1 14 oz block firm tofu, drained
3 T chile garlic sauce (can sub 2 T Sriracha or to taste with 1 minced clove garlic)
2 T pure maple syrup
2 T reduced sodium tamari
2 T rice vinegar
Wrap the tofu in several layers of paper towels, and place it on a dinner plate. Set a very heavy pot or pan (e.g., cast iron skillet) on top of the wrapped tofu and let stand for at least 20 min (preferably 30 min ) to press the excess water from the tofu. Meanwhile, in a medium spouted mixing bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the chile garlic sauce, maple syrup, tamari, and rice vinegar. Whisk together until combined and set within reach of the stove. Carefully unwrap the tofu. Slice it width wise into 1/4″ thick pieces. Then, lay each piece flat and slice in half lengthwise and then width wise, yielding four small rectangles from each. Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat until hot. The heat will sear the surface of the tofu and prevent it from sticking, which is why it’s important that the pan is thoroughly heated. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer (you’ll need to do this in 2 batches). Use the back of a spatula to lightly press down on the tofu (you should hear it sizzle and steam). Cook for 3 – 4 min or until the pan facing sides are golden brown. Flip and continue to cook for another 3 – 4 min or until golden-brown. Reduce heat to low, return all the tofu to the pan and add the sauce. Cook for 2 – 4 min or until the sauce thickens slightly and begins to cling to the tofu, stirring frequently. Transfer the tofu and sauce to a medium mixing bowl and allow it to rest and marinate until ready to serve. Serve on its own or alongside steamed vegetables and/or brown rice. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 2 – 3.