the cornstarch and place parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway.

When you have just 5 minutes left on the baking time (tofu should be a light golden brown) start the sauce. Combine and heat up honey, soy, garlic, and pepper over medium heat in a small pan (or micowave at 10 second intervals) until bubbly and thick.

Remove the tofu from the oven and toss in the sauce. Garnish with sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

* Pressed tofu is tofu with water squeezed out - you can find it in Asian groceries. Otherwise, substitute regular firm tofu (remove excess moisture with paper towels).

8 comments:

  1. Can't go wrong with fried tofu! It is delicious!

    I like the Captain Morgan pose by the way :D

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  2. From neuro to onc, kinda a rough stretch. A nice ER rotation, where you can fix people and send them home, would do you well! These tofu bites looks so crispy and delicious- yum! By the way, looks like my comment on your last post never went through, sorry about that, that dish looks amazing too!

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    1. Oh, I don't know, those 12 hr overnight ER shifts are rough! I prefer rotations where I can sit down and scratch my chin as I ponder over the diagnosis haha.

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  3. I love to order crispy tofu in restaurants, now I will be able to try it at home!

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  4. Tofu is definitely at the top of my list of comfort foods! Crisy and garlicy ... I am sold!

    I really like your view on oncology. You're going to be a great doctor (:

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    1. Thanks Connie! The sickest patients are often the most fulfilling ones to work with (esp when you're able to fix them up - they think you're a miracle worker then!). Enjoy the tofu :)

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  5. i've never been crazy about tofu, but then again, i've never eaten it like this!

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