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What is your favorite dish or recipe which makes use of tofu.?

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  1. Well, that's a hard one...
    I've tried it in a japanese seafood soup and I didn't think it was somethink I loved. I've seen my roomate making a sauce, like a vegetable dip but I don't find it appeling...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tacopedia

      There are so many different types of tofu, it's a tough question to answer. I generally prefer tofu that has been deep or pan fried for the textural contrast as opposed to soft or firm tofu. I think all tofu benefits from a sauce consisting of any of the following:

      Soy sauce
      Green Onions
      Hot Chili Oil

      Two of the dishes I like to get in Chinatown....

      Ma Po Tofu rice plates
      Soft Tofu with Shrimp deep fried with Sliced Conch

      1. re: fourunder

        A short while back I saw an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the best dumplings. If memory serves me, the featured opposing chef was a female from Red Hook (Brooklyn) and her dumplings were made with silken tofu mixed in with her meat mixture. She claimed that what set her dumplings apart from others. Naturally, everyone on the show agreed. It piqued my curiosity enough to remember it and I will try it some day......hopefully in the near future.

        1. re: fourunder

          ooh! i have done this before...soft tofu mixed with ground beef, spinach and green onions in dumplings! the tofu makes for added softness to the dumpling filling. yum!

    2. Tofitas.

      Like fajitas - using extra firm instead of meat. That's my favorite "tofu is the star" dish.

      1. Mapo tofu with pork. You can cook it from scratch or you can buy a package mix. Brown the meat, mix with the sauce and tofu and you are done. Top with green onions.

        Dice cold tofu, top with ground fresh ginger, bonito shavings, green onions and soy sauce.

        1. I like tofu with Asian flavors but lately have been making tofu with a pumpkin seed crust. I cut extra firm tofu into thick slices, dry, dip in egg and then coat in a mixture of finely chopped seeds, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. I cook it in a little oil to get the exterior crunchy - the oil doesn't cover the entire piece, more like it comes about halfway up the side. It's not the healthiest rendition of tofu but it's delicious.

          I wish I could say this recipe is totally original but I got the idea from a restaurant in upstate NY (Sweet Sue's).

          1. agedashi tofu, but I don't make it I just go to Japanese restaurants

            1. This Persian stew that I learned that is traditionally made with beef, mint, celery, tomato paste, onion and served over saffron steamed rice. I substitute the meat with tofu and it's really delicious. I add the tofu after I've fried up the onion and celery in some tumeric and pepper. Then comes the liquid (usually a combo of tomato paste and tomato juice or V8!), then the dried mint... stir, simmer, and voila. It's done. So good!

              1. i've had various forms of it deep fried in asian restaurants, a few of which were silky, crispy on the outsie, and divine !! I just can't remember the name of the dishes. oh well.

                I hated tofu my first few tries, couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat a plate of rubber erasers, lol. Then i learned how to cook it properly, browned in oil with soya / garlic / ginger, and other combos, before adding all the other ingredients.

                For years I made a version of "meat" loaf by grinding it up with mushrooms, walnuts, breadcrumbs, onion soup mix and numerous other ingredients, and it was great. That was before I learned to love it on it's own.

                1. There's a wonderful "spring roll" sold as street food in Xiamen, China that's made using rice crepes and is *not* fried. (It's similar to popiah.) Common fillings include a mixture of vegetables, herbs, ground meat and strips of gan dofu ("dried", often seasoned tofu, sometimes called "tofu jerky"). It's freshly rolled for you on the spot and absolutely delicious.

                  I also love agedashi made with fresh, well-made tofu or, similarly, dou hua topped with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and scallions, instead of the more common sweet syrup.

                  And then there's skewered, marinated dofu pi (tofu "skin") that's cut into strips, skewered, and left to soak in a spicy solution involving star anise, soy sauce, sugar and other ingredients I wasn't able to identify. (Maybe orange peel?) It's sold by street vendors in Beijing.

                  ... Oh, but mapo dofu is great, too...

                  (Sorry I couldn't name a single favorite... there are too many good ones!)

                  1. Two words: "Stinky" and "Tofu" ... the more of the former, the better.

                    1. I used to love mapo tofu with or without ground pork, but lately I have been falling madly in love with the flavorful simplicity of dubu kimchi. At its barest, it is a 3-ingredient recipe that is full of wonderful flavor. And even when complicated by an additional few more ingredients, it rarely takes more than a few moments attention to make something wonderfully delicious. If I had the know-how, agedashi tofu would be among my homemade favorites, but sadly I will have to rely on good Japanese chefs for the time-being.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: JungMann

                        dubu kimchi is a good one! now i have a hankering...

