Yes, you read it right…TOFU or not Tofu is the question we have asked ourselves many a time in this household, and the NOT won over many, many times! Well until recently that is!
What actually is Tofu?
Tofu, also known as bean curd is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness; it can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm. Beyond these broad categories, there are many varieties of tofu. It has a subtle flavor, so it can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish and its flavors, and due to its spongy texture it absorbs flavors well
I admit the first time I cooked with it, I kind of marked the Tofu with a red card! But I really wanted to crack it because it is nutritionally, tofu is low in calories, while containing a relatively large amount of protein. It is high in iron, and can have high calcium or magnesium.
This meant I had to persevere to succeed and dish up something that we enjoy rather than tolerate!
Reading up on many recipes it seems that Soy Sauce is the secret ingredient – well that is a no – no for a start it has far too much of a high salt content and we cannot buy the low salt version here (that I know of!) so I experimented with alternives, Balsamic Vinegar with herbs, tomatoes and ribbons of Courgette, I didn’t have any coconut milk, cream or anything so I used Hemp milk with dessicated coconut as the marinade, and the second meal was actually ok and we gave it a 7/10 it was nice!
Yesterday I charged it up a bit, again I have read that it is best to get as much moisture out as possible so drain and squeeze (great little work out!) I put it between paper towel and in a sieve and push down you can put it inbtween a couple of heavy dishes and some even use a TOFU press! I am guessing they are serious Tofu eaters… and then marinated, this I have found is the secret…
Either in a block or chop up the block into smaller pieces in a large bowl, I added
1 tablespoon of créme du soja
1 tablespoon of créme du coco you can use coconut milk.
I added herbs and warming spices such as:
cumin, carvi, paprika moyen, pepper, herbs de provence, garlic, red peppercorns and genevievré.
2 tsp dessicated coconut
1 tsp sesame seeds,
3 chopped sundried tomatoes (dried not in oil)
half a red onion.
A drop of hot paprika sauce
Leave it in the fridge for the day or depending on which meal it is for all morning or all afternoon, mixing it a little but half way through the just so that it had chance to be coated all over.
Whilst I chopped the veg for sauté I put the Tofu in the oven and left it to cook…I turned it once through the 30 mins cooking time.
We also tried a new pasta made from Chick pea flour so cooked that up and served with the Sauté veg & baked tofu which was creamy and really very tasty.
However you choose to eat your Tofu definitely marinate it first then go wild with ingredients, herbs and spices! I am sure I will be making something different with it next time round!