I meant to experiment with version 2.0 of the Salt and Pepper Roasted Tofu. But since I had a leek to use up, I went with a black bean sauce and threw the poor leek in the sauce.
I prepared the tofu using the method for Vegan Soul Kitchen. I left out the rosemary but kept the paprika for the beautiful color.
For the sauce, I like to use dried fermented black beans instead of a bottled black bean sauce. Also called preserved black beans, salted or dried black beans and in Cantonese, tau see. The flavor is more intense, stronger and fresher tasting than the bottled stuff.
Not to be confused with the black beans associated with Mexican food, these are small black soy beans dried and fermented with salt and sometimes ginger. The brand I use is Yang Jiang Preserved Beans, it comes in a cylindrical cardboard container at the Asian supermarket. It’s very easy to use, just soak a few minutes to soften, rinse and mash a little with a fork to release their flavor.
And don’t forget to check your teeth after eating anything with black bean sauce. You wouldn’t want to be walking around with black specks all over your mouth. It’s not pretty.
Roasted Tofu with Leeks and Black Bean Sauce
1 16-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 medium leek, white and some green part, cut into 2 inch sections
2 tablespoons fermented black beans, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup water
Arrowroot dissolved in water
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine the oil, salt and paprika. Cut the tofu into cubes and gently toss to coat with the mixture. Place each tofu cube in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 15 minutes on each side.
Heat a wok to hot, add the oil. Swirl the oil to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and black beans. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the leeks. Stir-fry for a few minutes, add the water and cook until the leeks are tender.
Slowly add the arrowroot mixture and stir to thicken the sauce to desired consistency. Add the tofu and mix well. Serve with rice.