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BSI Challenge: Caramelized Tofu Over Brussels Sprouts

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Despite my affinity for vegan and vegetarian meals, I’ve never been a huge fan of tofu.  There are, however, a few tofu dishes that I really love and this one holds the #1 spot.  Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has such amazing vegetarian, whole food dishes, and everything I’ve tried from her website I’ve loved.  Not surprisingly, my second favorite tofu dish is also from her blog, the Garam Masala Tofu Scramble (I prefer to make mine with leeks in place of the fennel).

This one is a wonderful balance of savory and sweet, with the tofu crispy on the outside and the sweet pecans adding nutty crunch.  The slightly bitter edge of the brussels sprouts is offset by the brown sugar and garlic and the different flavors come together in complete harmony.

I’m submitting this recipe it to the lovely Sophia of Burp and Slurp for the BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) challenge (she chose brussels sprouts).  Check the link if you’re interested in joining in the brussels sprouts fun!

(My apologies for the harsh picture–my eyes are watering just from looking at it a few seconds–but it’s the only one I have. It was one of the first food pictures I took and never took another after the first time I made the dish.  I will update the pic as soon as I make it again.)

Caramelized Tofu
recipe from

7 – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments (see photo)
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive or peanut oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons fine-grain natural cane sugar or brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons

Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet (or pot) with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Scrape the tofu out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.

In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.

Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

9 responses »

  1. Veronica, if anyone can make me like tofu, it’s YOU! That looks positively scrumptious! I’m a big fan of 101cookbooks too, and I can’t believe I have not tried this recipe yet…thanks for the BSI submission! :D


  2. Oooh, I love the pecans in this dish! They’re the perfect pairing with brussels sprouts and it looks like they also go fantastically with that caramelized tofu (which by the way looks incredible! ;) ).


    • You mean you could look directly at the pic without going blind? ;) It really hurts my eyes to look at it–I need to replace it ASAP! And yes, the pecans are perfect here. I love everything about this dish.


  3. This makes tofu look like it might be edible. I will have to surprise my husband some night for dinner. He would never willingly purchase tofu. It looks great!


    • LOL–my Mom tried to force tofu down our throats growing up but I never liked it. But I promise you, this recipe is wonderful!


  4. Oh, Thank You! I have some tofu i had purchased the other day and had no idea what to do with it! I am on a mission for lighter cooking and decided to experiment. Thanks for this post, I will make this as soon as i get back from my camping trip!
    ~Southern Cookbook ~Cheryl


    • You’re camping already?! It must be a lot warmer there than it is here. Enjoy your trip and let me know how you like this when you get back. :)


  5. I really love tofu… actually it is a veggie meat….I am a vegetarian person…I would like to try this recipe. Try also visiting my favorite food site, GOURMANDIA. They have lots of exciting and interesting food recipes for you to choose from. They have lots of video



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