Best way to try Tofu? - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 12-05-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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I'm a new vegetarian and I have never had tofu. What is the best way to prepare it for the best ever first tasting? I have a block of it in my fridge and it's intimidating! LOL
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#2 Old 12-05-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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There are so many things you can do with it. What type is it? Soft or extra firm?

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to tofu. If you want something easy, you can simply cube it and throw it in some water with some soba noodles and some curry paste and maybe a few random veggies for a quick ramen soup.

If it's firm and you have a bit more time, you can slice it in thin layers, saute it in whatever flavors you prefer (I usually do soy sauce, a bit of apple cider vinegar, and a LOT of garlic), and then fry or bake it and use it as a replacement for lunch meat in a sandwich. Extra firm tofu can be browned and used in pretty much the same way you'd use meat.

Other than that, get yourself a good veg*n cookbook and take your pick. Lots of recipes use tofu.

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#3 Old 12-05-2011, 02:38 PM
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One quick note: If you have tofu that must stay refrigerated and is packed in water, be sure to press the water out of it, rinse it and press the water out again, and cook it THOROUGHLY before eating. This is because water-packed tofu isn't sterile and tends to be a breeding ground for bacteria, due to the high protein content.

If it's in aseptic passaging, tofu can be eaten raw (e.g., in smoothies, salads, chilled desserts). But I prefer cooked tofu regardless, even if it was packaged aseptically. You might choose a favorite sauce/marinade and allow the tofu to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or so before cooking. SO TASTY!!

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#4 Old 12-05-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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The best way to pop your tofu cherry imo is to go to a chinese restaurant and order some kind of breaded shallow or deep fried bean curd dish in a sweet sauce. I've always loved the tofu dishes in Chinese restaurants.

When I make tofu at home I like to make faux fried chicken by freezing the tofu for a few days, draining it, marinading it for about ten minutes (frozen tofu absorbs liquids very easily and is far easier to press), then breading and frying them. This is great for anyone who is a little standoffish about the flavor or texture of raw tofu.
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#5 Old 12-05-2011, 03:18 PM
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lots of places have bad tofu and most of first timers suck at cooking it, so don't give up on it right after the first disappointment. it took me a long time before i finally tried what i liked. it was this recipe


‎8 oz. rice noodles
sesame or canola oil, for sauteing tofu
1 package of extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
salt n peppa, to taste.
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. tamari soy sauce
1/3 c. lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped broccoli or snow peas, steamed or stir-fried
1 bunch of scallions, chopped (including green parts)
1 c. bean sprouts
Optional: For garnish: sliced limes or lemons and chopped cilantro

1) Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and immediately return to pot and cover with lid.
2) Heat oil in pan and saute tofu until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3) In a bowl (where else?) mix PB, sugar, tamari, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
4) In a separate large saute pan, heat oil and/or a little water and add garlic and broccoli. Stir-fry for 5-10 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green. Add scallions then saute for a few more minutes.
5) To that pan, add cooked noodles, tofu, PB mixture, and bean sprouts. Combine well, and cook until all ingredients are heated through. Optionally garnish, then serve immediately!


I think even if you don't go for this one, the best idea is to make it with a nice sauce
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#6 Old 12-05-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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Thanks heaps! I can't believe I'm so intimidated by a food item but I'm trying to be uber brave

The stuff I have is in a container with liquid so I have pressed 1/2 the block between paper towels and plates.

What are scallions? I read about them in American recipes but I'm not sure what they are called in New Zealand.
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#7 Old 12-05-2011, 03:59 PM
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scallions are like green onions
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#8 Old 12-11-2011, 02:15 PM
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If you are first time to tofu I recommend that you either buy fried tofu - because it is already very flavoursome or fried tofu puffs (great in soup). If you buy hard tofu the only thing you need to know is that it is best to marinade it for as long as possible in the flavours you want it to have because tofu is all about the flavours that you add to it. Try marinading it for an hour or so in spy sauce, chilli, garlic and sesame oil. Or maybe some grated fresh ginger with soy sauce.

Here is a tofu recipe that you will absolutely definitely love:
http://gormandizewithus.blogspot.com...-broccoli.html

If you try this recipe as your first intro to tofu then you will absolutely fall in love with tofu!
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#9 Old 12-12-2011, 11:11 PM
 
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My favorite breakfast (and super easy):

Scrambled tofu with veggies.
Squeeze the firm tofu on the sink to remove as much water as possible. You can also use a paper towel. Start by frying the oil and add garlic (very, very optional), chopped onions, and the scrambled tofu (use your hands if you want). Add some turmeric, thyme, a bit of pepper and other spices and let it fry for a few minutes until the tofy looks kinda dry. Add soy sauce, broccoli (I prefer them raw), chopped tomatoes, nutritional yeast and pretty much any veggie you want to add or substitute. It's a very simple recipe and very hard to ruin but it's delicious! I eat it with whole-wheat pita bread, toast or even a tortilla.

I also love my not-yet-perfected sesame tofu with broccoli, you can find plenty of recipes online. Just make sure to add sesame seeds which makes a huge difference.

I love tofu in all its forms. As a matter of fact, right now I'm eating a slice of tofu fried on sesame oil (it's also good with coconut oil), some lentils and rice...yummy!

Congratulations on becoming a vegetarian!
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#10 Old 12-13-2011, 03:02 AM
 
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If you like the taste of soy sauce, just slice tofu into 1" steaks and sear it on both sides, until brown and add a little soy sauce. Takes about 10 minutes. Good in stir-frys, sandwiches and salads.
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#11 Old 12-13-2011, 09:40 AM
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My first favorite way was to press out the water from cubed extra firm (or just firm) a bit, then shake it in a bag of cornstarch and saute it with just enough oil in a cast iron till browned on all sides. Remove from pan, stir fry veggies while making a sauce with pineapple juice from canned pineapple (saute pineapple with veggies) soy sauce to taste, and maybe a tablespoon of cornstarch whisked in while its cold. Maybe 2 cups in all, add water as needed. You can play around with the sauce with sugar, vinegar, whatever you like. Add to veggies and add tofu when it starts thickening. The cornstarch coating will absorb sauce and be kinda crispy, like General Tsos tofu.

My big thing with tofu was the water it's packed in. I still sometimes forget to open over the sink, and still get a bit weird about it. It's only water.

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#12 Old 12-13-2011, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

My first favorite way was to press out the water from cubed extra firm (or just firm) a bit, then shake it in a bag of cornstarch and saute it with just enough oil in a cast iron till browned on all sides. Remove from pan, stir fry veggies while making a sauce with pineapple juice from canned pineapple (saute pineapple with veggies) soy sauce to taste, and maybe a tablespoon of cornstarch whisked in while its cold. Maybe 2 cups in all, add water as needed. You can play around with the sauce with sugar, vinegar, whatever you like. Add to veggies and add tofu when it starts thickening. The cornstarch coating will absorb sauce and be kinda crispy, like General Tsos tofu.

My big thing with tofu was the water it's packed in. I still sometimes forget to open over the sink, and still get a bit weird about it. It's only water.

I'll make that tomorrow.
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#13 Old 12-14-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Great ideas. I've never had tofu nor cooked with it. These recipes seem both easy and intriguing.
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#14 Old 01-30-2014, 08:42 AM
 
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I love fried tofu. Made it once and it was really good. But the clean up afterwards is killer!

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