Another recipe roughly adapted and turned veggie from this slow cooker cookbook, this dish is a treat of a main course. Both sweet and aromatic, tofu is ideal as it absorbs the flavours beautifully. Serving it with fresh coriander, pickled bean sprouts and rice balances the dish and stops it being too sweet (which it might be if eaten on its own). I made this one Saturday and had it cook through the day ready to be eaten that evening.
It’s essential to press the tofu before using it in this dish. To do so, simply drain the block, wrap well with kitchen roll, and place a heavy cookbook or pan on top. Leave this for at least ten minutes but ideally around an hour. Unwrap and it’s ready to use. By removing more of the liquid, this makes the tofu firmer so it will keep its shape in the slow cooker.
This recipe used Chantenay carrots but regular carrots cut into rounds or batons would work just as well. It’s also worth nothing that the colour of the dish depends somewhat on the type of soy sauce you use – I used a particularly dark one in this that turns every dish very very dark!
400g tofu, drained, pressed & cut into large cubes
1 white onion, sliced
200g Chantenay carrots, cut into halves lengthways
200g fine green beans
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised & cut in half
Fresh coriander to serve
For the sauce:
150g light muscovado sugar
1tsp dark soy sauce
Juice of lime
For the beansprouts:
Handful fresh beansprouts
1tbsp rice wine vinegar
To create the caramel sauce, heat the sugar and water over a medium heat – for best results use a stainless steel pan so you can gauge the colour better. Stir well until the sugar has fully dissolved. Turn the heat up high, without stirring, so the sugar boils and turns a golden brown colour without burning. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and lime juice – do this immediately as it halts the cooking process.
Put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and pour over the caramel sauce. Cook on low for eight hours. If possible, stir halfway. Once it is cooked, transfer to the hob and cook on a high heat for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken. Remove the lemongrass. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves, top with a scoop of the pickled beansprouts, and serve with rice.
For the pickled beansprouts, simply coat them in the vinegar and chilli flakes and leave to stand for around twenty minutes for the vinegar to absorb. Drain and they are ready to use.
Have you ever cooked tofu in a slow cooker? Any tips or tricks to share?