This is so easy to make and such a friggin’ delight. The crispy tofu is soft inside and if you cut into it with a spoon and get some of the broth to slurp up with it it’s just the most delightful bite on the flavour and texture fronts.
You could have any green you like in here but broccolini works really well due to the fuss free prep, and I really wanted this to be a quick and easy meal that you can throw together when you’re feeling a bit precious and overwhelmed by the world/ don’t feel like be a culinary whizz. It’s also a one pan meal so good for when you’re not feeling like a cleaning whizz. Which is generally me every time I cook: I look at the dishes and hope a fairy will arrive and clean the kitchen. My dreams have come a long way since childhood and I wanted a fairy godmother to get me into a charming prince’s ball. Really shooting for the stars these days, adulthood is great.
So back to the food. There’s only one technique that requires any level of skill in this recipe and that’s frying the tofu. You can use either besan flour or potato starch and get a similar light crispy effect on the outside of the tofu. That light and crispy coating is a winner. I haven’t tried other flours because I accidentally bought a life time’s supply of chickpea flour last year (I’m obsessed with it so went through a stage where I kept thinking I’d run out, I hadn’t and ended up with 4kg, I’m down to my final kilo so the panic will begin again soon I’m sure – I’ll keep you posted as I know you’re all on the edge of your seats right now after this thrilling anecdote). If you try other flours that you’ve accidentally over invested in and they work then please let me know in the comments!
The miso broth is more of a sauce than a soup in this dish. Sort of like agedashi tofu. The whole thing is sort of like that actually. Just a home cook version with lots of inauthentic things going on, like a complete lack of dashi.
I left the greens whole as I quite like picking them up with my fingers or chop sticks whole and munching on them. I’m a real treat at the dinner table. If you’re more into utensils and small bites then feel free to chop them up or use sugar snap peas instead.
450g firm tofu
1/4 cup chickpea/besan flour
2 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2x bunches of broccolini
1 Tbs miso paste
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbs spring onion
1 finely sliced birds eye chilli (optional)
Remove the tofu from it’s packet and drain well, wrap in a clean tea towel of some paper towel and place a heavy pot on top to press the tofu, it will help release excess moisture. Leave like this for 20 minutes.
Combine flour, white pepper and salt in a small bowl and mix well. Cut the prepared todu into squares approx 3cmx3cm and 1.5cm deep. (Any size will be fine though so don’t stress, I’ve done it a few different ways now and the squares are my favourite that’s all).
Place each piece of tofu in the flour and turn gently to coat. Make sure all sides are coated in a fairly even layer of flour, and set aside.
Pour oil into a 20cm fry pan. You want the oil to be a few millimetres deep so a smaller pan is better. Place on medium high heat and once hot put half the tofu squares in the pan. They should not be touching, do 3 batches rather than 2 if you need to.
Allow tofu to fry in the olive oil for 2-3m or until just lightly golden. Flip and repeat. Give the sides 30 seconds on each side as well. Remove tofu and place on a wire rack. Repeat with second batch, you shouldn’t need to change the oil.
Once finished frying the tofu, remove any excess oil (a tsp left in is good) from the pan and add the broccolini, tossing to coat in the oil while still on medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil then remove the broccolini and divide amongst bowls.
Add the miso and the soy sauce to the water and stir to help the miso dissolve. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Turn the broth off and pour over the broccolini in the bowls, there will be about a 1/4 cup each. Place the tofu on top of the broccolini so it’s a little protected from the broth, sprinkle with spring onion, chilli and a pinch of white pepper.