Friday, January 8, 2010

Tofu Demystified

Ok, lots of people scrunch up their faces when they hear "tofu" and go "yechhh."  But I think most of those people (1) don't know what it is and (2) have never tasted it.  So to take the "yechhh" out of tofu, I'm here to tell you that tofu is to soymilk what cottage cheese is to cow's milk.   

Now, if you hate cottage cheese, you may not like tofu, but tofu has a big advantage over cottage cheese:  It will pick up any flavor you soak it in!  It is wonderful for marinating.  You can even just throw it into soy sauce and stir fry it with veggies.  You can blend up silken tofu with other ingredients and make the best salad dressings or dips!  I even made a chocolate-raspberry pie with silken tofu and it was delicious.  My guests didn't even know it was tofu!

So remember my marinating tofu from a few days ago?  It was the same Asian marinade I used for my first grilled tofu (the time I smoked up my kitchen with the cast iron skillet.) 

Here are the marinade ingredients:
1/2 c. mirin
3 T. tamari (Asian soy sauce)
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. sesame oil
2 tsps. Asian chili sauce
1" chunk of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, smashed

Well, this latest attempt turned out really well.  I sliced the tofu thinner and after marinating it overnight, baked it (instead of using my cast iron skillet to grill it) and it got a nice crispy brown on the outside edges.  Then I cut it up into small chunks.  I took the ginger out of the marinade, added a little water and cornstarch and heated it into a thick sauce.

I steamed broccoli and tossed it in with the tofu chunks and more sauce and it was a really healthy, tasty "Asian-flavored" dish!  The best way I can describe the tofu chunks is "little pieces of chewy flavor."  And if you freeze firm tofu first, then completely thaw it, it is wonderful crumbled into chilis and stews.  Replaces the ground beef nicely!

There you have it:  Tofu Demystified.

Tofu comes in firm, extra firm and silken textures


Marinated and cooked

Cashew-Tofu Stir Fry

Tofu Chocolate Mousse Pie

Tofu Chocolate Pie

Tofu Puddings

Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Tofu Eggless Cooking (Brownies)

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