What are some of the best ways to prepare tofu? I have a mental aversion to it. I just went to a Chinese restaurant and had a garlic tofu. It was wonderful. The outside had a nice crust and the inside was very firm and full of flavor. I have a weird thing about mushy textures. I need some help with tofu.
Buy extra firm tofu,(or the firmest your local stores carry) freeze it, defrost it and squish under something heavy to get all the water out - between two boards with big thick cookbooks ontop or something. CHanges the texture so its not so squishy.
I often use silken tofu as a cheese-replacement in casseroles etc. I blend it with whatever flavour I want to dominate (such as herbs etc.) and let it sit for about half an hour. It will take on the flavour of whatever it's cooked with, esp. in layered, baked casseroles. It has a smooth, creamy texture (not mushy) if you give it a good stir when blending with your flavouring of choice. Warning: fresh garlic is nice if you like it but some guests can find it overpowering. I don't but then I'm a garlic freak. :-* I am about to serve my veggie lasagne with spinach and tofu to guests and they are loudly NOT vegetarian...bet they love it anyway. Of course I won't tell em it ain't ricotta! ;)
I also am not in love with the texture of tofu. Definitely make sure that you press the tofu so that most of the water comes out and I find the best way to prepare it (though not the healthiest, I admit) is to pan fry slices that are about 0.5 inches think. I usually pepper it and pour spaghetti sauce over the top. delicious.
I've made tofu that seems to resemble the garlic tofu you said you've had, and it was baked. If you marinate some firm tofu (after draining it and junk) for at least a half hour, then bake it in the oven at around 350 farenheit (how long is your choice) it tastes great. If you leave it in there for long enough, it will get that crunchy outside, and still have a soft inside. Good stuff :)
im fairly new to being completely vegan, i just had my first tofu ive ever prepared myself. I drained and cut into not to thick not to thin strips, coated with flour and seasonings (like you would find for a home fried chicken, flour, seasoning salt,old bay,ect..)then pan fried it in a little bit of olive oil. It was cruchy on the outside and chewy but firm on the inside. Dipped in some homemade barbque style sauce, very good.
Try baked tofu. White Wave makes several flavors. The Oriental is not vegan - at least last time I checked. You can also bake your own -- much cheaper! Just enter baked tofu into the VegWeb search box & you'll get several recipes to check out. If you decide to bake your own, buy the firmest water pack tofu.
I'm in love with WW Italian baked tofu. It's a bit pricey, but I rationalize it because they are a local company. ;D Sometimes I use that same rational to purchase a quart of choco Silk. Then I down the whole thing in less than 15 minutes & am so happy I could purr. ;)
Here's a Tofu antidote from a tofu cookbook that I have:
A man approached a woman in the grocery store, who had just placed a block of tofu in her cart. "Excuse me," he said. "How do you prepare the tofu?" She smiled & said, "When I get home I open the tofu & drain all the water. Then I put it in a plastic container & cover it with fresh water & put it in the fridge. I do this every other day for two weeks & then I throw it out." He smiled while nodding. "My wife has that recipe. I had hoped you had a different one."
These are the brands of Tofu I use and how:
Mori Nu Silken Tofu - Firm / Extra Use in Quiche, puddings, pies, making Seitan
Mori Nu Silken Tofu - Soft Use in smoothies and to replace eggs
Nasoya Tofu - Extra Firm Freeze, Thaw, Press, Marinade and cook
Nasoya Tofu - Firm Use in Sautes and fried
The Bridge Tofu Use in Sautes and fried
VeganLunchBox inspired Sesame Tofu
2T Sesame Seeds
1 15oz block Extra Firm Tofu (Bridge), flat bite sized pieces
2T Canola Oil
2c Broccoli Florettes
1 Bullion Cube (Knor)
2T Soy Sauce
1T Brown Sugar
Heat a tall pot to med high heat. Add in sesame seeds and shake pan breifly till roasted. They turn darker and emit a nutty smell. Empty into small bowl and set aside. Make sure all seeds are out of pan and return to heat.
Add oil to pan bring up to med high to high temp. Carefully add in tofu. Let fry till side is browned. Flip and continue to cook till evenly brown. Remove from pan to paper towels.
In a microwave safe measuring cup add the water and bullion. Heat 2 min or until bullion cube is disolved. Remove from microwave and add soy sauce and sugar. Set aside.
Carefully toss broccoli into pan and stir constantly. Once broccoli is bright green remove to paper towels.
Add reserved sauce to pan. Add golden fried tofu back to pan. Stir gently but constantly. Sauce will carmelize onto the tofu. When it is mostly absorbed add in broccoli. Once sauce is no longer visible on the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and sprinkle roasted sesame seeds on top.
