Mara’s Tofu With Mixed Grains

Mara’s Tofu With Mixed Grains

With only a few steps and five main ingredients, this simple dish barely requires a recipe, but the results are simultaneously nourishing and deeply satisfying. Steeped in aminos (soy sauce's unfermented cousin), the semisoft tofu melts away with each bite, leaving behind a steamy, satisfying contrail of salt and umami. The coconut oil lends a trace of its sweet, tropical aroma as it yields a crisp, lacy crust. Mixed with quinoa, the rice becomes nutty and complex, a chewy counterpoint to the tender tofu. Plus, it's healthful enough to justify a little self-righteousness.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Rinse and drain rice and quinoa. Cook in a rice cooker with water and salt, or in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepot over medium heat. Cover, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a faint simmer. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed.
  2. Step 2

    Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels. Set aside.
  3. Step 3

    Pat tofu blocks dry, then halve lengthwise. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Drizzle 2 tablespoons aminos onto the bottom of a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish, then lay a layer of tofu in it. Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons of aminos, then layer in remaining tofu, and drizzle with remaining aminos. Marinate for 5 minutes, then rotate and flip tofu slices, and tilt dish to coat evenly. Marinate 5 more minutes. Drain away excess aminos.
  4. Step 4

    Set a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Just as oil begins to smoke, carefully lay in pieces of tofu in a single layer, leaving room between each piece.
  5. Step 5

    Reduce heat to medium high, do not touch the tofu and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side until golden brown. Use a thin metal spatula to carefully flip the pieces. Cook the rest the same way, adding more oil as needed.
  6. Step 6

    Remove cooked tofu to prepared baking sheet, and allow to drain.
  7. Step 7

    Use a fork to fluff rice and quinoa. Serve tofu with rice. Garnish with cilantro leaves.