You know what I haven’t done in a long time? Experiment with the roasted tofu recipe. This would be #6 – roasted tofu cubes in a Coke-a-Cola and leek sauce. You’re unlikely to see this cooked-with-cola dish at any Chinese restaurant as it’s a home kitchen kind of a thing. Normally made with chicken wings, I subbed in tofu and added leeks.
I don’t know the exact origin, but I picture a cook long ago with a soda bottle saying “Hey, let’s add some of this stuff to the sauce and see what happens!” I imagine it’s the same way Coke got added to sauce for BBQ (but said in English).
You don’t actually taste the cola in the finished dish but it does add a subtle flavor and sweetness. You have to use Mexican Coke since that has sugar in it instead of the high fructose corn syrup in American Coke. Mexican Pepsi works too. I even tried Zevia, a natural cola soda with Stevia.
Like all of the previous roasted tofu recipes, it’s fairly easy to make. Basically, roast the tofu and make the sauce. The only difference is the tofu blocks in the store nowadays are 14 instead of 16 ounces. Anyone else noticed that?
Chinese Coke-a-Cola Tofu
1 14-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 medium leek, white and some green part, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 tablespoon oil
Sprig of cilantro for garnish (optional)
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, flip over and roast the other side for 15 minutes.
While the tofu is roasting, prepare the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients except the leeks in a bowl.
Heat a wok to hot, add the oil. Swirl the oil to coat the wok. When the oil is hot, add the leeks, stir-fry for a minute or so. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the tofu is ready.
Add the tofu pieces, stir to coat well. Cover with a lid and cook down until the sauce is thickened (there shouldn’t be very much liquid left), about 5 minutes on medium-low.
Garnish with the cilantro if using. Serve with steamed rice.