Tofu recipes (easy)
This is a little more complicated than the starving college ma po tofu, but still pretty simple if there's an Asian grocery around-- it's one of my favorites, and wildly satisfying:
-brown 6 or 8 oz ground beef, pork, or turkey till crispy but not dry
-add 2 TB chili-bean sauce and 1 TB chopped fermented black beans (not the 5-spice kind, and don't rinse them), toss for a few seconds till the meat is nicely coated
-add 1 cup chicken stock, 1 tsp soy, and 1-2 tsp sugar, depending on your taste
- slide in 1 pound tofu cut into 1" cubes, simmer pretty hard for a few minutes
- dissolve 1 TB cornstarch in 4 TB cold stock or water, then pour it evenly around simmering tofu
- stir at a simmer till it thickens a bit (less than a minute)
-toss in about a quarter cup sliced scallion, and you'll have a new tofu addiction.
I just made lasagna w/tofu, instead of using ricotta, for a friend who is lactose intolerant and he loved it. We all loved it and agreed that, since lasagna is so layered with many ingredients, it was almost impossible to tell that it wasn't ricotta.
I will definitely be making it again this way in the future. Healthier, just as good and cheaper is great for me!
I'm gonna simplify the "trendy new discovery" that marks a decent authentic Szechuan restaurant such as we've only recently gotten in the Washington DC area (my proportions may be a little off):
Fish and Tofu in Spicy Sauce
Half a pound of white fish fillets (carefully checked for bones) - anything from catfish, flounder, tilapia, that sort of thing, cut into large bite-size pieces.
One pound silken tofu (or soft tofu) cut into maybe 8-10 pieces
2 cups chicken broth
1 or 2 Scallions, chopped 1"
Seasonings and cornstarch
Steam the fish until done, set aside.
Bring broth to a simmer, season with soy sauce and/or brown bean paste, then make it UNBELIEVABLY SPICY (I mean it, really so spicy it's hard to take) with a combination of (such ingredients as) hot bean paste (if using this pull the soy back a little), chili oil, Szechuan peppercorns, Ground Chili Paste with Garlic. Add scallions.
Thicken broth with cornstarch/water slurry until it is thicker than hot-and-sour soup but not as thick as a stir-fry sauce, add fish and tofu, mix gently and serve (we get it "traditionally" in a glass pie plate).
The sauce is so hot you sweat, and the fish and tofu are a blessed relief from the heat.
You can make tofu "steaks" by pressing slabs of firm tofu, marinating them in your favourite sauce, then baking until crispy. They're awesome on salads, rice, noodles, you name it.
I'm also a big fan of tofu patties - press firm tofu, then crumble it. Add in some breadcrumbs, ketchup, grated veggies and whatever seasoning you like. Refridgerate for 30 mins, then form into patties and bake on a well-oiled sheet. Note that these aren't supposed to taste like hamburgers.
Here's my old college recipe for stir-fried tofu that I still enjoy a quarter-century later:
block firm tofu
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp dark sesame oil
3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp sherry or red wine
1/2 yellow onion sliced
one 8 oz pkg mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 lb of your choice of sweet snap peas, broccoli flowerettes, or asparagus
hot steamed brown rice
Drain tofu, cut into cubes and set aside.
Heat oil in wok. Stir in tamari and garlic and heat through. Add sherry. Add onions and stir-fry until tender. Add other veggies and stir fry until tender but still crisp and bright. Carefully fold in tofu cubes and stir fry until tofu is coated and warmed through. Serve with hot steamed brown rice.
this is a tasty and easy-to-make cold asian-style salad.
1 package firm tofu
1 package shelled edamame (if frozen, thaw first), or green peas
1 tsp. (or to taste) ichimi togarashi, or chili paste
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
mix all ingredients together gently and enjoy.
Fry up some drained firm tofu (place slices between several paper towels and between two cutting boards, weight down top cutting board w/a soup can or two for about 20 min). Cut whatever size you like then fry with just 1 T oil or so, flipping only when one side is golden. Sprinkle generously with salt.
This makes for a good addition to all sorts of things - I like to top a veggie Caesar salad, or add Mediterranean seasonings and add to Mediterranean flatbread salads... or taco seasonings and use for tacos/tostadas: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
Ma po tofu's really good, I usually add some brown bean sauce and definitely some soy sauce.
For another tofu dish - use firm tofu, slice into inch long segments, 1/2 inch or less on the side. Blanch for 3 minutes with trimmed green beans, remove, let drain. Mince or grate about an inch of ginger and a clove or two of garlic. Mince two green onions. In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut or canola oil, fry the tofu 'til brown on at least two sides, add the green beans just for a while, remove again. Add a little more oil to the pan and add the ginger, garlic, and green onion for about a minute, stirring. A tablespoon of hot chili oil or sauce is optional here. Add in a couple tablespoons of soy sauce and an equal amount of sweet rice wine (mirin). Put everything else in the pan and stir 'til it's coated, and it's ready. Delicious. I sometimes add the greens of bok choy or such to this dish. Very nutritious, too.
I lived on mapo tofu during college and graduate school. Here's my poor student recipe:
1 block of soft tofu(like the non refridgerated type)
1 lb of ground meat like turkey, beef or pork
Several tbsps sambal oleck(depending on her love for spicy) or mapo tofu sauce
1-2 garlic cloves
1 green onion(optional)
Brown meat. Drain fat if desired.
Add tofu and sambal. Mix well until heated through.
Garnish with green onion.
Serve over lots of rice.