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A few years ago, this game called “Would you rather?” was popular to pass time on a road trip or get to know someone.  The game always consisted of two bleak and undesirable scenarios, both of which were very unlikely.  I never liked this game, especially when it dealt with unthinkable scenarios.

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It seems that our generation can easily fall prey to the “Would you rather” of life.  Given two evils, which of the lesser would you choose?  It is an obnoxious question, and so our generation seems to ask, “Why not choose the best of two good things?”

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I am beginning to see how I grew up with such privilege; with options to choose so many good things for my life.  I am very thankful for the life I have and the good choices that brought me here, but I am also wanting to choose the best and not just something good because it will make me feel comfortable.

This blog is one of those things that is best for me, not just good.  I am excited and propelled for reasons that I can’t explain to explore food, photography, and writing.

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This recipe is birthed out of my experiences while living in Long Beach.  Living in LBC, I am exposed to such great food with Pho (really, how do you pronounce it??? I have heard it both “pho” and “pha”.) in Westminster, dim sum in Alhambra, and Cambodian in my back yard.   Not to mention the many foodies and great cooks that I know.

I have seen tofu cooked multiple ways; with lots of flavor and with no flavor.  I am a firm believer that the flavor of tofu comes from what you add to it and how you prepare it.  It might seem boring and spongy, but if you purchase the right tofu and cook it with the right ingredients it will be amazing.  My accidental Tofu Tacos are a case in point.

Sesame and garlic-ginger baked tofu with soba noodles and avocado

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 servings of soba noodles
  • 1 avocado
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs Cilantro
  • (2 Tbs) sesame oil or olive oil
  • marinade (see below)

Directions

  • Preheat Oven to 400 deg. F.
  • Wrap the tofu in paper towels while preparing the marinade.  Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch squares and mix with the prepared marinade and pine nuts.  
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the tofu and marinade mixture.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the tofu every 10 minutes until all the marinade is absorbed.
  • Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions.  Drain and mix with the oil.
  • Top with the tofu mixture and avocodo as desired.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and add salt to taste.

Marinade (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 Tbs ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, torn
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

Directions

  • In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, cilantro and pine nuts

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This marinade is very simple and is a fusion of multiple Asian influences.  I think I actually got the idea from my Japanese manager at work.  I used to buy ginger whenever I needed it, but lately I have ventured to keeping it and cutting off fresh portions.  I added pine nuts for texture and extra taste; an inspiration from many happy hours at The Yard House.

Soba noodles stick together very easily, so toss them with Sesame oil or Olive oil; though I am no expert at noodles of any kind!  The tofu will absorb most of the Cilantro, so add some fresh if you would like.

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