Author Topic: Tofu, anyone?  (Read 1684 times)

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aline

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Tofu, anyone?
« on: July 23, 2007, 03:29:12 PM »
I'm starting to add tofu into my diet in place of (as much) meat. So far, I really only know how to use it in stir-frys and soups. I'd love to have any tried and true recipes that y'all wouldn't mind sharing, as well as any cooking and preparation tips you might have. I'm pretty experimental with foods and flavors, so all ideas are welcome. :)

ITSJUSTME

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 03:57:27 PM »
If you like ground beef but want to cut it out you can use TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein, soy protein, looks like dry stuffing crumbs) in chili, spaghetti sauce or anywhere you would use ground beef.  Directions sometimes say to soak in water but if it will simmer in the dish, like chili or sauce, I don't soak it first - I think it looks and tastes better.  Very high in protein.

I like firm tofu that has been marinated in teriyaki sauce and grilled or broiled.  You can also crumble tofu and "scramble" it with diced onion, peppers and tomatoes, like a Western Omelet.

blarg314

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 11:31:11 PM »

Try Chinese cookbooks, the more authentic the better - there are a lot of tofu dishes that go well beyond stir fries; baked, stewed, fried. 

Has anyone else had stinky tofu (aka chou dofu)?  It's a fermented tofu which is then either steamed or fried with cabbage.  It tastes good, but smells like a sewer problem from a block away.

cicero

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 05:28:52 AM »
i don't eat tofu - can't stand the stuff, and thankfully *it* doesn't like me.

be careful you don't add too much of it to your diet all at once.

anyway, my sister roasts it - she claims its delicious:

you need to squeeze out all the liquid. slice into slices. then marinate it in bbq sauce or teriyaki, or just soy sauce, then drain and put in one layer in a roasting pan and roast /broil.

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aline

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2007, 09:01:21 AM »
Thanks for all of the ideas! I think I'm going to try roasting it first - that sounds really good.

Vegweb.com looks like an excellent source as well. I'll have to do some browsing.  :D

HushHush

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2007, 04:50:18 PM »
I use it in my lasagna instead of ricotta cheese.  I mix one container of soft tofu with one egg and italian spices and layer that.  I do use hamburger meat too but you could easily leave it out and add julianne'd carrots, zuccini, etc. to make up the filling.

Rinkatink88

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 01:42:13 AM »
There are many variations of tofu.  The basic blocks comes in "silky (very soft)", "soft", "medium" and "firm".  Then there are the tofu that comes in various forms, i.e., fermented such as one post noted, cakelike form, fried, etc.  Just make sure the recipes you are using call out for the right type of tofu otherwise, the liquids may or may not absorbed the ingredients you are using.

If you like spicy, one of my favorite tofu recipes is called "mabo" tofu that uses an ingredient called "spicy bean paste" and it is quite spicy.  If you're interested, I'll try to put the recipe together.

Beside Chinese, Thai and Japanese have of lot of tofu recipes also.

Good luck on your adventures into the tofu world.

aline

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 08:28:54 AM »
If you like spicy, one of my favorite tofu recipes is called "mabo" tofu that uses an ingredient called "spicy bean paste" and it is quite spicy.  If you're interested, I'll try to put the recipe together.

I love all things spicy, and would love to have your recipe if you wouldn't mind posting it.  :)

Rinkatink88

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2007, 12:09:32 AM »
Hi farfalla:

Here's the recipe I generally use.  It came from the "Beautiful" Cookbook series from China.

Ma Po Dofu (Peppery Hot Bean Curd)

Although you can get variations of this recipe on the web, I think this is the most authentic.

4 4˝-oz (140-g) squares soft bean curd
6 oz (185 g) lean beef preferably fillet (tenderloin)  (sometimes I omit the meat)
3 green onions
2-3 Tbs. vegetables oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Seasoning Sauce

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. fermented black beans, chopped (just get the jar brand that already have the garlic in it, it’s easier)
2 pickled red chilies, chopped (or the dry ones – use less – dry ones are more concentrated with heat)
2 Tbs “light” soy sauce (available in Chinese stores – if you can find, use regular but the taste for this soy sauce is different and saltier).
1-2 tsp hot bean paste (toban djan) (find in Chinese/Japanese store)
1˝ tsp. sugar
˝ tsp salt
˝ tsp Sichuan peppercorns, grounded (find in Chinese stores)
1 cup (8 oz) chicken stock
1 Tbs. cornstarch

Cut bean curd into small pieces and set aside (make sure you drain the bean curd well).  Very finely grind the beef and finely chop the green onion.
Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the beef, green onions and garlic until half cooked.
Add the ginger, black beans, chilies, soy sauce and hot bean paste and stir-fry together for about 1 ˝ minutes, then add the remaining seasoning/sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch and bring to boil.  Slide in the bean curd and simmer for about 5 minutes over gentle heat.  Carefully stir in the cornstarch mixed with a little cold water, simmering gently until thickened.
For extra flavor, sprinkle on some flaked red chili and a little crushed Sichuan pepper just before serving.

(I like serving this over rice or noodles)

You can make this into a vegetarian or vegan dish by omitting the chicken broth and add in vegetable broth and/or substitute the beef with other mean, i.e., chicken or gluten that resembles meat.

Let me know how it turns out.

aline

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2007, 08:39:08 AM »
Thank you Rinkatink - your recipe sounds fabulous! I'll let you know how it turns out. :)

Lynda_34

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2007, 06:49:50 PM »
You may want to check out www.vegweb.com.  When I went vegetarian, I found them to be a really great resource for recipes.  They have tofu recipes, but it's not all tofu.  There's a really wide range, and the recipes are rated by other users, so you can get second opinions on them.

