Clarissa Johal: #MeatlessMonday-The Tofu Beast

Monday, March 24, 2014

#MeatlessMonday-The Tofu Beast

Striking fear in the hearts of those who don't love it already...is the dreaded tofu. My husband likes to call it The Tofu Beast.

Tofu is bean curdmade by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years, which means I should love the stuff, right? It depends. Tofu is one of those things that has to be prepared right in order for it to work. Let's face it, tofu is bland and the texture can be mushy. I've ordered vegetarian dishes that were basically stir-fried vegetables with chunks of unprepared tofu thrown in. I'm sorry, but that's just gross. You can't just dice it up, throw it in something, and expect it to taste good. I'm not a fan of making desserts with tofu either. If you're going to eat dessert, just eat it--sugar and all. Save the healthy stuff for dinner and stop stressing over the silly stuff.

Photo courtesy of Peter Griffin via PublicDomainPictures
Here's a way to prepare tofu so that it actually tastes like something.

Prepare a marinade. I've listed three of my favorite recipes to choose from. Pick one that strikes your taste buds.


Soy Sauce Marinade
Mix:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2-T brown sugar
4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. cumin

Spicy Peanut Marinade
Mix:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-T molasses
4 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger

Orange-Ginger Marinade
Mix:

1 cup orange juice
6-T soy sauce
2-T water
4 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger
4-T honey
4-T sesame oil
4 tsp. corn starch


Now that you've chosen and mixed your marinade, prepare your tofu.

1 block of extra-firm tofu

*Squeezing out the excess water is key to changing the texture.
Rinse the block of tofu and press the excess moisture out with a paper towel. You may have to use several paper towels, you're aiming at pressing out as much excess moisture as possible without mangling the block itself.
Dice the tofu into bite-sized pieces. 1-inch by 1 inch works or you can go smaller, 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch, which results in firmer tofu once it's baked.
In a sealed container, marinate in the refrigerator for 1-3 days. (3 days will result in a stronger flavor)

When it's ready, drain marinade.
Bake on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet at 375 F for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally.

Try over noodles or rice with some vegetables or make a tofu burrito with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.
My kids like to eat the cubes alone as a snack. Experiment and enjoy!

2 comments:

aliciajoseph.com said...

I'll have to try this recipe. Thanks! Hopefully, it will make tofu a little more palatable for me. :)

Clarissa Johal said...

Good luck! I hope you like one of these :)