                        re: making agedashi at home, my mother makes it using an old school juicer that spins the pulp and extracts liquid using centripetal force. she claims it's not too hard (and i don't think it would be for someone who regularly makes very involved dishes like you do). it is a long, loud process, though.

                        1. re: cimui

                          Isn't the juicer too violent to drain silken tofu? What I find irresistable about agedashi tofu is that crust giving way to an unforgettably silken interior. I don't know if I could get that right.

                          I don't think I would call my cooking involved, especially now that I cook less Indian food than I used to. Still it's nice to know that someone still appreciates my technique!

                          1. re: JungMann

                            Egads, I screwed that up. I meant to say I love hiyayakko (... I think it's called that... fresh tofu that I like drizzled with soy sauce, grated ginger and scallions). Hiyayakko doesn't have to be silken tofu, though I think it's much nicer when it is. Mom's actually comes out to be about as soft as the packaged silken tofu in stores, though isn't quite as silken as what you can find in an artisan's shop.

                            But the fried agedashi is nice, too. =)

                            Re: involved chefing... I have in mind that rose petal cake you made for Easter, among other things. I'd never attempt that at home.

                            1. re: cimui

                              Hiyayakko is a beautiful lunch in the summertime and so simple! Sadly the Chinese-style soy sauce I keep is too harsh for something so delicate, so again, this is something I have to get at the Japanese market...at least when they run out of agedashi.

                              It takes the resurrection of a God to get me to bake that cake. For the rest of the year, you'd be lucky to get a Jell-O pudding snack out of me! The busy-ness of the Year of the Ox has made this Year of Simplified Cooking, as well.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                >> It takes the resurrection of a God to get me to bake that cake.

                                =P Even a resurrection can't inspire that kind of effort in me, sadly.

                                I've been using Pearl River Bridge for the table, recently. I think it's about as strong tasting as Kikkoman (so not too bad) and only a tad saltier. It probably wouldn't be my first choice for hiyayakko, but it'd probably work.

                            2. re: JungMann

                              For agedashi, check this guy's style, even down to the cutting of the silken cubes.


                              1. re: FoodFuser

                                Love the video. Could do without the cheesy music...

                          2. re: JungMann

                            Some pork belly sauteed with garlic, aged kimchi lightly stir fried into the pork, steamed tofu, and a bottle of Soju. Heaven.

                            1. re: hannaone

                              Yes! I love the combination of pork belly, kimchi and tofu! At one of the restaurants here, they cook the pork belly together with the kimchi with some gochujang, and they also heat up the soft tofu on the cast iron skillet as well. So yummy!

                              I also love boiled soft tofu cubes with a good yang nom jang sauce on it, a simple combination of soya sauce, a touch of sesame oil, green onions, maybe a touch of kochukaru, and a few other ingredients. Simple but delicious.

                              I love mapo tofu. Pork just works well with tofu.

                              Inari sushi with the deep fried tofu skins! I could eat platefuls of this stuff!

                              Soon dubu! The perfect soup medium for tofu. Heavenly on a cold winter day.

                              Tofu pad thai! I think I prefer it with tofu over chicken and even shrimp.

                              Do fu fa, the chinese soft tofu served with a sweet ginger syrup for dessert. Very soothing when you have a sore throat.

                              I really love tofu in many different forms. The only thing I don't really get is when Westerners put tofu in a Western style salad as a protein. Could never really get into that.

                              1. re: moh

                                My localmarket makes a spicy tofu salad that somewhat resembles a vegan version of egg salad. And it is delicious!

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Yes, I could see it as a vegan egg salad, I could see that working. I guess I'm thinking more of the hard chunks of tofu thrown into a green salad then covered with Western style vinaigrette. I'm just not so into that.

                            2. re: JungMann

                              For anyone interested, I posted a recipe for dubu kimchi in this thread:

                            3. Pad Thai! or, my favorite Chinese restaurant makes General Tso's tofu - to die for, with the big fried wedges instead of the little strips.

                              1. Not a recipe but just a technique you can use. Take extra firm tofu and freeze it. Then, thaw it out and squeeze it dry. Cut into cubes and slow cook in a stew. The freezing causes the tofu to expand, making it spongier so that it soaks up more flavors from the broth. Really delicious, and if you are vegetarian (which I was for a long period of time) gives you a meaty chewy texture to enjoy.

