Test Kitchen - Chinese Five Spice Tofu with Lentils

Here's a generally healthy and simple recipe to make that won't make you feel guilty about your new year's resolution about eating better (it's already February - are you still going strong?). My Test Kitchen ingredient last week was Chinese five spice, and since I've been trying to keep myself aware of what I've been eating, it was time to work with tofu again. Luckily for me, it's a fun protein to work with. What's neat about this recipe is that it's also vegetarian for all of you who veering towards that direction with your meals. Did I mention it's simple? Yeah, it's simple.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2-4 servings)
  • 1 cup green lentils, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken/vegetable broth
  • 1 14oz. package firm tofu, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 tbsps sesame oil
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
Pour broth over lentils in a medium saucepan and let sit for approximately 10 minutes for the lentils to soak up some moisture prior to cooking. For tofu, remove from package and press to release excess liquids. Turn on stove to medium heat for saucepan and bring to a boil. For tofu, mix together five spice, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a separate and shallow bowl. Slice the tofu into thick slices and place in marinade.

Step 3: Finishing
For lentils, after the boil, bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed and/or the lentils themselves can easily be mashed with a fork. Drain. In a medium or large skillet, heat some grapeseed or low-fat oil over medium heat and then add tofu slices. Fry until golden brown all around. Serve with lentils!

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: acorn squash
"Acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo), also called pepper squash or Des Moines squash, is a winter squash with distinctive longitudinal ridges and sweet, yellow-orange flesh. Although considered a winter squash, acorn squash belongs to the same species as all summer squashes (including zucchini and yellow crookneck squash). The most common variety is dark green in color, often with a single splotch of orange on the side or top." [Wikipedia]

I'm excited about grabbing a particularly beautiful squash. Let me know on Facebook what I should do with it!

Photography by Duc Duong.



  1. The five spice tofu sounds delicious! I'm a vegetarian and thought this was a simple recipe. I also want to say that your photographs are really beautiful.
    ~ Random internet stranger

  2. Thanks! =] I love letting the ingredients themselves shine so simplicity's been quite key - glad you could use this recipe!