what else can i do with tofu?
- cookie monster Jul 14, 2006 11:10 PM
i love my red meat, but i also really like tofu. a lot. i'd eat it even if it weren't so good for me - it's a bonus that it's full of soy protein, low in saturated fat, and cheap to boot. lately i've been buying extra firm tofu or the tofu "steaks" flavored with garlic or chili. i stir fry it or eat it cold in salads, but now i'm looking for more ideas of savory ways to use tofu. i tried grilling it, but that was a bust - it got a little charred but didn't really pick up any flavor from the grilling. any other suggestions? do i need to marinate it first?
Place cubes of firm tofu in a bowl with water and ice. in a small plate mix soysauce with shaved dried bonito flakes (katsuo). Dip the tofu in the sauce and enjoy!
My mother used to make this delicious tofu preparation. She would buy extra firm tofu squares (the kind you find floating in big barrels in asian markets). Cut them diagonally into two triangles. Cut a slit into the long edge, make a stuffing mixture of ground pork, minced garlic, ginger and scallion, and pack it into the opening. Marinate stuffed tofu in whatever teriyaki sauce you like (she used Yoshida's). Remove from marinade, reserve. Heat some oil in a pan med-high, sear tofu on both sides until golden, pour in marinade, reduce heat to med, and let tofu simmer until meat it cooked through.
I'm trying to eat more tofu lately also and last weekend tried this recipe for Seared Tofu with Green Beans in Coconut Sauce...very good! I would make it again...you marinate the tofu in soy sauce and then sear it...my tip to you would be to buy extra firm tofu and drain it well with paper towels or with paper towels and a plate on top for about 20 minutes..THEN, marinate the cubes in the soy sauce. The green beans come out pretty crispy in this recipe, which I didn't mind since the tofu and red bell pepper are soft. Hope you like it!
I really like plain firm tofu, pan fried (thin layer of oil in the bottom of the pan over medium high heat)until it is lightly browned (4 minutes or so,flip). It goes great in stir fry or dipped into a peanut sauce.
A fairly good tofu cookbook is: This Can't Be Tofu! by Deborah Madison. My biggest complaint is that a lot of the recipes are too complicated for everyday use.
If you have the relly firm tofu, you can smoke it. My brother in law has a water smoker, and you can put the tofu in there and smoke if for a couple of hours.
In China, smoked tofu was served in a stir fry dish with celery cut on the bias, sichuan pepper corns, a splash of soy.
yummmm, peace, jill
Love love love tofu!
For silken tofu, you can make soups with them. Like a spinach and tofu soup, in that preparation, the tofu is pretty much all in bits and pieces. Or, firmer tofu can be used inside hot and sour soups.
For medium firm tofu, you can mak ma pao tofu. Or deep fried tofu, coated with a bit of cornstarch and fried and dip in soy sauce.
For extra firm tofu, you can marinate and grill. Or pan sear on all sides and use that in stir fry dishes.
Buy extra extra firm/brown/old tofu and use them in braising dishes. Slow braise pork shoulder or chicken legs with soy sauce, star anise, ginger and some crystalized sugar. Add in the brown firm tofu, cut into smaller piece, dried Chinese mushrooms, and hard boiled eggs (peeled).
I like tofu in its natural, Asian state. But if you like non-Asian prepations, tons of recipes out there using tofu in everything from cheesecake to smoothies.
Easiest recipe ever:
Drain tofu. Cut into cubes.
Mix equal amounts soy sauce and rice vinegar. Taste. Add a bit of sugar, a bit of ginger, a drop of sesame oil -- whatever you like.
Dress the tofu with it. No tofu? Put it on cucumbers!!
I've lately really liked my tofu baked, roughly following the below recipe:
If sliced the way the directions state, it fits nicely ino a 8x8 baking pan. The edges get really nice, and are my preferred pieces. I don't turn while baking, because I am lazy, and it turns out fine. Also very good chilled and eaten straight out of the fridge.
You can turn tofu into a dessert. NOTE: I have not tried out this recipe yet--at least not using tofu--but the recipe is really easy:
1 lb strawberries
10 oz pack silken tofu
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 TBsp brown sugar
Few drops of vanilla
Just blend everything, chill, and drink.
You can use other fruits too, but the drinks will just not be as colorful.
a big factor in flavoring tofu for cooking (which i just recently discovered after being a vegetarian since 1992) is pressing it.
a couple of excellent recipe resources are the post punk kitchen (this baked tofu recipe, which includes instructions on how to press tofu, is great and can be used in all kinds of dishes - she has posted some ideas: http://tinyurl.com/f864r ) and notes from the vegan feast kitchen (i just tried her tofu feta which was amazing: http://tinyurl.com/m22s3 ).
some suggestions on cookbooks if you want to go deeper (and i'm really, really picky about my vegetarian cookbooks. i don't recommend deborah madison's books.):
"vegan with a vengeance" (from the author of the post punk kitchen site): http://tinyurl.com/j3h7b
"the native foods restaurant cookbook:"
"real food daily cookbook:"
"japanese vegetarian cookbook:"
Here's another great tofu dessert - My husband the chocoholic loves it!
Mori-Nu Mates chocolate pudding (lemon and vanilla)
1 pkg Moru-Nu Mates
1 box Mori-Nu (or sim) silken tofu firm or extra firm
4 tbls water
Find this recipe on the back of the Mates package. I buy this at Whole Foods Market. If you don't have this market in your village, check for the next best health food store.
http://www.morinu.com and http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com
Great during the summer!
Very simple and easy recipe for silken or soft (slightly firmer than silken):
take tofu out of package carefully (best to get the kind in a package floating in water, not set all the way to the edges-- House, for example, is in water, Azumaya is set all the way to the edges and hard to get out in one piece)
and steam (on plate or fine wire rack).
When the tofu has steamed for 5 minutes or so put it on a plate and score the top. Heat sesame oil and pour over the tofu, pour some soy sauce over the tofu, sprinkle with chopped green onions. Eat with rice.
My friend from Beijng taught me this and it is one of my favorite tofu dishes. Just be sure to use nice and fresh tofu as you really get to enjoy the tofu flavor.
Another recipe he taught me for firmer tofu: dip tofu in beaten egg and soy sauce mixture and pan fry. Eat with rice.
I love the recipes because you most likely have all the ingredients sitting in the fridge or pantry so you don't have to plan ahead!
My Italian mother was completely unsure of what to do with tofu when I first told her I wanted to be a vegetarian in middle school. So, she took it, and breaded it in Italian cutlet style (egg, then layer of Italian bread crumbs,) and fried it in a pan.
It's actually pretty good that way. You can also make it with Japanese panko instead and crush up, say some sort of nuts like macadamia and mix those with the breading and then fry it. Really pretty good.