                                1. impossible to answer... i love ma po however only at the source. in the summer i often eat cold soft tofu topped with bonito [dried tuna flakes]/kizami nori [shredded nori], and ikura on the side. i like Hakka mince stuffed tofu in Hakka heartland Meizhou. what i like even more is mince stuffed tofu in a tomato sauce [had it in Vietnam, haven't seen it quite like this Viet version anywhere].

                                  Unicurd Singapore has a nice little booklet with a handful of tofu recipes.

                                  1. Fresh cold tofu with a few holes poked in by chopstick and a drizzle of shoyu and some bonito flakes accompanied by cold blanched spinach pressed into a block and topped with some lemon juice and shoyu along with sake or cold Japanese beer.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      Agreed... this is the cleanest and most basic and classic approach: tofu and shoyu. In my house it is prepared as a calming ritual.

                                      I feel blessed and lucky to have discovered the most basic of shoyu/tamari sauces. I first tasted it at the factory by finger dipped into the puddles atop huge vats of traditionally fermented miso. http://www.great-eastern-sun.com/shop...

                                      I do home sprouts by the standard jar method, but for this basic tofu dish I take the trouble to sprout daikon seeds in a crowded tray where they grow straight and erect. Harvested at 6 cm when the 2 seedling leaves have unfolded, they become "kaiware" = opening clam. http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/equivale...

                                      The cold tofu, the pure tamari, the crunch and peppery snap of the kaiware, the bonito flakes melting on the tongue... this is my tofu ritual.

                                      Other favorite uses:

                                      Mapo dofu

                                      Salad dressings and dips thickened with tofu as adjunct for mayo/sour cream.

                                      In deviled eggs, 20% tofu with yolks adds a healthy and tasty je ne sais quoi, and adds bulk so that you can stuff those rascals fuller.

                                      1 x 0.5 by 5 cm flat rectangles in hot sour soup, Must have fresh crunchy mung sprouts and julienne bamboo shoots as a textural foil.

                                      Cubed in miso soup



                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          Rather than plain blanched spinach, I prefer Ohitashi. Not a big deal if you keep home made dashi handy, which, like chicken stock, is always in my fridge. You just have to soak the blanched spinach in a dashi/shoyu/sesame oil mixture for about 4-5 hours or even overnight in the fridge.

                                          I season the fresh tofu and ohitashi (drained, pressed, and formed), the same - just a sprinkling of katsuobushi, some super-thinly sliced bo-negi, and some toasted sesame seeds. You hardly need any shoyu at all for the tofu if you alternate bites with the ohitashi.

                                          I have no problem making agedashi tofu - I don't know why people think of it as being difficult. I always have clean peanut oil available for the fryer (what, you don't have a element-in-the-oil, capable of a real 375F, deep fat fryer sitting on your counter?). I take the silken tofu and put in in the drainer for a while, then slice into desired pieces and gently put on paper towels. I make sure that it's as dry as possible. Then I take some rice flour, gently roll the pieces in the flour in a basket with a bottom basket (made for dredging - available in Asian food stores) and drop into the hot oil. Ready in seconds. I have grated daikon, ginger, sliced bo-negi, prepared ponzu. Serve hot. It's a standard starter at our house. Of course, then I really screw things up by using the oil and fryer to make a batch of my buffalo wings - complete with butter and Frank's. Or maybe I fry up a bunch of my famous chicken gizzards. The fryer is such a handy thing to keep around. At the right temperature (375F or hotter) what comes out is just not greasy at all - the oil doesn't soak into the tofu or anything else, noiticeably - I'm sure there's some level of absorption, but it's not much.

                                          I make dashi from either niboshi or katsuobushi (add lots of kombu and some mirin). Recently, to save money, I've been using kezuribushi (mackerel). It definitely changes the flavor - but so does using niboshi vs. katsuo. I've actually used all three in a single batch and even added some clam juice to the mix - very interesting stuff, especially for cold tsuyu with somen or soba. The complexity really adds to the cold dipping sauce. Hot summer day stuff, indeed. But it's not that good for miso shiru or even for the base in nabemono or oden. A simple straightforward dashi is better for those things.

                                        2. re: FoodFuser

                                          For momendofu, shoyu is fine, but for kinu it can be too much- especially for really well-made and fresh. In this case, the more basic approach is to season with fine grained sea salt or macha-, yuzu-, or wasabi- salt.

                                          A common item I pack in my bento is cubed momendofu with a chunked avacodo, sprinkled with toatsted sesame seeds, and topped with cilantro. I use ponzu for dressing.

                                      1. Impossible to answer! I am most accustomed to Asian dished though (like Ma Po or Thai chile). It is also good as a ricotta substitute in lasagna. I also really like tofitas (although I have never heard them called them that until now). Baked tofu on the grill is also great during summer.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: enbell

                                          For the ricotta sub, try adding some dry buttermilk powder to the tofu. It disappears and lends a tangy lactic bite.

