One of our favourite restaurants in Vancouver is Biercraft (formerly Stella’s) on Commercial Drive. We have a particular soft spot for the restaurant because whenever we were going to Stella’s for dinner, J would spend most of the day bellowing “STELLLLLLAAAAAA” a la Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire. As a result, we decided to name our new puppy “Stella” because J was already used to bellowing it. By some bizarre coincidence, when we arrived at the breeder’s home to see her little Norfolk puppy, I asked her what the puppy’s name was. She said, “Well, the litter was born at Christmas, so I named all puppies Christmas-themed names. She is ‘Star,’ but I’m Italian, so I call her ‘Stella’.” It seemed the universe was conspiring to make this puppy ours.
In any event, one of our favourite dishes from Stella’s is the Sambal-Sweet-Soy-Fried Tofu, which I tried to recreate this evening. It turned out to be delicious! J claimed to only want a small serving, but I gave him a regular-sized one, and he ended up having another full portion!
Here’s the recipe:
Sambal Sweet Soy Fried Tofu:
4 TBS. soy sauce
4 TBS agave nectar or honey
2 TBS Sambal Olek
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 TBS garlic
1 block firm tofu
green onions and/or chives for topping
Blend the first six ingredients in a small blender or Magic Bullet. Cut the tofu in 1/2-inch slices. Spray a grill with cooking oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the tofu until lightly brown on each side. While the tofu is grilling, warm the sauce.
Once the tofu is grilled, place on a bed of brown basmati rice, pour the sauce over, and top with green onions.
I served it with grilled broccoli topped with sesame seeds.