Let’s say your car battery dies at a gas station three blocks away from your mother’s house at 6:30pm on Christmas Eve. And by dead I mean…really dead. Like, so dead that even two sets of jumper cables, your mom’s best friend’s husband who is a car mechanic, and a partridge in a pear tree can’t save it.

Oy.  Really, really oy.

And then, after about an hour of jumper cable jiggling and attempts at engine revving, you finally do get the car started again but are given strict instructions not to shut the thing off under any circumstances unless you want to be stranded where only Triple AAA and a tow truck can save you.

Which is to say…you are most definitely not piling your mom, brother and sister into the car and driving out to Long Island to be with extended family as per your original plans.  Unless you want to be stuck there until New Year’s.  And, well. You have to go to work on Wednesday. So that’s a no-go.


And that, my friends, is how we ended up eating sushi and peppermint macarons for dinner on Christmas Eve.

Feast of the seven fishes. NYC-style.

But in case you’re concerned about us shirking tradition entirely, you can rest assured that my mother spent at least five hours trying to convince me that tomato sauce that had been simmered with sixteen sausages and five pounds of pork was vegetarian.  For old time’s sake.

Anyways, I hope your holidays were slightly less uneventful than mine and that you stuffed yourself with all the love, cookies, and happiness that your heart could handle.


I, for one, have been eating way more than my fair share of sweet treats and so it’s time to regain some semblance of self control, at least until New Year’s Eve.  Enter this stir fry, which is full of sweet-salty flavor, broccolini and tofu.  Just perfect for getting your taste buds used to eating whole foods again.  And for those tofu haters out there, you can sub in your protein of choice.  No judgment.

Broccolini with Tofu, Sesame and Coriander
Serves 4, adapted from Ottolenghi


  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
  • 3 tbsp kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce…I bought mine on Amazon but here is a homemade version)
  • 4 tbsp sriracha or chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb broccolini
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander or cilantro


  1. Cut the tofu into strips about 1 cm or 1/2 inch thick. In a bowl, whisk together the kecap manis, sriracha, and sesame oil.  Gently mix the tofu into the bowl with the marinade and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Trim any hard leaves off the broccolini and discard them. Place the broccolini in a large pot full of boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Leave it to dry.
  3. Scatter the sesame seeds in a nonstick skillet and toast for 5 minutes, jiggling the pan, until evenly browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Place a large wok or heavy skillet over high heat. Add the peanut oil. Reduce the heat to medium, then carefully add the tofu strips and leave for 2-3 minutes, then gently turn them to cook the other side.
  5. Add any remaining marinade to the pan.  Add the cooked broccolini. Add the cilantro and half of the sesame seeds and stir together gently. Remove from the heat.  Season to taste with soy sauce, chili sauce and salt. Serve over quinoa, rice, barley…whatever grain you want!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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64 Responses to Broccolini with Tofu, Sesame and Coriander

  1. Foodycat says:

    What a shame! Hope you’ve got your car running properly again now. This looks like just the thing after Christmas excess.

  2. Tandy says:

    Sounds perfect! Hope you get the car sorted out.

  3. Oh my, Joanne. Glad things worked out in the end… And this dish looks delicious… Yet spicy. 🙂 happy holidays and best wishes for the new year!

  4. That’s awful! For a couple of years it seemed like I had a major crisis before every holiday that was prolonged by the fact that nothing was open on the holiday and totally ruined everything. I’m glad the 26th is here and you can get a new battery after work!

  5. Oh man, I need a veggie filled meal like this! I, too, have been ODing on all things sugar and butter-filled. It was delicious but my stomach is protesting. Sorry you didn’t get your traditional Christmas eve…but getting to spend it with family is what really matters 🙂

  6. Oh, that is stinky!! Last year my car battery died at Home Depot. I had to walk two miles to work at 5:30am, worried all day that my car would be towed. Walked back to Home Depot to meet my Husband there so he can install a new battery. Nothing like car troubles, but for you it is worse it was Christmas Eve! Glad you are safe! Your broccolini with tofu looks delish!

  7. This looks like the perfect post-holiday meal….simple, delicious, and healthy! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. I am a condiment queen and have never even heard of manis but now I have to have it! I love tofu and broccoli and after all the desserts lately, this meal looks extra good to me!

  9. ah, that’s for sure no fun. I am glad that you found home after all the ice cold car problems. Btw belated Merry Christmas.

    Tofu sounds good to me with the broccoli. Sounds like a great Jan 2013 dish, something that I want to experience. Thank you for sharing dear Joanne!

