Having had green tea ice cream over warm chocolate cake after several decadent courses of sushi rolls at Ozumo in San Francisco on Mother’s Day, I thought it would be sensible to have tofu sliders for dinner tonight. Light, nutritious, and satisfying, these tofu paddies won’t have you missing the meat, and whatever is leftover, make for perfect lunchbox meals for the kids.
The key to a crispy tofu paddy is to strain the firm tofu and spinach well—while a few tablespoons of flour helps with creating a crust and binding the crumbly tofu. The perfect topping on a busy evening is any store-bought favorite relish, which can bring a welcomed sweetness and heat. It was nice being pampered on Mother’s Day, and these tofu sliders are my way of saying, ‘thank you’ to my family.
- 19 oz firm tofu (1 carton)
- 1 cup squeezed spinach (6 oz uncooked baby spinach or frozen spinach)
- 1 egg
- 3 tbs flour
- 1 tbs kochukaru (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- In a small pot, blanch baby spinach in boiling water. Press spinach down with a spoon. As soon as spinach wilts (20 seconds), drain. Once cooled a bit, squeeze water out with your hands and place in a mixing bowl.
- Place firm tofu in cheesecloth, and squeeze moisture out of it. If you do not have cheesecloth, crumble tofu and place in a strainer. Press down with a spoon so that moisture escapes through the strainer. Place strained tofu in the mixing bowl with spinach.
- Add egg, 3 tbs flour, salt, white pepper, and kochukaru to the tofu. Mix well so that all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Make large meatball-sized tofu balls and flatten with your hand. Place them on a baking sheet.
- Heat a pan on medium, and add 1 tbs of oil to the pan. Using a spatula, carefully transfer tofu paddies to the pan. Cook 5-6 paddies at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan. Each side will take 3-4 minutes.
- Serve in buns with your favorite relish.