I'm going to tell you right now - this is a bit more labor-intensive than what I would usually make for dinner on any given Thursday, but it was just so delicious that I could see it becoming a regular in our kitchen. Maybe I can get a kid to dip cubes of tofu in sesame seeds.
I was skeptical of the recipe too. I feared the tiny seeds wouldn't stick. I thought they would just burn in the hot oil. I thought the sauce had too much hoisin, and that it probably shouldn't be there at all. I hate steamed broccoli. And it was kind of a lot of work for something that I was pretty sure wasn't going to work.
But it did. As soon as I pulled one plump little pillow of sesame encrusted tofu from the sweet tart sauce and popped it in my mouth, I was totally hooked. And I needn't have feared the still crisp broccoli.
The recipe comes from Donna Klein's new cookbook, The Chinese Vegan Kitchen. She spent a year in Hunan province, where the food is spicy and fresh, teaching English in a middle school and committing herself to learning all about Chinese home cooking. We are so fortunate that she came home and wrote a book about it.