Serve over rice.
Cali's Tofu Fish
1 block Extra Frim Tofu (Nasoya Brand, frozen and thawed)
1 Bullion Cube (Knor Veg)
1/2c Malt Vinegar
1T Nori, cut into itty bitty bits
1/2c Corn Meal
1/3c Nutritional Yeast
Veg or Canola Oil
Heat oven to 350.
Press the previously frozen and thawed tofu for 10 minutes.
Boil the water. In a large tupperware square or rectangle pour in boiling water and bullion, stirring to disolve. Add to concentrated broth the nori and vinegar. Season if desired. Set aside
Slice the pressed tofu thinly resulting in 12+ pieces of 1" wide by 4" long and 1/8" thick strips.
Soak 10 min in the liquid, trying to have as much covered as possible. Flip over at 5 min if needed.
In a shallow dish mix the corn meal, flour and nutritional yeast. Season if desired.
Prepare a deep baking or roasting pan with enough oil to coat the bottom.
Gently remove (without pressing or draining) one strip at a time and dredge in the corn meal mixture and lay flat in the pan. Do not overlap, use additional pans if need be.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove and flip each piece over carefully. Add more oil if needed (ie: there is flour visible).
Bake for 15 to 30 minutes.
Serve with tartar sauce.
Cali's Impromptu Tartar Sauce:
4 Pepperincini Peppers, destemmed and seeded
Combine all in a food processor and run till peppers are diced.
Vegan Mushroom and Chard Quiche!
1t Olive or Canola Oil
1/2c Onion, diced
1/2c Leek, diced finely
1c Chard, diced finely, no stems (can sub in Kale)
10oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, diced finely
1 Bullion Cube, Knor Veggie
1 box Silken Tofu, Firm (Mori Nu)
1/4c Soy Milk
3T Nutritional Yeast or Veggie Parmesan
Rice Crust or Pie Crust
Saute the Onion, Leeks, Chard and mushrooms for 5 minutes. Add water and bullion cube and simmer on low. Puree tofu, soy milk, mustard, nutritional yeast and basil. Add to the veggies and combine gently. Pour into crust and bake 40 minutes at 350degrees. Allow to set 5 to 10 minutes after being removed from oven.
2cups Cooked Rice, warm leftovers or freshcooked and hot
2T Margarine (Earth Balance)
1 1/2t EnerG Egg replacer (for 1 egg)
2T Water (for 1 egg)
Mix all ingrediants, spread in a casserole dish along the bottom and half way up the side. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until set firm.
1tub Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu
1 Knorr Vegetarian Vegetable Bullion Cube
1-2t Canola Oil
Spices to taste
Freeze the tofu in its plastic tub unopened until 3 days before ready to use. Defrost for 3 days in fridge. Open and press tofu to get all the water out. Slice thinly. Boil water and disolve bullion. In a large roasting pan put oil. Lay each slice in the pan in the oil, trying not to overlap. Pour on concentrated broth and season as desired. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Flip each slice gently and bake 15 to 30 more minutes depending on desired crispness.
This can be used in sandwiches to mimic fried egg, entrees and alone.
I have a hubby who hates tofu also but he loves this recipe for BBQ Tofu
16 oz extra firm tofu
1/2 bottle of BBQ sauce of choice
EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
Cut the tofu into slices and place between a few layers of paper towels to drain. While that is draining chop up your onion( i use red cause I like the color)and cook it in a couple tablespoons of EVOO, until tender add BBQ sauce heat on low, stirring occasionally. In a second pan heat up some EVOO and put the tofu in one layer. If it all doesn't fit than you will have to do this in 2 steps. Fry on both sides about 5 minutes on medium heat. After the tofu is done add it to the BBQ and onion pan and stir lightly to coat. Serve.
I love the fact that you can do a ton of things with tofu. I only know how to pan fry foods. :-[ I want to learn to bake and steam food so i can experiment with tofu. My mom likes tofu stir-fried with veggies. Best tofu i had was at this place called PF Chang china bistro. It was coconut curry tofu and it was awesome! ;D
awww, stareatthesun- you should definately learn how to bake and steam stuff, its really not that hard and you can make sooo many cool things when you know how.
can you maybe borrow an 'introduction to cookery' style cook book at a library or something? i know that in the UK they do some really good ones aimed at people just starting out with cooking, and they tell you how to make really nice simple stuff, explaining how to do everything in a really straight forward way, and without using any weird tools you've that never heard of, lol.
my little bro has one aimed at students, in which all the meals- even the posh dinner party ones, can be made only using 2 pans and 2 rings on the stove, along with a spoon, fork and knife- borrowing a book like that would be handy if you wanted to try learning new cooking stuff out without too much hassle.