One of my last nights in the States was spent over a lovely meal with my sister and brother-in-law. They live in a charming Spanish revival in the heart of Los Angeles – the kind of cozy place that immediately feels like home.
I arrived at their house early in the afternoon, hours before either of them came home from work. Plenty of time to make friends with their chickens, take a nap, read a magazine, and make dinner.
Somehow sprouts, which mark a new beginning, seemed the perfect ingredient for this meal – my sister with a baby on the way and me with a new island home in my future. The recipe is full of sprouts – sprouted tofu, sprouted peas, sprouted lentils, sprouted beans, and radish sprouts. And nothing like a little sweet chili sauce to make a sprout sing.
1 8 oz package firm (sprouted) tofu, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cup all-purpose or brown rice flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup prepared sweet chili sauce
2 cups assorted sprouted beans and lentils
1 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
1 cup radish sprouts
Cooked brown rice
Fill the bottom of a straight sided sauté pan with 1 inch of canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.
Meanwhile combine the flour with the salt and cayenne in a small bowl. Toss the tofu in the flour mixture.
When the oil is ready, carefully drop the cubes of tofu into the pan. For best results, fry the tofu in several batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. And turn each cube to fry all sides. The end goal is a golden colored crispy cube of tofu. Remove the finished tofu to a bowl and gently toss with the sweet chili sauce.
To prepare a serving, fill the bottom of a bowl with a scoop of brown rice, then a scoop of crispy tofu, a handful of sprouted beans and lentils, some garbanzo beans and finally radish sprouts. Offer additional sweet chili sauce at the table.