I made my girls and I the fried tofu with orange and maple syrup dipping sauce.
It looked gorgeous, it smelt gorgeous, but the taste...too...something...not 'bad'. Just something...
Having spoken to a tofu-friendly friend, she said that was absolutely the wrong way to start and the new-to-tofu need to have some form of stir fry absolutely smothered in sauce until you grow accoustomed to it. Any ideas how to ease into it? Cooking it tips?
Two musts for new-to-tofu: 1) Drain and press it for at least 20 minutes (wrapped in a towel, between 2 plates w/ a heavy weight on top), it helps drain the water out so it can absorb flavours more. 2) Cut it in small cubes or strips, and use in stir-fry or soups (thai coconut, or hot and sour soup)
One of the best purchases I have made--a Tofu Xpress. It presses out all of the water without using towels and heavy objects. That was one of the reasons I hated cooking with tofu! Removing the water greatly improves the texture. This device also allows you to marinate the tofu too. I highly recommend. I originally saw the ad in VegNews magazine.
Uh, I beg to differ. I never press tofu. If you want tofu with less water in it, buy the firm kind.
Here is a simple, Chinese dish that is garlicky, flavourful, and healthy:
Jade tofu w/ mushrooms and broccolli
1 block of medium/soft tofu
1 bunch of broccoli, washed and cut into bit sized pieces
1 cup of shitake mushrooms, caps sliced and stems removed.
3/4 cup of vegetable stock
1 tbs cornstarch (+1 or 2 more if you want a thicker sauce)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ginger powder/ juice from 1/2 tbs grated ginger
1 tsp salt
First, mix the cornstarch with the vegetable stock and whisk until no lumps remain.
In a pan, heat 1-2 tsp of cooking oil until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and ginger. You want to extract the flavour of the garlic and ginger into the oil. Turn the heat down to medium before the garlic begins to brown.
Sprinkle the salt evenly at the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu, evenly distributing to cover the pan. Then add the sliced mushrooms and broccolli.
Turn the heat back to high, add the vegetable stock, and cover the pan with a lid, just leaving a little space for steam to escape. Cook until the broccolli turns bright and remove from heat.
Add a bit of soy sauce if you like and serve this over rice.
When I first started to eat tofu i started with La Dolce Vegan cookbook,l made Sarah kramers "Shook and Cook" it is just like shake and bake, I pressed the firm tofu in a paper towel for 20 minutes cut it into strips, and baked it, and dipped it in ketchup, it reminded me of tofu chicken strips that I used to love, I also reccomend barbequeing it and baking it is also good as well for a begginner.
Thanks girls. I actually ordered it from a restaurant menu (thinking I try it from someone who knew how to cook it!) and it was...ok I suppose. It's not exciting me. Mary I've printed out yours and am going to give that a try, but I'm thinking it just maybe isn't something I'm gonna jump around about...
I'm actually not the biggest fan of tofu. Some people just aren't, and that's ok :)
What I reccomend is marinating the heck out of it. I usually use a marinade including some oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and ginger (I just throw it together, no real recipe.). I let it marinade it all day if I can, for a couple of hours at least, turning frequently so it is evenly coated. Then we either grill it, bake it, cover it in flour and breadcrumbs and fry or bake it.... whatever you want. You can tweak the marinade, use whatever you want - sometimes I do more of a dijon mustard, herb, garlic mix; sometimes its more southwestern with a little hot sauce, cumin and lime.
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