Easter brought with it another meeting of our regular Ottolenghi club. It was typically indulgent, with a baked blue cheesecake, pea and mint croquettes, lentil and asparagus salad and a fancy tart that Cindy will post about soon (photos of the whole shindig are on our facebook page). My contribution was this weird-sounding recipe from Plenty. It's rare that I'll take on a dish that doesn't have a photo in a cookbook, but this seemed like a rare simple dish from ol' Yotam so I decided to give it a shot.
Sweet chilli sauce is not the kind of ingredient I imagine Ottolenghi reaching for very often, but it works nicely in this dish with the soy and sesame oil flavours. The real stars are the sprouts though - you've really gotta get them to caramelise for the full effect. The tofu and shitakes added some nice variety and, despite the rather brown visual aspect, this got the Ottolenghi-club tick of approval.
Sweet soy Brussels sprouts & tofu
(from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty)
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1.5 tablespoons tamari
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 cup sunflower oil
150g firm tofu
500g Brussels sprouts
Small bunch spring onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
100g shitake mushrooms, quartered
15g coriander leaves
sesame seeds (to garnish)
Slice the tofu into flat squares, about 4cm wide. Mix together the sweet chilli sauce, tamari, 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, rice vinegar and maple syrup in a flat container and marinate your squares for an hour or so, flipping them over halfway through.
Trim the bases off the sprouts and cut them in thirds longways so you get relatively flat pieces.
Heat 4 tablespoons of the sunflower oil in a frying pan over high heat. Throw in half the sprouts and a few shakes of salt and cook on high for a few minutes. You want to get them nice and charred - almost to the point of burning them - so don't stir too much. Repeat with the other half of the sprouts and set them aside in a bowl.
Add another couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil to the pan and stir fry the spring onions, mushrooms and chilli flakes for a few minutes. Pop them in with the sprouts once you're done.
Now fry the tofu squares - pop them flat in the pan for a couple of minutes on each side, until they're nicely caramelised (you might need to do a couple of batches and top up the oil).
Once the tofu is cooked, kill the heat and stir the sprouts, mushrooms etc in with all the tofu.. Pour in the leftover marinade and stir through half the coriander leaves and remaining sesame oil.
Serve warm, garnished with the rest of the coriander and the sesame seeds.