October 28, 2008

Black-Bottom Pineapple Tofu with Cashew Coconut Rice

Black-Bottom Pineapple Tofu with Cashew Coconut Rice

I was excited to try this recipe: its long list of yummy ingredients, its exotic combination of spices, its "honorable mention" for first place in the Vegetarian Times reader recipe contest. But don't be fooled...this is nothing more than your typical sweet and sour tofu over Indian-spiced rice. But again, don't be fooled...it's REALLY good!

The rice was a cinch to make. I couldn't find unsweetened shredded coconut (and didn't feel like running all over the city looking for it), so I used a bag of the sweetened kind that I had at home. Really, I don't think it made much of a difference at all. The coconut flavor was very subtle, and there wasn't too much noticeable sweetness. Another change, I think I would try using salted cashews next time instead of the raw ones, as a little salt would make a world of difference for the somewhat bland rice. Still, it had a wonderful, aromatic Indian vibe going on.

The tofu REALLY fooled me though. There was nothing black-bottomed about it. I was expecting a blackened type of dish, but of course that's usually a result of something being coated in dry spices and pan-fried. This was more of a...tofu-boiling-in-sauce thing. BUT, it was still good. The sauce was a combination of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and pineapple juice. Add pineapple chunks, bell pepper, and carrots toward the end of cooking...and you've got sweet and sour tofu. Chopped cilantro at the end adds a nice flavor.

Make again? Yes, leftovers were good, and serving sizes (this recipe makes 4) were perfect.

Black-Bottom Pineapple Tofu with Cashew Coconut Rice
Vegetarian Times, October 2005

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