  10. Mmmmm…that looks super delicious. I’m very into shirking the sweets for a good amount of time and heading into healthy-land. I’d like to start with this. Maybe that was how Christmas was supposed to go this year…a little off-kilter. I think we all have to have a few of those in our lifetime. 😉

  11. This dish is a perfect one to get back on track after holiday eating! Sorry your plans didn’t go quite as you had expected… Hope you still had a wonderful time with your family!

  12. This dish is definitely right up my alley! And I love broccolini- it always makes every plate feel so much fancier;) Gorgeous pictures, as always!

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  14. I don’t know why I love broccolini so much more than broccoli, but it’s true. I do. This looks pretty darn great!

  15. I suppose it could have been worse…. Sushi and peppermint macaroons sounds better than my aunts jello mold, green bean casserole, and over-cooked turkey. I’m glad you got to be with your family. This broccolini and tofu looks delish!

  16. Karis says:

    Sorry to hear about your car problems but happy to hear you were still able to spend time with your family.

    Your mom reminds me of mine, who made an egg bake for Christmas Day breakfast. She told me to “pick out the sausage,” which was crumbled and impossible to remove from even the smallest bite.

  17. sandra says:

    Oh no. What a bummer. At least you had most of your family with you. I think I’m going to make this tofu dish tonight – you are right – the perfect antidote!!

  18. Oh no! I’m so sorry about the car trouble but sushi is a pretty great trade off! this dish looks so good…I love broccolini!

  19. Simply Life says:

    ooh this does look like the perfect meal after all those holiday treats!

  20. Lynn says:

    It sounds like an adventure, for sure. I’m glad you didn’t get stranded, my friend. And this dish looks very good.

  21. That is exactly what I feel like for tonights evening meal…something simple, tasty, healthy and NOT Christmassy! A most elegant sufficiency of a meal and definate vegan soulfood…thank you for sharing this, I am already planning what I need to get to make it tonight 🙂

  22. Beth says:

    You always manage to have an adventure! Sometimes new traditions are good at Christmas too. I’m definitely looking forward to eating healthily again.

  23. Amy says:

    If that’s UNeventful, what’s your idea of the eventful!? Also, I’d say sushi and peppermint macarons are a perfect Christmas eve dinner – minus the stranded car part, of course. And your mom and the sauce….lol.

    I’m so full.

  24. marie says:

    Big fan of tofu, especially because it’s so much cheaper than meat and such a great healthy protein source. Thanks for all the delicious recipes, Merry Christmas!!!!!

  25. Kalyn Denny says:

    Sounds like you made the best of the battery problems, and this recipe sounds fantastic!

  26. Oy car troubles…I can relate! But sushi and macarons doesn’t sound too bad..;)

  27. Hotly Spiced says:

    Oh dear. That does not sound like a good start to Christmas and I heard that it had begun to snow in NY on Christmas Eve. After all the indulging this is a great meal to get the system back on track. Your quinoa reminds me of the stuffing I made for our turkey – there were eight cups of quinoa involved and some sauteed shallots and celery leaves mixed with walnuts – great with turkey except if you’re a vegetarian! xx

  28. OY is right! I’m so sorry you didn’t get to your family’s extended celebration and I hope Santa brought you a new battery. This looks delicious!

  29. Martha says:

    Always an adventure in your world! We managed to have the traditional Italian Christmas eve meal thanks to our favorite local Italian restaurant featuring a delicious bouillabaisse. It was one awesome meal! Hope your Christmas day was wonderful. Your photography just keeps getting better and better by the way. Cheers to the new year my dear 🙂

  30. OMG, as if you guys needed that on Christmas this year! I’m glad you were at least with your mom and siblings! I’ve given up on trying to detox until after New Years, but if you want to come cook for me I might change my mind…

  31. marla says:

    So healthy ~ love it!!! Hope you are having a great holiday season!

  32. Kari says:

    I am so sorry about your car! Eek. I hope the impromptu evening went well even if it wasn’t quite as per the plans.

    Also, if you gave me a big dish of this? I would have no self control. None at all.

  33. Jenn Kendall says:

    this sounds so healthy and delicious! YUM! So sorry about your battery dying, that sucks!

  34. That Girl says:

    Oh no! My Christmas Eve was awful (as usual) but I think yours takes the cake!

  35. So sorry about your car! But this here is absolute amazingness happening. I’m all for the tofu-broccoli combo (not sure if Jason would ever come near this) but I’m sure I could eat this every day out of the year! 🙂

  36. What a Christmas eve you had! Oh my. Glad you guys could have fun over sushi at least. I really like the look of this tofu…it’s pretty!

