Turmeric and Black Pepper Tofu
"Did you know that adding a little black pepper to turmeric increases bioavailability? Adding black pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) giving you greater anti-inflammatory benefits. Perfectly spiced crispy tofu with none of the fuss, and crunchy collards with caramelized onions make the perfect fall meal that feel like a hug in a bowl."
Vasudha Viswanath, v8well.com
2 tsp cornstarch
¾ tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp fine sea salt
¾ tsp cracked black pepper
8 oz/224g extra-firm tofu, sliced into 2-inch triangles about ½-inch thick
4-5 large collard green leaves (about 40g)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ⅓ cups/200g finely diced red onion
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp tamari
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Mix the cornstarch, turmeric, sea salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the tofu and toss to coat evenly using your hands or a spatula.
Remove the stems from the collard green leaves using a paring knife and slice into thin strips. Bring 3 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the collard greens and cook until they just turn bright green, about a minute. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the diced onions and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the tamari and cook, stirring, for another minute or until the liquid has been absorbed. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the onions and mix. Stir in the blanched collard greens. Transfer to a bowl.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add the coated tofu - it should sizzle as it hits the pan. Cook undisturbed until the bottom visibly browns and then crisps up, then flip the pieces carefully using tongs and repeat on the other side.
Divide the tofu between the two serving plates. Add the greens and onions on the side and serve hot.
If you prefer, you can skip step 2 and sauté the collard greens directly in the pan after adding the tamari in step 3.
See more from Vasudha Viswanath in her cookbook THE VEGETARIAN RESET: 75 Low-Carb, Plant-Forward Recipes from Around the World (January 2023, The Collective Book Studio). Photography by Alexandra Shytsman.