Call it my quinoa crush☺ . Ever since I opened the bulk-size package of quinoa I bought from Costco (non-GMO & organic of course) I feel like I’ve rediscovered this incredible
grain seed. Its delicate nutty and earthy flavour makes it so incredibly versatile. You can simmer it with broth and/or herbs to add a new flavour profile to it, you can roast it to elevate its delightful chewy texture (see our popular Quinoa Taco recipe here) or you can blend with pureed vegetables and grains to create fritters or bakes. Today I’m happy to share my quinoa crush-inspired recipe for Orange-Ginger Sauce with Crusted Tofu & Quinoa.
My springboard for this recipe was a picture of an Orange Chicken dish on Pinterest. I don’t normally get excited about meat-based dishes but when I paused to look at this recipe – battered and fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet, orange-chili sauce – all I could think was how incredible this dish could be if it was plant-based. In order to mimic the battered and fried chicken pieces in the classic version of this dish I started by coating cubed tofu in a simple mixture of cornstarch, dried marjoram, sesame seeds and salt. Once pan fried, the rather ho-hum dry mixture transforms into a deliciously crispy coating with a slight nutty flavour. The sauce features a tantalizing blend of minced garlic and ginger, fresh orange juice, orange zest, tamari sauce, sesame oil, agave and rice vinegar paired with brown sugar and ground cloves. Think sweet meets tangy and citrusy.
What I really like about this sauce is that the citrus flavour is neither understated or overstated — it’s just right 😉. Once garnished with a few sesame seeds, scallions and reserved orange zest the result is a deliciously simple meal that not only looks impressive but tastes even better.
- Cook 1 cup dry tri-colour quinoa
For the crusted tofu:
- 1 pkg extra-firm tofu (pressed & drained), cut into cubes (350g)
- 1/3 cup organic cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 2 tsp white sesame seeds
- Olive oil (for pan-frying)
For the Orange-Ginger sauce: (Note: Double the ingredients if you prefer a sauce-heavy dish)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled (5g)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root (5g)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (<5g)
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp finely grated orange zest + extra for garnish (15g)
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (155g)
- 1 Tbsp agave syrup (15g)
- 1 Tbsp tamari sauce (15g)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (5g)
- 1 tsp roasted sesame oil (<5g)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (40g)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (<5g)
- 2 tsp tapioca flour (5g)
- Cooked tri-colour quinoa
- White sesame seeds
- Thinly sliced scallions
- Orange zest
- Orange slices (optional)
- 1/Rinse and dry 1 pkg of extra-firm tofu. Once you’ve released as much moisture as possible, cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes (or to desired size). Set aside.
- 2/Add cornstarch, salt, marjoram and sesame seeds to a large plastic/Ziploc bag. Add the tofu pieces, seal the bag, and shake until the tofu is coated.
- 3/Heat the olive oil a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu pieces to the skillet (do in two batches) and fry until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the fried tofu to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any excess grease. Set aside.
- 4/Add garlic, ginger root and fresh rosemary to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Grind 5 sec/Speed 1. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced mixture at the base of the bowl.
Note: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 5.
- 5/Add the orange zest, fresh orange juice, agave syrup, tamari sauce, rice vinegar, roasted sesame oil, brown sugar and ground cloves to the TM bowl. Whisk 15 sec/Speed 3. Then Cook 5 min/85C/Speed 1 (Reverse blade).
- 6/Add tapioca flour (for thickening the sauce). Whisk 25 sec/Speed 3.
Note: Remove the butterfly whisk attachment from the Thermomix mixing blade before starting Step 7.
- 7/Blend 25 sec/Speed 6 (no need to set the temperature). This will whiz any remaining (coarse) herbs to a fine texture. Your Orange-Ginger Sauce is ready.
- 8/Plate a bed of cooked quinoa. Pour Orange-Ginger sauce over the quinoa. Top with a few pieces of crusted tofu. Garnish with white sesame seeds, sliced scallions and reserved orange zest (orange slices are optional).
*How to cook 1 cup dry quinoa:
Bring a small pot of salted water (2 cups) to a boil. Add quinoa and boil for 8-10 minutes (much like you would pasta), or until grain has “plumped” up. You will notice the tail-like germ of the seeds will start to unravel when cooked. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, then run sieve under cold water to stop cooking. Rest sieve over empty bowl and let quinoa drain for 10 minutes.
Reminder: 1 cup dry quinoa will yield 2-3 cups cooked quinoa
*To prepare the orange zest:
Scoop out the flesh of one-half an orange. Add orange rind (35g+) to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Grind 5 sec/Speed 7.
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance; however, it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. multi-function processor, immersion blender etc).