  37. Debbie says:

    No one wants car problems on Christmas eve or ever! Glad it worked out….but it had to be sooo frustrating. Your dish looks great…I need to watch the sweets also. The rainbow cake came out fantastic! I made it for my middle son and he was thrilled. Said it was the best cake he ever tasted! That alone made my Christmas! Thanks for the recipe and I’ll be posting it and linking it back to you!!!!

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  39. You wouldn’t believe this – but I was crossing the most ill lit highways (on my way back from a trip) and your post came up on my cell. We were low on gas and I kept praying for both of our cars(yours and mine!!) anyways after coming back I saw Tofu and brocolli sitting in my refrigerator so – I definitely need to try this now.

  40. I wish I had a giant bowl of this for dinner! I ignore tofu haters – but having them around just means more tofu for me 🙂 Enjoy the rest of the holiday season!

  41. So sorry about your car trouble! Although, sushi and peppermint macarons sound pretty good. I think I’ve come to the point in my eating-like-an-elf week when a switch to something light and healthy is in order. This stir fry looks perfect!

  42. Sara says:

    This looks fantastic! I love tofu prepared this way, so delicious. And loving that broccolini too! 🙂

  43. Claudia says:

    Real food! Hurrah! And delicious at that! Car batteries have produced a lot of tales in my life. Happily – no stories take place on Christmas Eve.

  44. Katerina says:

    That was so unfortunate and especially during this time of the year! My son loves tofu and I am sure he would enjoy this one!Joanne have a Prosperous and full of Joy New Year with your loved ones!

  45. Cathleen says:

    Wow! I need this after Christmas, this looks great!

  46. Gloria says:

    Look really delicious!!

  47. Oh, this looks delicious! As much as I like holiday food, there is just something about the simple, good stuff that I would much rather eat. This dish is one of those. On another note, I have the book Plenty and want to know if the Ottolenghi book is better, is it much different, should I get it or hold off since I have Plenty ( and plenty of cookbooks already)? 😉

  48. Suzie says:

    Awww…to bad your plans got changed but, that’s how it goes huh? At least you enjoyed what you had 🙂 This dish sounds so good and simple.

  49. Natalie says:

    Healthy recipe! I love broccolini and usually just steam it with garlic but I really like how you incorporated it into this recipe for a complete meal.

  50. Reeni Pisano says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t had broccolini in like . . . ever?! Being a big fan of both you and Ottolenghi I’ll be putting some in my cart this week! Sorry about your car! Hope your Christmas was good despite that!

  51. Eileen says:

    Oh no! At least you know NYC is always ready to offer up amazing dinners, even on one of the most major holidays of the year. And was there no feasible LIRR or anything? Man. At least you get delicious tofu and broccolini!

  52. Jayne says:

    Poor you! Being stranded against your will is never fun. Then again, does anyone get stranded deliberately? hmm… Anyway, love this recipe! Especially since you paired it with quinoa, my favourite grain! I will have to make this for hubs and myself very soon.

  53. Kerstin says:

    Awww, sushi sounds like an amazing tradition too. What a lovely healthy and tasty dish!

  54. Oh, no! What lousy luck. Too funny on the vegetarian sausage sauce. So glad it all worked out after all. The photos of this dish are fabulous. Beautiful lighting. My husband loooooooooves tofu. This is his kind of dish, and I love him enough to make it just the way that you did. Happy New Year!

  55. You poor wee love. Not so good. Still you were not alone and that is even better. I love your stir fry its just what I need right now as well

  56. Deborah says:

    We ended up stranded on Thanksgiving – so my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of licorice. (Thank goodness at least a gas station was open!) I’m sorry your plans didn’t go as they were supposed to – but this stir fry does look amazing!!

  57. This is my kind of healthy new year meal!!

  58. at least you’ll never forget this one 😉 glad you still got those fishes in! this dish looks like just what i need… yum!

  59. This looks healthy and very tasty!

  60. Johanna GGG says:

    sushi must be the emergency food – we ate it for dinner last night in hospital – would have loved to be a fly on the wall watching your response to your mum trying to convince you that the sauce was veg. Love the stir fry – I need that sort of food to get over christmas

  61. Now this is my kinda meal! Simple and delish with lots of fresh vedge.

  62. Ashley says:

    Well, at least it was a holiday to remember, right? 🙂 This dish looks fabulous. I love new ways to use tofu!

  63. Juli W says:

    I love this dish! I’ve made it numerous times from the Ottolenghi Cookbook. I guess I’m wondering how this recipe has been adapted. It appears to be the same as that in the cookbook. Am I missing something?

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