Baked Sesame Tofu Sticks with a Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce

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Well, it has been embarrassingly long since I have posted something for you all. It is not that I have not been cooking, I have been (believe you me!), but for some reason the ability to slow down and write about it has been challenging. Can I blame it on my last semester in college and the gazillion papers I have to write? Ug.

I found this recipe on pinterest (obvi), and despite not usually a huge tofu fan, was really intrigued by this flavor combination. As far as meat alternatives go, I have always found the consistency of tempeh to be much more appealing than that of tofu. However, when I saw this delicious combination I thought this was worth a try, and I’m so glad I did! By cutting the tofu into thin slices and baking it, the tofu gets a nice outer crisp. Then, the marinade and sauce make this dish absolutely scrumptious and impossible to put down! I had to stop myself from eating all of them in one sitting! Womp.

Whether or not you are a vegetarian, this dish makes for an excellent lunch, dinner, or appetizer. Throw these tofu strips on top of a salad, beside some asparagus and barley, or eat them like French fries- either way, I promise you can’t go wrong.

Happy cooking, and look forward to some more delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen, coming your way soon!!!

Ps. It’s spring! That means strawberries, asparagus, avocados, and peaches coming your way!!! Horray!

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Ingredients:

  • 14 oz. firm or extra firm tofu
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil (or other high smoke-point oil)

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce*
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger root

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 Tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 T Tahini Sauce (or if you don’t have Tahini, use 2 T more peanut butter)
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1-2  Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar, which contains sugar)
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Directions:

  1. Remove tofu from packaging and cut in half lengthwise. Cover the tofu with a towel or a double layer of paper towels. Place a heavy object (like a bowl or a skillet) on top of the tofu and towels, and allow to sit for 10 minutes, pressing the water out of the tofu.
  2. Meanwhile, while the tofu is pressing, whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. After the tofu has pressed under a heavy object, cut the tofu into thin, long strips and continue pressing the water out with a towel. The more thoroughly you do this, the crispier your tofu will be, so I suggest taking your time with this step and removing as much water as possible!
  4. Arrange the tofu in a Tupperware and pour the marinade over top. Allow the tofu to soak for 20 minutes, occasionally flipping the Tupperware, so that all sides of the tofu are marinated.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and brush a small baking sheet with peanut oil. Arrange the tofu strips in the pan and sprinkle each piece with sesame seeds. Carefully flip the tofu strips, and sprinkle the alternate side with sesame seeds as well.
  6. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes, flip the pieces, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. While the tofu is baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve alongside the tofu.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Kalyn’s Kitchen
  • Suggested serving: Hot, with the sauce, the day of preparation. However, these tofu sticks will keep for a few days in a covered container in the refrigerator!
  • If gluten free, make sure you use a gluten free soy sauce!
  • Like this dish? Try these other delicious option from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links below):

Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

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I have an internship now. As a senior in college, my professors want their students to know what it feels like to be working out in the real world.  Thus, I went and spent too much money buying some business-casual clothes (as compared to my norm of oversized sweaters and cotton everything!), and got to work!

What I did not realize about having an internship from 9-2 three days a week, is that similar to high school, I had to pack a lunch. What?!

This process has been the most comedic of all, because I somehow manage to forget almost every single morning, and end up packing a bizarre assortment of random foods. For example, a few weeks ago I took those vegetarian homemade pigs in a blanket to work with fruit snacks and pretzels- real professional, I know.

This absolutely fantastic salad was made in an attempt to have something nutritious and delicious, that doesn’t make me look like I have the eating habits of an 8 year old as well. You win some, you lose some.

So here’s my advice: Whether or not you are considering making this dish for your family dinner, a potluck, or your lunch at work- Do IT! This salad is absolutely addicting. You’re welcome in advance.

Happy cooking!

Love, a rented kitchen.

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Salad Ingredients

  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1-2 cups shredded red cabbage (depending on how much crunch you like! I went with 2!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup diced green onions
  • ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
  • Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
  • Fresh lime, for a bit of tang

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup  peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Water to thin (if necessary)

Directions:

  1. Quinoa: Prepare the quinoa by rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer.  Then, add 1 ½ cups water to the quinoa in a medium sized saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15- 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Then, fluff with a fork, remove from heat, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing.  Microwave the peanut butter and honey (or agave) in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds.
  3. Add the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil to the peanut butter, and stir until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the dressing to the quinoa, and then fold in the red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro.
  5. Top with cashews or peanuts and green onions.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Monique from Ambitious Kitchen
  • If you want a thinner dressing, add about teaspoon of water and/or oil to the dressing mix!
  • One perk to this recipe- the quinoa absorbs the flavors of the dressing and tastes even more flavorful after a few hours/days! So go ahead, make your dinner in advance, you over achiever.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘a rented kitchen’! Check below for the recipes!