Friday, January 6, 2012

my love affair {with tofu}

Tofu? Yep. You read that right. My mouth (er, I mean typing fingers) really said I have a love affair with tofu. My sister was surprised when I told her on the phone the other night too. I heard something like, "Jess who ARE you?"

It all started a few months ago on a weekend trip to Portland. I had an amazing rice bowl from a food stand there and it had garlic-fried tofu in it. I.Loved.It. I was shocked. I have always thought of tofu as this weird, eery, rubbery substance that nobody really enjoyed. Until I ate it. And enjoyed it.

Then came my trip to Trader Joes to buy some tofu to cook with at home. I made a delicious dinner that we all enjoyed. My boys even ate the tofu. They didn't say they loved it, but they ate it!

I bought firm (you can also do extra firm) because I read that it holds it shape if you want to pan fry it. And that's what I did. I cut the tofu into squares and I put a little olive oil in a pan with some minced garlic and fried the tofu until the sides got brown and crisped.

Then I cooked some noodles. I used capellini because I wanted a thin noodle, but you could use spaghetti or a rice noodle, or anything you want. Then I made a peanut sauce using Yoshida's sauce mixed with peanut butter, but you could also use one of my favorite peanut sauce recipes, found HERE.

Then I mixed it all together and topped it with broccoli slaw, green onions, and cilantro. You could add anything you want and make it your own!

It was delish, and I will be making it again! Next on my list of tofu recipes to try is this...

A dairy free chocolate pie made with silken tofu! I can really get on board for that! This is an Alton Brown recipe and it packs some serious nutritional punch with all the protein!

Alton Brown's Dairy-Free Chocolate Pie

Makes 8 servings
13 oz semisweet chocolate chips 
1/3 cup coffee liqueur (you can use other flavors if you prefer)
1 tsp vanilla extract   
1 lb silken tofu 
1 tbsp honey    
1 (9-in) prepared chocolate wafer crust (store-bought is fine)

Place enough water in the bottom of a 4-quart saucepan to come 1 inch up the sides. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Place the chocolate chips and liqueur in a medium metal mixing bowl, set over the simmering water, and stir with a rubber or silicone spatula until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in a blender or food processor and spin until smooth (about 1 minute).
 Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling sets firm.

Yum! So, tell me...what are your thoughts? Have you ever tried tofu? Do you like it or hate it? Maybe you want to try it again now that you have some recipes?

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19 Responses to “my love affair {with tofu}”

Michelle H said...

I use tofu all the time! I've made a similar tofu chocolate pie, but that one looks delicious. I'll have to try it. I also use silken tofu for smoothies.

Natalia said...

Squeeze as much water out as you can before frying it (I just use several paper towels, wrap it up and squeeze gently.) I usually salt & pepper a good bit it when it's frying on its first side. This recipe looks wonderful. I doubt my son will eat it but maybe he will be inspired when he sees us gobble it up!

jengd said...

One of my favorite dishes is a tofu one. Basically, saute some garlic and ginger (calls for 2 cloves and 1T I think) in oil until fragrant. Add 1 can of coconut milk (I use low-fat), 2T soy, and 1-2T Thai red curry paste (if you're not familiar with it, maybe use 3/4t, it IS spicy). Simmer until warm. Add 1 box of tofu cubed (I use firm and cut it into ~3/4" cubes) and whatever else you feel like (I usually used chopped tomatoes but Thai eggplant and string beans are good too.) Heat through and serve over rice.

CharityMay said...

My husbands parents are vegetarians so I have some experience with tofu. If we ever go to bozeman together, which we totally have to btw, I will introduce you to Jamaican grilled tofu. Yum!

Dinahsoar said...

I love tofu but it scares me. My oncologist--I'm a breast cancer survivor--told me to only eat it once in awhile--it metabolizes like a weak estrogen in the body and my cancer was estrogen dependent. Also, many experts voice concerns about males eating tofu. In Asian cultures they consume very small amounts weekly in spite of eating it daily compared to us here in the U.S. hence I eat a small amount once in a blue moon.

Little Birdie Secrets said...

Yes, Natalia, I forgot to mention that about the liquid! Thanks...great tip for everyone. You should also note that if you don't use all of the tofu, you need to keep it in the fridge stored in water and change the water daily.

jengd, that sounds delish!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Charity...ANYTIME! I am always game for a trip ;)

Dinahsoar, I agree. I think it should be used in moderation, as many other things in our diets should. Hooray for surviving breast cancer!

Unknown said...

Excited to try this tofu recipe! Sounds like a great family dinner!! I made Alton's pie for New Year's Eve and it was delicious and a big hit! My very traditional meat and potatoes father even liked it!!

Anonymous said...

This makes two of us, I LOVE TOFU! It's so great and can be used in like anything.


Noelle said...

Yummy! Thanks for sharing. I love tofu so much but I don't know any other recipes. Got to try this!


Jen Howick said...

I have just discovered tofu in recent months as well, I can't get enough! I love yellow curry with tofu. I crave it weekly! :)

Leah said...

I use tofu all the time. That chocolate pie looks wonderful. I think I`ll make some (without the crust) for my Gram whose having problems eating... I need to come up with dairy free ideas that have a mashed or creamy texture.

Norma Dawn said...

I am addicted to pad thai with tofu and tons of veggies and put peanut sauce and a squeeze of lime on top... numm numm

Stephanie said...

I'll jump on the in moderation wagon, too. After watching Food, Inc. and doing a little of my own research I am really cautious of soy... And how we are consuming quite a bit in our diet without realizing It. But the recipe does look super tempting... Maybe I'll make it with chicken!

aleisethefunny said...

Sounds yummy. I'm like you, I always thought tofu was some kind of soft slimy thing with no taste. Maybe I will try it. :)

xoxo, Lela said...

I am a recent lover of the tofu, and have not mastered the art of cooking it myself just yet-I am so going to try again & make this dish-thanks for sharing!

kjramstack said...

This is my favorite tofu recipe but it doesn't make much. I usually add noodles to the dish.
Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy

I made a dish with tofu for my dad a few years back and he said, "This is good. What kind of cheese is this?" He was referring to the tofu chunks. :)

Holly U said...

I had to laugh, because these are the two ways I'm most likely to use tofu too! The chocolate pie is my now my husband's birthday dessert, and I love to stir fry it with whatever veggies are on hand. If you press out some of the liquid from the firm tofu before cubing it, it soaks up marinade well and can be even MORE tasty!

Myrnie said...

OK, DUH. Why did I never think to use Yoshi's and PB as a sauce, always trying to jerry rig my own from soy sauce and such?? Yum, can't wait to try this!

Andrea said...

my favorite tofu recipe and one that my very picky kids love is tofu "meatballs", no recipe, I just make them like a regular meatball: press the tofu (even extra firm) to get the water out crumble with egg, fresh bread crumbs, pureed onion and garlic,and italian spices, mush up with your hands and form into balls (they'll be soft) and pan fry. i always have to make twice as many as I think I'm gonna need because.....well you know....

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