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 Post subject: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:23 am 
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So, in my supermarket they had tofu, at long last. So I bought some.

What the fork do it do with it?!?!

I know to drain it and put a weight on top and all that, but what do i actually make with it?


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:42 am 
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Okay, it's cool that you're enthusiastic and trying new stuff-- tofu can be hard to get used to since it starts off tasting like basically nothing and you have to impose all your own flavors on it somehow.

However, your question is totally wide-open, so:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+to+cook+tofu

There are also loads of recipes on this forum you can find with a bit of searching...

My usual lazy tofu recipe is to cut it into 1/2" cubes (or 1/2x1/2x1 inch chunks) and marinate it in some combination of cheap sake, soy sauce (low-salt unless you want it to be super salty), miso, a bit of rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice if you can't find rice wine vinegar), and then stir-fry it with noodles and veggies. Start with roughly even amounts of the sake, soy sauce, and miso, and maybe a half-portion of the acid (so if you have 1/4 cup each of the others, use 2 tablespoons of vinegar). Marinate for 20 minutes or a few hours depending on how much time you have. Then stir-fry.

Or, you know, experiment. It's hard to make tofu actually _bad_-- most likely it would just come out bland.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:46 am 
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Oh, and it's hard to find tofu in London? That seems weird for such a cosmopolitan city...

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Loves Carrots (in the biblical sense)

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Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it in bolognase in place of lentils, like I usually do. Couldn't stand the texture of it.

I've never bought tofu before, and just because I live in London doesn't mean every shop is going to carry everything I need.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:05 pm 
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Have fun!

I would suggest a frittata (check out the Vegan Brunch cookbook) or marinated and baked slices. There are so many different ways to prepare it. If particular cuisines are your go-tos, trying searching within them... Also, this is awesome: http://www.everydaydish.tv/recipe/herb-crusted-tofu

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:11 pm 
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You can make all sorts of wonderful things with tofu! Scrambled tofu is where I began with Isa's recipe:

http://www.theppk.com/2009/10/tof-u-and-tof-me-scrambled-tofu-revisited/

After that you can go wherever you want with your cookery shenanigans - crispy deep fried sweet and sour tofu, quiche, gyoza filling and a whole swathe of deliciousness.

If you get some Mori-Nu tofu it's great as a dessert. Simply tip the water out of the container (no need to press the tofu) and dump it into a blender with some cocoa, vanilla extract, mint extract or cinnamon if you like it and sweetener/sugar to taste. Blend til smooth and you have a big bowl of chocolate pudding. Yum!


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:13 pm 
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I love to cut a block into 8 slabs, make a marinade of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, a little dijon mustard, and whatever else I feel like (sometimes lemon juice, or I switch out balsamic for red wine vinegar...or I add spices), marinate for about an hour, then pop in the oven with the marinade at 350/375 for 30 minutes, flipping half way. I get these juicy but chewy, great slabs of tofu that are great for putting into sandwiches, or eating out of hand.

Also, try a tofu scramble (this is the one I make: http://nakedveglunch.blogspot.ca/2011/0 ... amble.html)

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Oooh, or make a tofu eggless salad! Can you find vegan mayonnaise where you are? I love crumbling up extra firm tofu, adding some mayonnaise and either salt and pepper or a lemon pepper salt seasoning, mix up and put on toast.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Marinate slabs of tofu in a mix of lemon juice, crushed garlic, black pepper and a little bit of soy sauce, then bake in the oven. Yummy! And leftovers are really good in sandwiches.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:39 pm 
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i'm the vegan in our household and hubby is by default ;) he loves tofu scrambles and he loves the vietnamese tofu wraps from robin's quick fix vegan cookbook.....

http://robinrobertson.com/recipes-qvf/

i will also add that while i don't care how my tofu is prepared, hubby really only likes tofu (with the exception of scrambles) after it has been frozen. if you buy you tofu packed in water, just remove the tofu from the packaging, stick it in a freezer safe bag, freeze the tofu for a few days, let it defrost in your fridge, then press it for an hour, and cook it normally. this really does give the tofu a much more chewier meatier texture.

also, before you freeze it, you can even cut it up into smaller slabs or pieces, that makes defrosting and pressing go much quicker. best of luck!

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:16 pm 
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I would do almost anything except what you did with it.

Tofu scramble, for sure. Hard to go wrong here, especially if you make a side of potatoes and have nice toast.

Baked marinated tofu of some sort.

Lots of good ideas here, but my best suggestion would be a tofu scramble. I like the one in Vegan With a Vengeance, but it really just depends what herbs and spices you enjoy. I love lots of paprika and lemon juice.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:19 pm 
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If you have Hearty Vegan Meals or can find the recipe using Amazon's search inside, make the tofu jerky. It's amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:35 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
I would do almost anything except what you did with it.

....


is that referring to my comment above? freezing tofu is pretty cool! and i gladly do what it takes to get my hubby to eat vegans meals ;) it really really really makes me feel like i've failed as a vegan + cook when my hubby comes home with a some kind of raw animal protein to cook alongside whatever vegan dish i'm making. thankfully it doesn't happen too often, but still, it gets me down a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:41 pm 
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vegantogepii wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it in bolognase in place of lentils, like I usually do. Couldn't stand the texture of it.

