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Start with A Block of Tofu and.....?

I'm a carnivore who is not at all familiar with eating tofu, however, I was given a block of firm tofu and now I need inspiration as to what to do with it. I'm pretty much open to any cuisine but please don't tell me to eat it raw :)

Any recipes so delicious that would make me want to try it? I'd like some ideas on how to utilize this that will have me wanting to consider opening up to other tofu textures in the future. I'm especially interested in perhaps doing something with soft tofu, like in a dessert if I can get past this. So, don't limit your ideas to firm tofu and to those who already made suggestions on another thread, Thank You.

How do you tofu?

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  1. I press it between two plates, with a pot of water on top, to squeeze out the liquid. Then I cut it into cubes and marinate it in soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger & garlic, skewer and grill it, and top it with toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions. This is not the fanciest thing you can do, but it is pretty satisfying.

    4 Replies
    1. re: small h

      And if you then bake it in a low oven - say, 300 degrees - for an hour or two, stirring every fifteen minutes or half an hour depending on how nervous you are about burning things, the texture totally transforms into chewy, golden-brown, intensely flavored deliciousness that will be completely unlike the bland kinda slimy thing what came out of the package. I usually just improvise the marinade, although it's usually soy-based and often includes a bit of honey.

      1. re: small h

        I do something very similar to this, and it's delicious. I add a dash of rice vinegar to the marinade though and sometimes cilantro. The marinade is also great on grilled egglant or any kind of green veg. Serve with rice, brown or white. I add a dash of rice vinegar to the marinade though and sometimes cilantro.

        1. re: prunefeet

          I always forget about rice vinegar. Thanks for the reminder - it is a fine addition to many things.

          1. re: prunefeet

            Yes, I do the same thing: soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, but also add some chile oil or chile-garlic sauce for a bit of heat, and a bit of honey, which helps it get crispy and caramelized in a pan on the stove.

        2. soft tofu: combine with high-quality chocolate and/or cocoa powder, a pinch of espresso powder or a dash of coffee liqueur, and maple syrup for a rich, decadent chocolate mousse

          firm tofu: cut into triangles or slices, soak in a soy-based marinade or coat with a miso glaze, crust with a touch of wasabi and some sesame seeds, and grill, bake or pan-fry.

          ginger & citrus are always good pairings too.

          i actually *miss* tofu! it's one of those amazingly versatile ingredients that you can really manipulate to your liking in terms of flavor and texture. have fun!

          1. I really like drained tofu cut into "cutlets" (thin bricks), dipped in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then seasoned panko, then baked on a cookie sheet until brown and crispy. This is excellent with just about any sauce, including curry.

            as a side note: buttertart posted an excellent-sounding tofu recipe in response to Harters in the last "WFD" thread.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ChristinaMason

              Um, yum. How thin are the cutlets? And how do you season your seasoned panko? Just salt?

              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                i can't speak for Christina, but when i used to make them, the seasoning in the flour & panko depended on the other flavors in the dish. everything from S&P to dried herbs to curry powder or paprika to sesame seeds...

                i've found the "cutlets" work well when sliced to about the same thickness as a butterflied or lightly pounded chicken breast.

              2. re: ChristinaMason

                I saw that recipe and it's on my list of things to try...love the panko crust idea.

              3. FIRM TOFU:
                - cube and use it in corn chowder
                - cut it up and use it in pot roast
                - grill it
                - deep fry it
                - use it as a substitute for eggs in "egg salad"

                SOFT TOFU
                - puree with some yogurt and use it as part of a trifle layer
                - use it in clear both soups or miso soup
                - blend with cream cheese and use in your favorite cheesecake recipe
                - make Ma Po Tofu
                - blend into mashed potaotes

                2 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I'm liking the idea of soft tofu with cheesecake ingredients (my favorite dessert). I'll have to give it a try...

                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    since you don't need to make it vegan, use about a 1:1 ratio of tofu (if it's really wet/soft, drain it for a little while in cheesecloth) to neufchatel cheese...or half tofu, and the other half a combination of ricotta and cream cheese. in terms of flavors, i've had the best luck with lemon or orange - on a ginger, almond or graham crust, and chocolate or mocha - on a chocolate crust, of course!

                2. :)

                  I like soft tofu more. I like firm tofu is great for soup and soft tofu for stir fry. I am sure others would tell you the other way. Because firm tofu can hold its shape very well, you can add them in early in your cooking, making soup or stir fries. You have to very light handed for soft tofu, but I really like silk texture of soft soft. I usually add soft tofu in relatively late, .