Tofu Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Daily Living' started by lypeaches, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1

    lypeaches

    lypeaches

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    So, I was at Trader Joe's yesterday, and on a whim bought a pack of firm Tofu.

    I've never cooked tofu before.

    I have a head of cauliflower and other random veggies around...I was loosely thinking of making some sort of cauliflower/tofu curry, but I'm not stuck on that idea.

    So, experienced tofo cookers...what's your favorite way of cooking and eating tofu?

    Any input is appreciated!
     
  2. Apr 5, 2012 #2

    Dr. Feelgood

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    As far as I'm concerned, the absolute, ultimate, most wonderful tofu dish is mapo tofu. Miss Toodles once posted a great recipe for it in this forum; if you do a search for 'mapo tofu' you will not only get her recipe (which is incredibly easy as well as delicious), but several other excellent ones as well!:eat2:
     
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #3

    lypeaches

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    Why didn't I think of that? (searching, that is). Thanks so much for the tip...I'm reading through the threads now. Awesome ideas!!
     
  4. Apr 6, 2012 #4

    crayola box

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    No specific recipe for you just a tip to extract the water from your tofu by either pressing or squeezing, so it will soak up more of the delicious flavors from your sauce!
     
  5. Apr 6, 2012 #5

    EMH1701

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    It's really great in a stir-fry.

    Get some veggies, like spinach or kale, some tomatoes, mushrooms, onions or garlic, and some olive oil. Sprinkle a few random seasonings on it like basil or tarragon and you're good to go.

    And yes, make sure drain your tofu in the sink first.

    Also I have learned that if you freeze it, tofu gains an interesting texture.
     
  6. Apr 6, 2012 #6

    Dr. Feelgood

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    Tofu is sort of like a sponge: it soaks up liquids (which is why you need to drain it). But it will still be a bit squdgy after draining, so you might want to put a couple of paper towels under it, and a paper towel or two over it, and a nice, heavy plate on top of that to squeeze the water out. In about half an hour gravity will do the job for you.

    Because of its absorptive properties, tofu makes a nice, light substitute for meat in any dish that has a tasty sauce or gravy. Last night I asked the local Thai restaurant to substitute tofu in the Pra Ram Chicken (the one with the peanut sauce), and it was dynamite! :happy:
     
  7. Apr 6, 2012 #7

    smithnwesson

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    We like to cube it, dry it off really good, then sauté it a some very hot peanut oil until it is browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.

    Serve it with duck sauce. :eat2:

    - Jim
     
  8. Apr 11, 2012 #8

    sunnie1653

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    I drain it, put it in between paper towels for a bit to absorb some of the extra liquid.. and cube it up then heat up some peanut/olive/whatever kind of oil and fry it til its kinda crunchy.. I toss it with broccoli or a bag of stir-fry veggies then mix it with a peanut sauce I make with peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and hot water (it melts the peanut butter).. sometimes I add a little soy sauce. Toss in some rice or some wheat spaghetti (or ramen works in a pinch, too lol) and its an amazing thai-ish kinda meal. I love it. :)
     
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  9. Apr 11, 2012 #9

    lypeaches

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    So, thanks to everyone for their help! I employed the paper towel/pressing techniques, thanks to you all!

    First I tried it in a cauliflower curry, and it was delicious!! Then I froze the leftover tofu.

    So, after thawing, I did a stir fry with a sort of szechuan sauce. Good, but not as good as the curry. But I think the main difference was that the curry was more saucy. The tofu did have a different texture...more similar to that of a dry chicken mc nugget, I'd say. I think I slightly prefer unfrozen, but the jury is still out.

    Tonight I will be trying sunnies idea, since I have all the ingredients at hand...right down to the leftover spaghetti noodles!

    Overall I'm happy with the tofu. I'm just looking to expand my "cleaner" protein options, and you gotta love the price. I think the mistake meat eaters make is they think tofu is supposed to be a meat substitute...and I find it's helpful just to think of it as a different type of food, not a replacement for. I mean lets face it, tofu is never going to taste just like a rib eye steak. But that doesn't mean it can't be delicious.

    Hope someone else is inspired to give it a try!
     
  10. Apr 12, 2012 #10

    lypeaches

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    Rep to you for this idea. I tried it last night with my thawed out tofu, and it was delish! Definite do-over!
     
  11. Apr 12, 2012 #11

    TearInYourHand

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    Tofu is also delish as a sub for ricotta and cream cheese- it can be pureed and give dishes a creamy texture. You'd buy the "silken" variety of tofu for this, not the firm.

    Mapo tofu is one of my favorite dishes!! Mmm spicy!
     
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  12. Apr 12, 2012 #12

    EMH1701

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    Well, it's not really a red meat substitute, but it can work to replace diced chicken in some dishes. Obviously, it won't have the same flavor as the chicken. But it can be used as such.

    I'm not vegetarian but I have done vegetarian diets in the past for several months.

    The "Boca" brand has some vegetarian steak strips and chicken replacements that are similar and can be used in recipes.

    You're right that nothing can replace the real flavor of meat (at least not yet), but most who are looking to replace their meat are doing so for either ethical reasons or health reasons.
     
  13. Apr 13, 2012 #13

    sunnie1653

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    Oh yay I'm so glad you liked it!! :) Everyone I've made it for a) loves it and b) says "what are these little crunchy things? They're so good!" the look on their faces when I say "tofu" about kills me every time. ;)

    Yay for a new easy dinner for you! :)
     
  14. Apr 13, 2012 #14

    lypeaches

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    Well, have to say, I forgot to fry the tofu til it was crunchy....but it was still delicious. Next time, crunchy tofu.
     
  15. Apr 13, 2012 #15

    lypeaches

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    Yeah, I've heard it makes a pretty mean chocolate mousse.
     
  16. Apr 13, 2012 #16

    lypeaches

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    Yeah, I don't know, I don't even really think it's a replacement for chicken. I know you can use it in place of chicken...but. I was raised vegetarian for religious/health reasons, but I've eaten meat now for, oh, 30 years. I'm cool with all the foods. I'm just saying when you're trying to get a meat eater to try a vegetarian meal, generally speaking it's better not present it as "this is veggie chicken", cause it will probably come up lacking to their taste buds. Better to just say this is vegetarian and it has tofu. Period.

    Eh, just my opinion. It's all good.
     
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  17. Apr 14, 2012 #17

    SoVerySoft

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    Yay! Look who's back! I'm very glad.
     
  18. Apr 14, 2012 #18

    CastingPearls

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    I never had it until I got a free order of hot n sour soup with a Chinese delivery, otherwise you could torture me and I wouldn't try it. Now I love it. Love it in miso soup too.
     
  19. Apr 14, 2012 #19

    jamie

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    I really love tofu - I know that sounds weird - but there is something appealing to me. I like it in stir-fry, lo mein and pad thai. A while back I came across a bbq tofu sandwich recipe and fell in love.

    Here is the recipe - you need the extra firm tofu - and there is an accompanying "healthy" cole slaw recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/bbq_tofu_sandwich.html.

    Hope you get to try it. :eat2:
     
  20. Apr 14, 2012 #20

    HottiMegan

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    It's also great for a VERY easy pumpkin pie. I don't like pumpkin pie but i make a silken tofu pumpkin pie every year for thanksgiving and xmas. Recipe here Hubs and Max just adore this pie.
     
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