I've never bought tofu before, and just because I live in London doesn't mean every shop is going to carry everything I need.
I wouldn't cook it like that... no wonder you didn't like it! Fry it up in cubes with some spring onions, garlic, ginger and a little soy sauce and serve with noodles. Simple!

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:50 pm 
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bookwormbethie wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
I would do almost anything except what you did with it.

....


is that referring to my comment above? freezing tofu is pretty cool! and i gladly do what it takes to get my hubby to eat vegans meals ;) it really really really makes me feel like i've failed as a vegan + cook when my hubby comes home with a some kind of raw animal protein to cook alongside whatever vegan dish i'm making. thankfully it doesn't happen too often, but still, it gets me down a bit.

I think LW was replying to the OP, who crumbled the tofu in pasta sauce, to replace meat. I agree that would not be the best intro to tofu.
But 'd secondyour freezing suggestion. Then battering and fring it once it's thawed. That's not somethig i often do, but I've never met anyone who hates fried tofu.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:52 pm 
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vegantogepii wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it in bolognase in place of lentils, like I usually do. Couldn't stand the texture of it.


Whoa, yeah. That sounds like it wouldn't go well... I bet it busted up into little icky bits, especially if you didn't do anything but cut or crumble it up before throwing it in the sauce.

If you wanted to use it in a sauce like that, I'd say press it and then dry-fry it (or fry it in just a little oil) until it's quite firm and fairly dry and until it toughens up enough to not be crumbly. Then it'll soak up flavor from sauces and stuff and won't break up into little squishy bits in a sauce.

This isn't silken tofu (which comes in little cardboard boxes and isn't refrigerated), right? You have to use that totally differently...

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:57 pm 
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I know I've heard of people crumbling up tofu in pasta sauce before, but it doesn't sound that great to me, either. I second the tofu scramble idea--for a long time, that was the only way I would cook tofu. It's pretty much fool proof and delicious, and you can include any veggies you happen to have on hand. My (very not-vegan) family loves scramble too, so there's that.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Oh, and there's a tempeh wingz recipe here: http://donteatoffthesidewalk.com/the-zi ... e-recipes/

...that I like to make with tofu. Cut it into 1/2" by 1/2" sticks the length of the block and dry-fry them until they're firm, and then use that in place of the tempeh in the recipe there. Or actually the last time I made them I didn't bother breading them and just made the buffalo sauce and drenched them in it. Hm, I already have dinner plans, but now I want that. I think we're out of that hot sauce though. :(

You can also take those dry-fried sticks and use them in pretty much anything that wants breading, or marinate them in stuff and then use them in a stir-fry (since they'll hold up to stirring) or all kinds of stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:37 pm 
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I still haven't mastered pressing tofu, probably because I'm impatient, but anyway, tofu scrambles and egg salads are a great start. Hard to screw up, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:20 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Oh, and there's a tempeh wingz recipe here: http://donteatoffthesidewalk.com/the-zi ... e-recipes/

...that I like to make with tofu. Cut it into 1/2" by 1/2" sticks the length of the block and dry-fry them until they're firm, and then use that in place of the tempeh in the recipe there.

Yes, do this! If I wasn't crammed full of Thanksgiving leftovers I would be making tofu wingz right now.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:52 pm 
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I meant using it instead of lentils in pasta sauce isn't the tastiest use of tofu.

The texture isn't the same, and you'd end up with kind of a weird sauce + tofu mush.

Lots of great ideas here to try--tof u is great once you figure out how to properly cook it. It can have a bit of a learning curve.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:03 am 
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Thanks for all the suggestions. When I manage to bring myself to try it again (the texture is still making me shudder, too much like eggs, which I didn't like pregan) I will deffo follow your suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:26 am 
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Fry it! I like lemongrass tofu, Vietnamese style. Shallow fry tofu cubes until they have a nice crust, then add garlic, lemongrass, minced hot chili pepper, salt. Oh and soy sauce and little bit of sugar. And a squeeze of lime juice.


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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:34 am 
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vegantogepii wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions. When I manage to bring myself to try it again (the texture is still making me shudder, too much like eggs, which I didn't like pregan) I will deffo follow your suggestions.


Yeah, definitely cut it thinner and fry it, then. It'll get a nice chewy outside part, more like tofu you might have had in Chinese restaurants.

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 Post subject: Re: What do I do with tofu?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:41 pm 
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There are some great tofu dishes in Appetite for Reduction. I make the hoisin-mustard tofu or the red Thai tofu at least once every couple of weeks (we don't repeat dishes often in my house, so this is a pretty big deal). They're quick, simple and super tasty. I made the red Thai tofu again last night and Boyfriend decided that that's his favourite tofu dish.

Those dishes are great for getting used to the texture too, because you can fry it as much as you'd like. When I first started cooking tofu (years and years ago, while I was still omni), I started out by cutting it into really small cubes, frying it in a wok over high heat with chilli and garlic, and using it in pad thai. After getting used to cooking it that way, I ended up loving it and now my pad thais are mainly just huge tofu chunks.

I think frozen and thawed tofu is gross, but that's just my opinion. I would try frying it to see if the texture improves for you first.

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