Friday, February 26, 2010

Sesame Tofu (or chicken) and HLSR BBQ Cookoff

Another Friday without meat for me. It's a good thing I ate myself full last night at the HLSR (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo) BBQ Cookoff. This is the most insane event I've ever been to and I'm surprised I'm able to function this early! We usually go the first night because it's less crowded and it's also sponsor night so they have a couple extra tasters they normally wouldn't on the weekend.

Here's a picture from the HLSR website of an overview shot to show you how many BBQ teams there are:

Here's a couple pictures from last night:

Jack Daniel's booth is a booth we go to every year and these tickets are golden to get your hands on:

After eating and drinking a few drinks we walked down to Holy Cow Cookers which is ran by friends of ours.

They did a really cool thing by putting a wagon from Randy's grandmother up above the band and dance floor.

After we said hi to everyone and tasted their BBQ we walked around to check out some of the other tents layouts. We saw a water wheel turning a whole hog over a fire, unique pits in all sorts of designs and then a huge pit on the back of an 18 wheeler:

For today's dish I made tofu. I had been teasing my husband he was gonna eat it and like it then decided to be the good wife and make some chicken for him. He tasted it and didn't know it was chicken till I told him. hahaha He did try the tofu and didn't hate it, but didn't love it at the same time. I thought it was good. I didn't get to try the chicken, but he said it was tasty. We did have to add a little extra spice (couple dashes of cayenne), but overall we really liked the flavor.

Don't be scared of tofu! The one thing that comes to mind when I hear tofu is to-furkey. Never had it and have no idea of it's taste, but I can asure you tofu's not nasty it really doesn't have any taste at all, and it's good for you.

Better-Than-Takeout Sesame Tofu (or chicken)
(Adapted from Love & Olive Oil)

1 package extra firm tofu
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
sesame seeds
8 stalks broccolini

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 garlic clove, minced

Cut tofu into 1/2 thick slices. Place in a 9×13″ baking pan lined with a tea towel, top with another towel followed by another baking pan. Weight with something heavy (soup cans or something), and let press for 20-30 minutes. Cut into cubes.

Coat tofu cubes in egg, then toss in cornstarch until coated and dry. Shake off extra cornstarch.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, until thick.
While sauce is cooking, heat oil in large non-stick skillet or wok. Carefully place tofu in hot oil, spacing evenly so the pieces don’t stick together. Cook (without touching!) for 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom, and then carefully turn and cook other side. Continue to turn until cubes are golden on a few sides. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.


Wipe out tofu pan and heat a drizzle of oil. Sautà broccolini, turning once, for about 2-4 minutes or until bright green and tender. Remove from heat.

Return tofu cubes to pan, and pour over sauce. Stir until well coated. Serve with jasmine rice and sprinkled with lightly toasted sesame seeds.



  1. The HLS sounds like a spectacular event. Maybe one day we'll get to go.

    Being 1/2 Japanese, you would think I'd like tofu. I just can't wrap my mouth around it. I don't like the texture. I know I should and that it's good for you. Oh well, enjoy all mine cause I don't think I'm going to like it anytime soon.

  2. I am so jealous! My Houston trip was just a bit early for the HLSR this year. Maybe I'll plan better next year. I'll have to live this one through your photos.

    I'm a tofu lover too. Your recipe looks delish.

  3. What a perfect Lenten meal, Allie. It looks delicious.