My 6 year old son is obsessed with white food. He would happily eat boiled pasta or white rice, hot or cold, with a pat of pale white butter and a thin shaving of Mozzarella, although mostly he’d ask you to hold the cheese. But he’d insist on salt. (Sometimes he eats it straight out of the container) He frowns at the thought of a fresh Orange, or god forbid a bright colored Clementine.
This dish allows you to sneak in seasonal and plentiful Winter citrus fruits and get bonus points for creating a somewhat ‘healthy’ version of white food. (Tofu!) This recipe also enables you to do a Vegan riff on the classic old-school Chinese restaurant dish of Sweet and Sour Pork. This dish does contain sugar though, (you need it to get the sweet-and-sour taste) I use unbleached cane sugar or dehydrated and granulated cane juice but you want to make it Vegan you could substitute agave nectar or maple syrup and thus avoid sugar entirely, it’s up to you.
TOFU STICKS in STICKY SWEET-AND-SOUR CLEMENTINE SAUCE
Put three quarters of a cup of regular vinegar in a heavy based saucepan. Add half a cup of sugar and whole segments from 3 peeled clementines. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and sit for 20 minutes or more, stirring occasionally until the liquid reduces and becomes syrupy. Use the back of your spoon to squeeze the segments against the sides of the pan to release their juice. Meanwhile slice an Extra- Firm pack of 14 oz Organic Tofu into same size sticks. Put half a cup of regular all purpose flour and half a cup of cornflour into a clean dry bowl with some salt and pepper. Mix. Dredge the tofu sticks liberally with the flour mixture and fry in olive oil or vegetable oil in a hot saucepan till browned on both sides. Place on paper towels to drain. Check your sticky clementine sauce. It should have reduced, almost to half, most of the clementines should be pulped and will have thickened to a marmalade-type syrup. Pour some straight onto a plate, and place sticks of tofu on top, serve.
NOTE: The sticky clementine sauce will be scalding hot once it leaves the saucepan so wait considerably for it to cool before serving it to small mouths. Also, make sure you make enough for yourself. This dish is highly addictive. You’ll be dipping the crunchy logs (the addition of cornflour makes the outside coating crunchier than usual) into the sweet and sour syrup and scooping up the marmalade clementines readily. To round out the meal you could serve it with a little steamed brown rice and broccoli.