Tofu Trials: Guest Post!

July 2, 2012

Hey Everyone! I’m back with the second installment of the Tofu Trials and a guest post! Today you’ll be hearing from my friend Mike again.  Mike was pretty hesistant to take on the tofu challenge, with the added pressure of trying to cook something his family would enjoy.  Has anyone else ever tried to get a kid to accept they may like something that they have decided they’re going to hate before even eating it? Yikes!

Here’s what Mike had to say about trying out tofu in his own kitchen. 

Tofu Eye for the Carnivorous Guy

 

I’m no stranger to the kitchen, but tackling tofu seemed to be a daunting task.  It’s such a seemingly foreign ingredient and, frankly, I’m not too keen on food with a very soft texture.  I think that’s a big part of why meat eaters have such a visceral reaction to tofu, either never having eaten it or their only experience being a few mushy cubes floating in soup while watching an onion volcano erupt on a hibachi grill (“Get on with the shrimp and steak already!”).  But I had had some tofu dishes in the past that were quite good, both eating out and at friends’ homes, and so I was encouraged to try it out on my own and accept the Tofu Challenge.

 

Several key pieces of advice were extremely helpful.   Like finding out that tofu comes in varying degrees of firmness.  Extra Firm seemed like a great starting point.

 

Made in the USA!

 

Pressing it seemed like an even better idea (thanks KRH!).  I used the traditional two plates method to squeeze out excess water and firm it up even more.  This takes a while, so I let it go about 40 minutes.  Enough time for a relaxing cocktail on the deck … which was a nice bonus!  (see guys, pressing!)

 

The Joy of Pressing

 

Once pressed, I sliced the tofu very thin (about ¼ inch – thanks again KRH!) and let it marinade in light soy sauce, shredded ginger and sesame while I cut vegetables: green beans, scallion, green pepper along with fresh herbs from the garden (parsley, basil, chive).  Sauteed the tofu in vegetable oil, making sure that it was pretty thoroughly done (about 5-7 minutes) before flipping and finishing.

 

 

Nicely well done

 

After the tofu was done, I did a quick separate stir fry of the remaining vegetables which were then simmered in vegetable stock for about 15 minutes.  Then the tofu was served on top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds:

 

 

Tasty!

 

As a starch, heated up some garlic naan from Fresh Market and we were good to go. I liked it a lot, the tofu was definitely firm – about the consistency of eggs scrambled hard.  It was most definitely flavorful and had a nice outer layer of crispness to it.  It complemented the vegetables and went well with the garlic naan. I thought it was a successful first attempt at using tofu as the main dinner ingredient.

 

I’m definitely keen to try tofu again, although I think one thing I would do differently would be to cut the tofu into smaller pieces for more crispy surface and perhaps add it in as a part of a more general stir fry recipe rather use tofu as the centerpiece.  And I’m planning to stick with Asian seasonings initially before venturing out further with other food palates.  But most definitely happy to get over my “tofu-cooking phobia”!

 

 

 

Um, if that doesn’t look delicious, then I don’t know what does.  I love me some crispy tofu! 🙂

Do you see that last line?? “happy to get over my ‘tofu-cooking phobia'”  SUCCESS!! 🙂 

Are you guys trying out any new tofu recipes?? Share!

xo

 

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