Din Tai Fung Tofu
One of our favorite restaurants to go to is Din Tai Fung. It’s an upscale, but still relatively family friendly, Taiwanese dumpling house with only 6 US locations, and two of them are here in Seattle/Bellevue. The first time you go your server will give you instructions on how to make your dipping sauce. They suggest 1 part soy sauce/2 parts BLACK vinegar, poured on top of fresh ginger. Now, the black vinegar is the key. I really can’t think of any substitute for it. It has a unique tangy taste and we all LOVE it!
^^^ My standing order at Din Tai Fung—Tofu Dumplings, Veggie Rice Cakes, and Garlic Broccoli—be sure to specify vegetarian preparation for all of their greens—otherwise they are prepared in chicken stock. Everything gets dipped into the delicious sauce in the center!
A few weeks ago there was a post on the Facebook page “What Fat Vegans Eat” sharing a tofu marinated in black vinegar. I instantly knew I would recreate the dipping sauce for our Din Tai Fung dumplings and use it as my marinade! We’ve had this dish 3 times now in the last week and a half. It was even specially requested by Irving!
^^^ I LOVE grilled zucchini—it makes such an easy side dish! I use a grill basket to keep things a little less messy, but for the life of me I can not find a link to the one I use, nor can I find any brand marking on my basket. If I figure it out I will update!
I hope you track down some black vinegar so that you can make this dish too! It is a new favorite for all of us! It’s also great served cold in a picnic lunch, so make some extra if you can! I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram, and tag photos you post of my recipes with #frieddandelions so that I can see! I love to see what you’re cooking!
Din Tai Fung Tofu
- 1/4 cup soy sauce I use Bragg's Aminos
- 1/2 cup BLACK vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 inches of fresh ginger peeled (about the size of my thumb?)
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 blocks firm tofu pressed to remove all water
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- Place marinade ingredients (everything but the tofu and sesame seeds) into the blender and blend until ginger is completely broken down and combined.
- Slice the tofu. Because I cook mine on the grill I slice each block into 4 pieces. You could slice into smaller pieces if you want, but then you risk losing them through the grates!
- Place tofu into a baking dish of some sort to marinade. I have a pyrex baking pan that fits all 8 slices just perfectly! Pour the marinade over top and spread it around so that it coats all of the tofu. Set aside to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, preferably more. I let mine marinate at room temp for about 2 hours, but you could marinate in the fridge overnight also.
- Once the tofu has marinated it's time to cook! I like to cook mine on the grill and get those pretty grill marks, but you could also bake the tofu (about 375/400° for 30-45 minutes), or pan sear it.
- Strain the leftover marinade through a mesh colander to remove the ginger pulp and floating bits of tofu into a separate dish and reserve.
- For grilling (on a gas grill): Preheat your grill, set to medium low heat. Using long tongs, dip a paper towel into some neutral cooking oil and rub the grates to help prevent some sticking. Place the tofu on the grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Rotate each piece of tofu 90° and cook for about 3 more minutes. Flip each piece of tofu and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side. Rotate 90° again and cook for 3 more minutes. By this time each side of tofu should have those nice grill marks! Set aside.
- Mix 1 T of sesame seeds into the remaining marinade. Feel free to reduce it over medium heat on the stove top if you want a thicker sauce. To me it doesn't make much difference either way!
- To serve—Place your tofu on your plate, or on top of a salad, rice, etc. and drizzle with the marinade sauce. I've got a recipe for the salad pictured coming up later this week! Enjoy!