ANIMAL PEOPLE festive tofu roast (serves 15-20)

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  March 2012:

Festive tofu roast  (serves 15-20)

By Kim Bartlett

Start with six pounds (96 ounces) of extra firm tofu-the type sold in plastic wraps,  not in tubs of water.  If you can only obtain tofu that is sold in tubs of water,  you will have to mash it up well,  put it in a cheesecloth-lined colander,  put a heavy (5-pound) weight on it, and leave it for several hours (or overnight) so that as much water as possible drains out of the tofu.

Do not freeze the tofu,  as that will change the texture of the tofu so that it will not bind to the oil and soy sauce that will be mashed into it.

Finely mash the tofu with your hands along with 10 fluid ounces of toasted sesame oil and 6 fluid ounces of soy sauce.

Lightly oil the bottom of a large baking pan with toasted sesame oil (pan size at least 12″ wide by 17″ long and 3″ deep).

Shape the tofu mixture into a 2″ deep loaf in the baking pain, leaving enough room between the tofu mixture and the sides of the pan for a quantity of the oil to cook out.

Place the pan in the top half of the oven so that the bottom of the roast does not become overly crisp.  Do not cover the pan.

Baste the top and sides of the roast with a mixture of two fluid ounces of toasted sesame oil and 4 fluid ounces of soy sauce three times,  at intervals of 30 minutes (in other words,  after the roast has baked 30 minutes, then after it has baked 60 minutes,  and then after it has baked 90 minutes,  after which it will bake a final 30 minutes).

Bake a total of two hours in a preheated 350 degree oven.

After taking the roast out of the oven,  let it cool for about 10 to 15 minutes and then lift it out of the baking pan using spatulas and a cookie sheet to slide under it so that the roast doesn’t break up while being lifted.  You can serve the roast on the cookie sheet or slide it onto a more elegant platter.

–Kim Bartlett

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