I am not a vegan or vegetarian, love my meat (sorry) but I've many friends who are vegetarian and pride myself on being able to cook something besides risotto for them.
 
Years ago a friend of mine said he never got invited to dinner anywhere because vegetarian cooking was too intimidating for most people.

I invited him over at least once a month and he was so grateful.  My ex and I also ran a catering business and prided ourselves on providing a special vegetarian entree for people who didn't eat meat so that they didn't have to just pick at the side dishes.  Made them feel special and always made us look good.

That is a lovely website, thanks for posting it.

aloe

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2007, 07:12:15 PM »
My favorite recipe: my husband and I eat tofu this way several times a week.
We love it and serve it with rice or noodles and cooked vegetables.  I find it easier and tastier than stir-fried tofu.


Baked Tofu


Buy a fresh package of firm or extra-firm tofu that is a block sitting in water (not the vacuum-sealed type such as Mori-Nu).  Pick one with a distant expiration date.
Preheat oven to 425 F.
After rinsing the block of tofu with cold water, slice
it in slabs approximately 1/4 inch thick.  They can be
big or small slabs. Place in an oiled baking pan.
Sprinkle lightly with curry powder.  Another spice of
your choice could be added with the curry also, if
desired.  Pour a modest amount of soy sauce over the
tofu.  Then generously coat the tofu with mini-flake
nutritional yeast (I buy it bulk at the health food store)  Bake
until the tofu is browned--when ready, it is lightly
crispy on the edges.  Some people like it more chewy,
others less so.  It's good either way--overcooked, it
gets very chewy & I like it that way too.  You can
also bake it for longer at a lower temperature--an
hour at 360 F will do it---I prefer to cook it at 425
or 430 F for a shorter period ot time.

If you are in a hurry, you can mash the tofu instead of cutting it in slabs and bake it for a shorter time. 





aloe

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2007, 07:19:44 PM »
My other favorite tofu recipe that I make often.  It involves more work than the recipe above.


Veggie Burger Recipe

First, cook 1 1/2 cups of white rice.  I use
organically grown basmati rice.

In a large bowl, mash one block of firm tofu.  Buy a
package of firm or extra-firm tofu that is a block packed in water. It should have a distant expiration date. (Don't buy the vacuum-sealed type such as Mori-Nu) Rinse with cold water after removing from package.  To the mashed
tofu, add a very generous amount of dried parsley
flakes.  Add several splashes of soy sauce, 4 TBSP
olive oil,  a few sprinkles of curry powder, paprika,
salt and garlic powder.  Add a generous amount of
onion powder--this is an essential ingredient.  Add a
generous amount of nutritional yeast (brewer's yeast).
 Add 1/2 cup of non-chunky (creamy) peanut butter.
When your rice is ready, add this hot rice to the
bowl.  Use a potato masher (hand tool) and mash until
you have a 'batter.'  Then, I use my fingers and
squeeze between my fingers firmly until the batter is
very 'fine' (minimal chunks seen of tofu).
Form into burgers or croquettes (smaller flat
egg-shaped patties)
Place patties on oiled cookie sheet or large flat casserole pan.
You can choose baking temperature and time.  If you want them done
faster, cook at 420F for 35-40 minutes or so, or slower--365F for
about an hour.  Check patties after 20-30 minutes and
look for golden browning on top, then flip over with
spatula gently (it is normal if one or two try to fall
apart sometimes, but being careful you can avoid
that).
This recipe is forgiving and always comes out well for me,
hence the inexact amounts of many of the ingredients.

I serve them with gravy.

Gravy:

Fill a large mug with hot tap water.  Dissove several
TBSPs of corn starch, stir.  Heat olive oil in frying
pan: add salt and powdered garlic.  You can add sliced
mushrooms if you'd like, but plain is good, too.  Stir
until it starts to thicken, then add a little more
water and soy sauce.  Add a generous amount of
nutritional yeast slowly, stirring.  The key is to
avoid lumpiness.  Vegetable bouillion can be added if
desired.
Fresh ground pepper added at the table is great.

Enjoy!






Buffy2424

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2007, 05:29:44 PM »
I love tofu!

My favorite thing to do with it is cube up an extra-firm block and fry a bit before putting it in Green Thai Curry that's been heating on low (to serve 3 make a pot with: 1.5 tsp curry paste, 2 cans coconut milk, 3 tbsp white sugar, 1/4 c fish sauce, basil leaves and black pepper to taste). 

Use "Lite" Cocunut Milk if you want; I find that one can each of lite and regular makes for great texture.  And the best quality fish sauce you can get, available cheaply at Asian markets.  Heat for 20 mins while you fry up tofu/chop up other ingredients/start some jasmine rice.

As well as tofu (or chicken sometimes, if you like chicken), I add a combination of other things -- 1/2 of a sweet onion, always, plus a small head of broccoli, a half-drained can of bamboo shoot, 3 thick, quartered slices of an eggplant -- and, once in awhile, just 1/4-1/3 of a red bell pepper.  You can experiment with your own combinations (squid, shrimp, other veggies, whatever) but onion and tofu are always musts for me. 

Bring curry to a light boil for 3-4 minutes after adding veggies, then quickly serve with separate bowls of rice. 

Oh, and be warned that if you don't eat curry with some regularity you will definitely want to use less curry paste than I do, possibly much less.  Hot, spicy.  Adjust accordingly. 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2007, 05:31:34 PM by Buffy2424 »

aline

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Re: Tofu, anyone?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2007, 04:11:12 PM »
Buffy, that sounds fabulous. I love Thai curry paste. Yum!