Sunday, February 14, 2010

Soyaki Tofu and Garbanzo Beans

A few months ago I got hip to the beauty of marinating tofu. I'd been cooking the stuff for some time and I knew how to spice it up and prepare it pretty consistently, but I came across an article raving about the benefits of marinating, so I gave it a try. I gotta say - definitely the way to go. Marinating tofu for 30 minutes or more before cooking is super effective. The flavors take hold really well and it also makes the tofu cook much faster and more evenly. My fav marinade at the moment is Trader Joe's Island Soyaki - it's unbelievably delicious, teriyaki with hints of ginger and garlic goodness. If you're not near a TJ's the brand Soy Vay makes and Island Teriyaki or Soyaki marinade that is available in most supermarkets.

This dish was truly an instance of experimenting with what I had in the kitchen. I was at a loss for what to prepare for dinner one night and my girlfriend was asking what I had available. I started listing items in the cupboard and she suggested trying tofu and garbanzo beans together. It instantly became one of my favorite go-to, staple meals. You can add steamed veggies or use it without. On top of quinoa it makes for a hearty, protein packed dinner - and the leftovers are ridiculously good too.

Dig it.

Soyaki Tofu and Garbanzo Beans

1 tbsp olive oil
1 5 oz block of extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 oz Island Soyaki marinade
1/2 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini, sliced
1-2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup prepared quinoa

Place cubed tofu in a container or bowl with marinade in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Cut up veggies and place in a steamer and start preparing quinoa.

Take marinated tofu and completely strain the liquid marinade into a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add tofu on medium heat, ensuring that each piece of tofu gets surface space on the pan. Cook until browned on one side, about 5-6 minutes. Then flip the tofu pieces and add the garbanzo beans to the pan. Begin steaming the veggies - they only need about 3 minutes to get slightly soft. Occasionally spoon some of the reserved marinade onto the tofu and garbanzos, stirring and flipping until the tofu is nicely browned on all sides and the garbanzos are slightly browned and crunchy. Add the steamed veggies to the pan with black pepper and stir together with a bit more of the marinade. Serve on top of quinoa...

The Soyaki has a sweetness to it that also lends itself to heat and spice. Sometimes I add a little bit of sriracha or chili paste towards the end of cooking to give it a kick - it's a rockin' combo!


  1. I've had Soyaki and it is great! Have you tried freezing your tofu? I don't recommend this for all of your tofu cooking. Take a package put it in the freezer. Then once it's frozen take it out and let it thaw. Open up package and squeeze out all of the liquid than let put a marinade on it. What happens is that the tofu gets this spongy texture that totally sucks up the marinade, like a sponge! It's pretty cool and it even cooks different. Let me know what you think.

  2. Mmm, I have heard of this and will give it a try! Thanks for the tip. Always looking for new ways to get the most out of tofu. It is so versatile, the possibilities are endless...

  3. Not sure if you're still blogging, but I just tried this today and it was fantastic! Hope you are just taking a break. :) Cheers!

  4. Cristina, glad it came out well for ya! Yes, I'm just taking a break - been incredibly busy with other things. Thanks for stopping by, it's a great reminder for me to get back on it ;) Cheers