Tofu Saltado

I was inspired by my friend Ann to make this typical Peruvian dish.  I used this recipe from about.com as a base, making some adjustments to make it vegetarian and to make it more palatable to my partner’s taste (no chunky tomatoes or onions).  I used one package of tofu instead of the chicken, and a sun-dried tomato pesto instead of the fresh tomato.  I also used several tablespoons of this Kick’n Chicken spice mix from Weber Grill.  I decided to use the ancient sweet peppers that I got from our local Pete’s Market instead of usual red bell peppers.  And then I also decided to make homemade baked fries from blue potatoes, to add color, instead of the frozen microwavable fries.

So here’s the modified ingredients list:

1 package firm tofu

2 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp red pepper flakes (couldn’t find aji panca paste)

oil (for cooking the garlic and peppers and for making the baked fries)

salt (for baking the fries)

three ancient sweet peppers, sliced or diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 jar of sun-dried tomato pesto (use 3-4 oz out of a 6-8 oz jar)

8-10 blue potatoes, peeled and sliced

3-4 tablespoons of Weber Grill Kick’n Chicken spice mix, or make your own with whatever powders you like (onion, garlic, paprika, orange peel, etc)

2 cups of uncooked rice (cook this in whatever way you normally do- I used a rice cooker)

This dish is a mixture of stir-fried rice, marinated tofu, and baked fries, all mixed up.  I prepared parts of the dish while others were cooking/baking.

So, here’s what I did:

I set my two cups of uncooked rice in the rice cooker with 2 cups of water and got that cooking.

I set the oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, I sliced the potatoes, then I put the slices of potato and then poured enough oil to coat all of the potatoes when I tossed them.  I added salt and used my hands to toss the potatoes so that they were all covered with the oil and salt mixture.  Then I laid out the slices on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  I could see that the edges were turning brown, and the potato was soft and cooked through.

While the potatoes were baking, I prepped the tofu.  I drained the tofu by letting it sit on a plate for 10 minutes, with another plate set on top of it to provide some weight to squeeze out the rest of water.  While the tofu was set aside, in a mixing bowl I mixed the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, cumin, paprika, and chili flakes.  I used a whisk to mix them.  Then I added the diced tofu and mixed so that the all of the tofu pieces were covered.  I let that sit and marinate while the potatoes baked.

When the rice and fries were both done, I heated a skillet, then added about 2 tablespoons of oil and let that heat.  I added the garlic and the peppers.  I let them sizzle and get brown.  I added the cooked rice from the rice cooker, the sun-dried tomato paste, and the Weber Grill spices.  I mixed and let that cook for a few minutes.  Then I added the tofu and the fries and stirred everything together.

Here’s what it looked like:

Tofu Saltado
Tofu Saltado – Here’s what the it looked like when finished.  

I made this recipe after my friend Ann told me about it.  We’ve been meeting once a week to go walking this summer.  We’d been talking about our travels abroad, and I had asked Ann about her favorite Peruvian dishes from the time she lived in Peru.  Pollo Saltado was her top choice.  It sounded so good that I came home and made it that night.  Ann explained that saltado means “jumped” which is supposed to refer to all the ingredients jumping around in the pan.

Here are a couple of other pictures- marinating tofu and baked fries:

2015-06-16 15.44.06 2015-06-16 15.43.21

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