Recipe by Surya Tubach
We’re hitting that time of year when plans are regularly foiled by unpredictable changes in weather (was going to hike but it’s pouring rain… was going to kayak but it’s 35 degrees out).
At a time when we’re frequently stuck recreating indoors and Spring warmth feels more elusive than ever, it helps to find a source of inspiration and creativity.
So, in the spirit of Spring inspiration, I took to the kitchen to try out some new recipes — with Kombucha, of course!
For all you tofu-haters out there, listen up: When you marinate tofu, it becomes a flavor bomb. Because it has essentially no taste on its own, tofu absorbs whatever deliciousness you decide you want that day. My go-to is a classic “Asian-style” combo — the spicy bite of ginger combined with the heady scent of sesame oil and the salty umami oomph that is tamari. However, if you’re not careful, the pairing of sesame oil and tamari can overwhelm the rest of the flavors in your recipe pretty quickly. To balance out the two powerful ingredients, I added the subtle sweetness of Aqua ViTea’s Ginger Kombucha.
After throwing in fresh ginger, a little garlic, green onion, and chili paste, I had some zingy gingery goodness on my hands. I poured the mixture over the tofu and let it soak it up overnight for maximum flavor. With some quinoa and quick-sautéed veggies, one of the easiest Sunday suppers with my roommates was set.
My proudest moment? When my Kombucha-skeptical roomies declared they were converted and went back for second helpings!
- ½ cup Aqua ViTea Ginger Kombucha
- 1 ½ tbs ginger, grated
- 1 tbs garlic, chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon hot chili paste/sambal oelek
- ⅓ cup tamari
- 1 ½ tbs sesame oil
- 1 ½ tsp green onion
- 12 oz extra firm tofu
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Place two layers of paper towels on a plate and place the tofu on the towels. Top with two more layers of paper towels and another plate. Place something heavy (I used a can of chickpeas) on top and let the tofu sit for 10-15 minutes. Pressing the tofu eliminates excess liquid and allows it to absorb the marinade much better.
- While you press the tofu, mix together marinade ingredients. Mix well.
- Cut pressed tofu into ½-inch thick slices. Place in a shallow baking pan.
- Pour the marinade over the tofu. Turn the tofu over to make sure it’s covered with the marinade. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better – overnight is best! Turn the tofu periodically for even marinating.
- When ready to cook, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet (the marinade is oily, so you don’t need too much). Remove half of the tofu from the marinade and place in the skillet. Let the tofu cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Turn tofu and cook on the other side until golden, pouring a few spoonfuls of the leftover marinade on top. Remove and place on a plate, cover, and keep warm while cooking the remaining tofu. Repeat with second half of tofu.
Surya is a senior at Middlebury College and grew up in Berkeley, CA. In case you didn’t guess, cooking and kombucha are a few of her favorite things. She is a joint art history-english major; her favorite painting is The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, her favorite book is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and her favorite Aqua ViTea flavor is Hibiscus Ginger Lime!