Curried tofu and sweet potato sandwich with smokey aioli
Seared tofu flavored with curry paste and roasted sweet potato makes this sandwich a “gourmet” one. Vegan, can be made gluten free.
With the rage of Corona virus spread world-wide and WHO announcing it as pandemic, we are now in a state of alarm, fear and to some extent, shall we say madness? It’s not unusual, I know! But still folks, we cannot lose our sense of reality and step into the slippery slope of panic! Let’s follow the necessary guidelines, keep our calm and not forget that the disease is not the only thing in this world.
I am at least very happy that the month of March has finally arrived! Chirping birds, delicate buds on the still leafless maple trees, flash of a red cardinal ….. spring is knocking softly on the door! I am reminded that the earth is ready for another wave of a vibrant season. I am reminded that life, everywhere, is about to bloom again!
On an early March day like this, I was just soaking in all the sweetness of nature and life itself. Sitting on my deck, with a book open on my lap. My senses of vision, hearing, smell and touch were gratefully being nourished by the beautiful nature. But what about the other one? The sense of taste? Yep, that had to be indulged too! So, inevitably I was thinking about food! What can I bring to the table (literally) now to pamper my darling taste buds? And then I remembered about a panini recipe I read in the awesome blog “A brown table” (http://www.abrowntable.com/). I was quite enthused by the recipe (http://www.abrowntable.com/home/sweet-potato-panini-with-sriracha-mayo) and wanted to make ‘my version’ of it. So, I came up with this tofu and sweet potato sandwich. My sincere thanks to Mr. Nik Sharma (http://www.abrowntable.com/about-1) for the inspiration!
I marinated the tofu in a curry paste based marinade to give it a complex flavor. The sweet potato is seasoned and roasted to bring out its natural sweetness and a deep taste. I made a pub style creamy aioli with vegan mayo and chipotle paste to serve with it. And that smoky, lush concoction pairs perfectly with the sandwich. I served them on gluten free everything bagels, but you can use any type of bread you like.
This sandwich has kind of a high-end attitude, but it’s surprisingly easy to make. See for yourself!
About the dish :
Course – Entrée/Lunch
Yields – 4
Difficulty level – Easy
Recipe type – Vegan. Can be made gluten free if you serve with gluten free bread.
Does it keep – The individual components (tofu, sweet potato, aioli) keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if you keep them separately, in air tight containers. Just heat up in the microwave and assemble the sandwich.
What you need :
For the sandwich :
1 block of firm tofu (14 0z)
1 tablespoon Madras curry paste (any brand)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium sweet potato (you might not need the whole of it)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon avocado oil (olive oil also works)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of any green of your choice (I used baby arugula)
4 gluten free everything bagels (or any bread you like)
For the smoky aioli :
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon chipotle paste
½ teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
½ teaspoon lemon juice
What you do :
1. Drain and press the tofu. Reserve the water that came out of the tofu.
2. Cut the tofu block into 4 steak like pieces. Roast them. You can find the whole instruction of pressing and roasting tofu here.
3. Now it’s time to marinate the tofu. Dissolve apple cider vinegar and curry paste in the tofu water. Place the roasted tofu steaks into it and marinate for minimum 30 minutes. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more flavorful it is. You can even dip it in the marinade and keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
4. Now preheat your oven to 400◦F/200◦C/gas mark 6.
5. Peel your sweet potato and cut 8 discs from it. You’re looking for like ¼ of an inch thickness. Rub avocado (or olive) oil on both sides. Season them with salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano and cayenne (if using).
6. Roast the sweet potatoes for 15-20 minutes, until slightly charred.
7. While the potatoes are roasting, put a fry pan on medium high and wait until it’s really hot. While it’s heating, take the tofu steaks out of the marinade and blot with a paper towel. You can keep the marinade and later use it in your lentil soup for a fabulous flavor!
8. Now coat the pan with oil spray or you can brush a little oil with a silicone brush. Add the tofu steaks and sear each side for 1-2 minute or until golden brown.
9. Now it’s time to make the aioli. Just mix all the aioli ingredients in a jar and stir well. It keeps in the fridge for a week.
10. To assemble the sandwich, lightly toast the buns/bagels/bread. Slather one bun with the aioli. Place some arugula (or green of your choice). Put the two sweet potato discs for every sandwich and top it with one steak of seared tofu. Drizzle a little more aioli on top. Place the other bun.
Nutritional info of sandwich (Without aioli, using gluten free everything bagel) :
Calories – 170 Cal
Carbohydrate – 18 g
Protein – 10 g
Fat – 8 g
Saturated fat – 1 g
Sugar – 2 g
Sodium – 140 mg
Dietary fiber – 6 g
Nutritional info of aioli (per tablespoon):
Calories – 21 Cal
Carbohydrate – 1 g
Protein – 1 g
Fat – 2 g
Saturated fat – 0 g
Sugar – 0 g
Sodium – 125 mg
Dietary fiber – 0 g
What goes well with it :
Regular French fries.
Sweet potato fries.
Any kind of root vegetable chips
Once I tasted a really chic sandwich in a cosmopolitan gastro pub that costed me 14 bucks! But I can totally promise you that the sandwich you just made, with such humble ingredients and with so much ease, can absolutely be at par with (if not better than) that fashionable food at that fashionable joint! Yep, you’re a marvelous sandwich maker you see? So pat yourself on the back buddy, and curry on!
Do you have any question? Any thoughts after you’ve made it? I’d just love to hear from you. Feel free to comment below.