Five-Spiced Tofu with Brussels Sprouts and Thai Basil Black Pepper
Chef Peng S. Looi
This tofu dish is one of nine courses Chef Peng S. Looi created for a family reunion-style meal, inspired by the Chinese dishes in Malaysia. The Chinese traditionally celebrate the Lunar New Year with an extravagant multi-course feast served family-style, but Chef Looi plated the dishes individually in light of 2021’s pandemic restrictions.
2 packages firm tofu, drained
1 tbsp. Chinese 5-spice powder
1 tsp. salt
Vegetable oil for cooking
Pinch black pepper
Asian pear slaw
3 tbsp. frozen lychee puree, thawed
1 Asian pear, peeled and julienned
1 cup Thai basil and black pepper blend, thawed
1 tsp. key lime concentrate, thawed
2 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 cups Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
2 tbsp. red jalapeno puree, thawed
Sliced Fresno pepper
1. Cut drained tofu into 1-inch rectangular logs or strips. In bowl, combine 5-spice powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the seasoning mix onto tofu to thoroughly coat.
2. In large saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add tofu pieces and sear until light brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and keep warm in 250 F. oven.
3. For slaw, combine lychee puree with pear pieces; mix well and let stand 15 minutes.
4. For Brussels sprouts, in small saucepan over low heat, stir together Thai basil and black pepper blend, lime concentrate and half the garlic. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat.
5. In a saute pan or wok over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. When hot, add Brussels sprouts and remaining garlic. Stir fry or saute 4 minutes; stir in jalapeno puree. Continue stir frying 3 minutes longer; remove from heat.
6. To serve, arrange tofu, Brussels sprouts and Asian pear slaw on plate; garnish with seeded Fresno pepper slices and cilantro.
Photo courtesy of The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley