Harissa Crusted Tofu with Broccoli
I openly admit to being a tofu junky. I’ve been on the veg train long enough that I’ve worked my way up from deep fried to raw right out of the package. Sometimes tofu can be a hard sell for folks new to the plant lovin’ lifestyle. But with a little creativity and some basic techniques, tofu can be such an incredibly delicious option to have in your repertoire.
This dish is convenient due to its flexibility. Swap out broccoli for whatever vegetable you have on hand. Increase the agave for a sweeter caramelization, add in a few of your favorite spices (a Caribbean jerk would be great instead of the harissa), or brighten things up with a little lemon zest. Since I tend towards spicy, I opted for a strong hand of harissa in the marinade.
New to harissa? This spicy spread hails from Tunisia, though you’ll frequently see it in Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurants. Typically made from peppers, my favorite version is by Cava and features stewed tomatoes. Store bought is the way to go if you’re looking for quick and easy, though a homemade Crispy Sage version is coming soon.
I prefer to enjoy this dish as-is, just tofu and broccoli. If you’re looking for something heavier, pair it with some brown rice or quinoa.
- 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed* and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 2 small broccoli crowns (or one large), cut into small florets
- Oil of choice for sautéing, choose a medium to high heat oil (I used coconut)
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 1 table spoon agave
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 1. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the cubed tofu and gently toss. Set aside.
- 2. Steam your broccoli. I set a steamer basket in a sauce pan with about a cup of water, add the broccoli to the basket, cover, and boil the water for 3-4 minutes. You should end up with broccoli that is a deep green with plenty of crunch left.
- 3. As your broccoli is steaming, warm 1-2 tablespoons of your cooking oil in a large sauté pan.
- 4. When the oil is shimmering, add your tofu. Allow your tofu to begin to crisp slightly before turning. Some of your tofu and marinade may get stuck to the pan, but these little browned flakes are pure goodness and should be scraped into your serving plate.
- 5. Your tofu is done when the edges on all sides have just crisped slightly. This isn’t a full deep-fry, so the tofu will still be slightly soft in the center. If you prefer a super crisp tofu, just use more oil and then drain on a paper towel.
- 6. To serve, place a scoop of broccoli and a scoop of tofu on your plate. For extra flavor, add a dab of harissa or a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and a touch of salt.
- If you don’t have a tofu press (I do not), you will want to find two flat plates. Line the bottom plate with paper towels, place your tofu on top, and then place the 2nd plate face down on the tofu. Put something heavy on top to press the liquid out. You want it to be heavy enough that the tofu gets a good press, but not so heavy that you break the tofu. I typically press tofu for about 15 minutes while I prep other ingredients.