I have always been a little timid of tofu. Not because it is vegan, but after my first failed attempt at cooking it, I just didn’t think it was possible to achieve crispy tofu. I have a friend who encouraged me to give it another try and boy am I so glad that I did! This Crispy Tofu Stuffed Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash turned out to be pure perfection!
After sitting down and doing some research, I realized I had been going about tofu all wrong. There are several different types of tofu ranging from silken (soft) to extra-firm. Each of these types are specific to what recipe you will be cooking. For instance, silken tofu is great for putting into smoothies for a protein boost, creating low fat desserts or making dips and dressings. Extra-firm and firm tofu hold up best for stir-fry’s or crispy “fried” tofu.
The biggest secret of all is making sure you remove as much moisture as possible from the tofu. This can be hard, but I have a few tricks! You want to drain with a tea towel or paper towels after you have cut your tofu. Make sure to put something heavy on top like a large can of tomatoes to squeeze out the extra moisture inside. You can see a detailed tutorial and full post on How to Make Perfectly Crispy Tofu here.
Tofu is such a healthy addition to your diet, because it makes a dish high in protein and low in fat. It has gotten a bad wrap with some findings suggesting that compounds that it contains could promote growth of some cancer cells, impair female fertility and mess with thyroid function. You can read more about via this Good Housekeeping article that really shines light on the benefits of soy, especially tofu. You do want to be sure that you are buying organic tofu however, since most soy is treated with pesticides.
I am so excited about this recipe and tofu in general! I am so eager to try a healthier version of one of my favorite Chinese dishes, Genera Tso’s Chicken made with tofu soon! If you have any great tofu recipes, I would love to try them!
What do you think about tofu? Are you open to giving it a try for a healthier you in the New Year?
Crispy Tofu Stuffed Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash
- Crispy Tofu Stuffed Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash
- For the Tofu:
- 1 (12 ounce) block of House Foods Organic Extra-Firm Tofu, drained and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or Tamari
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, flour or arrowroot powder
- For the Acorn Squash:
- 2 medium acorn squash, evenly halved and seeded
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
- Gently squeeze tofu block in between clean palms over sink to drain.
- Cut the tofu into one-inch cubes.
- Place the tofu cubes on a paper towel and layer another paper towel on top. Place a cutting board or plate on top and then a large can on top of that, gently draining out any excess moisture.
- In a large bowl or plastic bag, toss the tofu cubes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of starch or flour until well coated.
- Place on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes (tossing halfway) until tofu has crispy deep golden brown edges. I find that 28 minutes is the exact cooking time for my oven.
- Let cool on a wire rack.
- Acorn Squash:
- Cut the acorn squash in half at equator to create even halves and remove seeds and pulp from cavity.
- If needed, slice off a bit from the bottom to stabilize, so that it can sit evenly.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix butter, Sriracha, sugar and syrup if using.
- Brush mixture all over the tops and insides of the acorn sqaush.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour until fork tender.
- Add tofu to acorn squash hollows.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.