                                        2. Too many...

                                          Where I live, I am extremely lucky to have access to a local artisanal Japanese tofu maker (who have been doing it for years), that sell to Japanese supermarkets. The flavors and texture is second to none.

                                          Here are some favorite things I like to do at home with it

                                          1) Salmon (head only), nameko, shimeji, enoki mushrooms. with organic miso paste and hot water. After boiling, put in tofu, then low heat. It adds a very creamy texture to the whole thing. Carrots, konjac (konnyaku) and/or yam noodle give it a little more substance

                                          2) Pan fried tofu with soy sauce and garlic

                                          3) Ground pork with tofu (soy sauce, garlic, Asian/Chinese rice wine). To get some fiber and vitamins and minerals in, sliced okra provides a nice texture to it

                                          4) Japanese style curry rice with tofu

                                          Various tofu dishes I enjoy

                                          - Okinawa style Goya Champuru (bitter melon stir fried with egg and pork belly slices). Certain preps don't have tofu in them, but it definitely adds to the fun when so.

                                          - Hakka Cantonese style pan fried stuffed tofu. Basically pieces/strips/cubes of tofu, on top a groove is made, and the groove is filled with pan fried pork mixture. Good stuff

                                          - Cantonese style steamed tofu, similar concept to the above, except the groove is filled with shrimp. Served in a soy based sauce similar to Cantonese style steamed fish

                                          - Cantonese style clay pot with salted fish, chicken cubes, and tofu. Gotta pair it with rice

                                          - Cantonese and Taiwanese style tofu custard (tofu fa). For Taiwanese style, ginger syrup, and peanut sauce stew, maybe with some red beans.

                                          - Japanese style agedashi tofu

                                          - Deep fried Stinky tofu (with chili sauce and sour cabbage on the side) . I will only eat this at the street food stall in Taiwan

                                          1. "Egg" salad from tofu was mentioned above. Here's a recipe that's close to one that I make. However, as an egg lover, I cheat. I do a 50/50 tofu and egg mix. I usually make it a few days after a big run of deviled eggs, where there may be cosmetically pitted whites from a bad peel.

                                            Use a pastry cutter in a bowl to chop the tofu, then separately use it to chop the eggs, then fold them together. Other items not in the following recipe are a splash of fish sauce into the chunked tofu, diced dill pickle, white pepper, coarse ground dill seed and celery seed, and lots of fried or fresh dill weed, and Duke's mayo.


                                            1. We generally only use tofu for one dish (although we're vegan). Savory pumpkin pie! We make it for Thanksgiving most years.

                                              1. Simply roasted tofu:

                                                Cute firm or extra firm into blocks/chunks. Marinate it for at least 5-6 hours in dijon mustard/spicy mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil (or use balsamic vinegrette), a tiny bit of italian dressing if you have it, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Spray a little Pam or olive oil spray over it.

                                                After marinating, roast in over for about 40 minutes at 375-400. It will taste delicious and almost like it's fried but not greasy of course. I like to put the roasted cubes in a bowl and out a little of the leftover marinade to make a "salad."

                                                1. Fried rounds of egg tofu known as Japanese-style tofu. It's a Chinese dish that's served at a couple of restos here in Montreal. I'm a bit obsessed with the stufff and get cravings every couple of months for it. Otherwise, I'm a big fan of mapo doufu, tofu skin in hot pots and fried tofu stuffed with shrimp paste.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: SnackHappy

                                                    Snackhappy, can you explain a bit more about the egg tofu dish? What is it called? Is this also known as agedashi? Or am i getting all confused again?

                                                    1. re: moh

                                                      I don't think this is agedashi. This is sold "raw" in tubes and is a mix of tofu and egg. Very smooth and rich and creamy. See http://vegetariancuisine.suite101.com...

                                                      1. re: moh

                                                        Hey moh,

                                                        The dish is simply called Japanese Tofu. It 's fried like agedashi, but it's not served the same way and AFAIK agedashi isn't made from egg tofu. They have it at Beijing and at Prêt-à-Manger. It's fried rounds of egg tofu served with different sauces/toppings. All the variations are delicious, but I really like the Japanese Tofu with eggplant at PM. What's distinctive about it is the lovely, rich taste and texture of the tofu. I guess that comes from the addition of egg.

                                                        1. re: SnackHappy

                                                          Thanks SnackHappy! That sounds really good, and now I have another yummy lunch option!