Making Chimichurri Tofu Steak
Tofu is dirt cheap in Indonesia. You’d get about 2lbs for less than $1. There’s no need to go to the supermarket to get it either. There’s a peddler who comes around in his motorbike, a small wooden crate strapped into the back seat filled with blocks of tofu wrapped in banana leaves. There’s also tempeh and warm soymilk. Really good stuff.
Seasoned and grilled, tofu breaks out of its stereotypical image of being watery or bland, providing that you pat it dry beforehand. It’s great topped with a lot of sauces, but I chose to make some chimichurri for some bright flavors. I know that it’s not traditional to put sugar into chimichurri and wine vinegar is usually used, but I’m putting lime to mine and some fresh chili peppers for that extra kick.
[ 1 pound extra firm tofu + 1 teaspoon garlic powder + 1 teaspoon onion powder + 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika + 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin + 1/2 teaspoon black pepper + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil ]
[ 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley + 2-3 garlic cloves + 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried ones + juice of 1 lime + 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 red chili pepper + 1/2 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ]
Combine the garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin and vegetable oil.
Slice the firm tofu lengthwise into six to eight equal portions. Press the tofu slices between sheets of paper towel, adding some weight to help squeeze out excess moisture.
Brush the sides of the tofu with the rub and set aside.
Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley, garlic and oregano (if using fresh ones) and place in a small bowl. Deseed and finely chop the red chili pepper and throw those in too. Stir in the oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste, adding more lime juice or salt if needed. Set aside.
Place tofu in a grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the tofu steak with a pair of tongs and a flat spatula if necessary. Sear the second side and continue grilling until done, about 3-5 minutes
Serve grilled tofu topped with chimichurri sauce.