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Pan-Fried Tofu with Sesame Watercress

Want your loved ones to fall in love with tofu? Try this main course salad on them. With a creamy dressing and pan-fried tofu, they will hard-pressed to find something they do not like about it.

avocado oil
8 ounces extra firm tofu, 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 red onion, sliced into very thin rings
1 bunch watercress, rinsed well, tips of stems trimmed
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, lightly pan toasted
1 teaspoon hempseeds, lightly pan toasted

2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 teaspoon umeboshi or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce

Place about an inch of oil in a deep skillet and turn heat to medium. When the oil is hot  (patterns will form in the oil, known as "dancing"), fry the tofu until golden and crispy, turning once to insure even browning. Drain on parchment paper and place in a warm oven, while preparing the rest of the dish.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and quickly blanche the onion rings. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. In the same water, blanche the watercress, until it just wilts, about a minute. Drain and cut into bite-sized pieces. Mix with onion rings. Stir in sesame seeds and hempseeds and arrange on a serving platter. Arrange tofu on top of greens.

Prepare the dressing by simply whisking ingredients together, adding water only to thin dressing to desired consistency. Spoon dressing over warm salad and serve immediately. 

Makes 4-6 servings.  


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