Crispy Tofu and Broccoli Sheet Pan with Chile-Peanut Oil

This recipe is from my March 2023 TU story. Read the whole thing here.

Tofu is also good post-exercise eats. It’s another high-protein food that’s easy to cook and is like a blank canvas: good for many different flavors and any color of vegetable you want to throw at it. Here, slices of tofu are pressed (always press your tofu. By squeezing the water out, it will crisp up and won’t fall apart). After an easy roast in the oven alongside a few friendly broccoli pieces, the whole thing is drizzled with chile-garlic oil. Chile oil is a popular condiment now, and there is not one right way to make it. It is also easy to make and is good on other foods, like noodles and — you guessed it — eggs. Here, I simplified the process to use everyday crushed red chiles (though you can definitely use any whole or crushed chiles you have), and loaded it up with garlic, sesame seeds and peanuts for crunch. You should use a neutral, high-smoke-point oil, like canola or safflower. If you like the punch of heat, add a few rounded tablespoons of chiles. One spoonful will get you a mellower tasting condiment in which the garlic, peanuts and sesame stand out.

Crispy Tofu and Broccoli Sheet Pan with Chile-Peanut Oil
Serves 2

1 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu
1 medium yellow onion
1 broccoli crown, trimmed and cut into florets
Kosher salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons safflower or other neutral oil
1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Lime, for serving
Jasmine rice, for serving

Slice the tofu into six even slices, and each slice in half to make 12 2-inch x 3-inch pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, top with another baking sheet and set a few books (or something heavy) on top to press and drain the tofu. Let it drain for 15-20 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Meanwhile, trim the onion, slice in half, and cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut each broccoli floret in half. Place in a large bowl and set aside. 

In a small skillet, warm ¼ cup oil over low heat. Add the crushed chiles and let simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the peanuts, garlic, and sesame seeds and stir, cooking until everything turns golden brown, about two minutes. Remove from heat and scrape into a small bowl. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt. This can also be made ahead and kept refrigerated. 

Add the pressed tofu to the bowl with the broccoli and onion and toss with 2 tablespoons oil (and add a bit more if needed to evenly and lightly coat.) Season with a few pinches of kosher salt. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu and roast for another 10 minutes. 

To serve, scoop rice into a bowl, top with the tofu and broccoli, squeeze a wedge of lime over all, and drizzle with the chile-peanut oil. 

Note: Any leftover oil will keep in a tightly covered glass container, for two weeks.

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