Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Braised cinnamon tofu

With all the dining out we have been doing with our family the last few weeks, on top of Christmas, we have been eating a lot of crappy food lately. Don't get me wrong, the food has been tasty and really enjoyable such as the drop in visits to Lord of the Fries, pancake breakfasts, and the night we went out for dessert pizzas (totally awesome concept that I will soon experiment with at home). 

Delicious ooey gooey dessert pizza wrongness

But it has all been packed with stuff that leaves me feeling pretty dodgy the next day. Kev has also been indulging in things he as a diabetic usually wouldn't touch with a 10 foot clown pole. So I wanted to make something for dinner that would be healthy. I have been reading quite a bit about the health benefits of cinnamon lately, mainly about it's benefits on blood sugar, but it is also being looked at for potential cancer fighting properties, arthritis relief, memory and cognitive function, and aiding as a food preservative.

Previously I have really only used cinnamon in making sweet baked goods, desserts or for making cinnamon and apple tea drink. On a whim I googled 'cinnamon tofu' and search results presented me with this gem - Braised Cinnamon Tofu. They have it listed as a recipe to benefit the liver.

I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe, adding in some vegetables and it worked out rather well. I also prefer more chilli in dishes so increased the amount used. If you don't like your food that spicy, reduce the amount of chilli back to the 1 tsp from the original recipe.
Braised Cinnamon Tofu

  • 5 spring onions, trimmed
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed and thinly sliced
  • 4 small thin slices fresh ginger.
  • 3 tsp hot chilli paste
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 star anise pod
  • ½ cup reduced salt soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 500 grams of cubed tofu
  • 200 grams of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of broccolini, chopped
  • 3 baby pak choy, chopped
  1. Place the ginger pieces, cinnamon sticks and star anise in the centre of a square of muslin or cheese cloth. Bring the corners together and tie up to form a little spice pouch.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the spring onions soy sauce and water. Add in the spice pouch and bring to the boil. 
  3. Add in the cubed tofu and allow to return to boiling. Once the liquid is boiling again, turn the heat down to simmer. 
  4. Leave the pot to simmer for about an hour, then remove the spice pouch. 
  5. Add in the chopped vegetables, and bring back to boiling. Boil till vegetables are cooked to your liking, then serve. 

Braised cinnamon tofu and vegetables

I cooked my vegetables a little more than I intended as I got distracted by a phone call, so they were not still a little crisp as I like them. Why does the phone always ring when you are making dinner... 
The flavour was very nice, with a good mix of ginger and cinnamon soaked into the tofu during the hour of simmering.

1 comment:

  1. Cinnamon is great but can be too strong for me - however I love this idea and I have loved cinnamon in savoury dishes such as a tomato cinnamon sauce and chiili non carne and of course it is great in a curry - good luck with your savoury cinnamon experiements