Thanks everyone. These sound like some awesome ideas. I have been especially looking for ways to get "meat fix" with the tofu, not so much a way to make it into dips, soups, etc. Some of the ideas below sound like exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!
current weight: 131.2
Fitness Minutes: (15,747)
1/3/14 2:10 P
I used to love tofu, but I fell out of love with it. I've only used the very firm kind when cooking. The softer kinds are good for making dips and sauces.
My favorite ways to have firm tofu; cubed in soups or thick slices baked in the oven. When I baked them in the oven I liked to slather them with a mixture of honey and mustard then sprinkle chopped walnuts, sesame seeds and salt and pepper on top. I would serve it with mashed corn or pureed carrots and a stalk or two of steamed broccoli.
My daughter turned me on to this preparation of tofu: But the firm tofu. Cut in thick slices (the tofu comes in a block). Put paper towels on the tofu and weight down with a plate topped with books. Don't squash so much that the tofu falls apart, just enough to press out water. Change the towels a few times so you can see you are losing moisture.
Then cut up in size and shape you like. Double-wrap in freezer paper (or whatever you've got that won't get soggy over time) and maybe aluminum foil tightly sealed. Freeze until solid (I have some in my freezer now that are as hard as stones). THEN take out and thaw. Important: you have to press the moisture out again, using the paper towels, etc.
Then dry the tofu and use it in a dish with sauce. For example, a stir fry or a savory soup. The texture has been changed enough to allow absorption of flavors, the moisture has left the tofu to be able to be replaced with savory flavors from liquid.
If not doing that, you can just marinate for a while in some flavors you like (it absorbs those flavors), dry off and then dust lightly with some cornstarch and stir fry. After crispy to your satisfaction, take out of your pan (or wok), stir fry your veggies, then add your sauce, get it all hot and add in your fried tofu.
That slithery texture of soft or silken tofu is an acquired taste. Asians love it (at least, the Japanese that I know do). But if you don't like that, you can add it to salad dressing and blend up in a blender. Use a little at first and see how much works in your dressing without distracting from the seasoned dressing.
Edited by: ALGEBRAGIRL at: 1/4/2014 (11:45)
Fitness Minutes: (712)
1/1/14 1:09 P
it sounds like you may have picked up silken tofu instead of regular tofu. silken generally comes in shelf stable, tetra-brik packages. regular comes packed in water and, if not sealed, that water needs to be changed daily. i'm not big on marinading tofu, but if i recall correctly it needs more 8 hours/overnight to absorb much of anything unless you slice it paper thin.
my best advice would be to hit up asian restaurants and try tofu that way until you determine if you like it or not. then you can work on learning to cook it. it's one of the trickier things to learn to cook well, both because of the different texture and the fact that there are so many kinds and so many ways to cook it.
for silken tofu, i would suggest pie or pudding. in some publix insert from years ago i found a key lime pie recipe that uses silken tofu. you basically whiz up the tofu in a food processor, add the lime juice and one or two other things, pour into a graham pie shell and chill. i can try and find it if you like. the other thing that it works well in [and is insanely easy to make] is chocolate pudding. again, toss the tofu in a food processor and let it go til smooth. add a little vanilla and then stir in your melted chocolate. cool and enjoy.
for regular tofu you may want to start by slicing, pressing, and freezing. the color will turn a little more yellow, but it really helps if you want a chewier texture. because most recipes for tofu call for pressing, cubing, then cooking and i frankly find that when i do this at home, i sear the outside rather unpleasantly and the inside stays slimy. asian restaurants can do this and make it chewy and creamy and wonderful, but not me. so i know that i prefer mine sliced as thinly as i can and then i fry it up. i don't press mine and this ends up pleasantly chewy and not unpleasantly centered.
if you know anyone who raves about tofu, ask them to make you some. if you like it, ask them to teach you how to cook it. you may also want to try something a little more strongly flavored than lemon pepper. and follow a recipe.
Edited by: NIRERIN at: 1/1/2014 (06:05)
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Fitness Minutes: (98,749)
12/31/13 10:16 P
Thanks for the input! I'm going to give it another try. I think, after reading the comments attached to the article the Coach attached I'm also going to read a little more about tofu and the health benefits and potential risks. I don't know much of anything about the effects of soy on the body but I would like to find out before I make this a regular staple in my diet. Thanks everyone.
current weight: 131.2
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
1,031 12/31/13 12:00 P
I would also suggest trying to cube in miso or hot & sour soup (many Chinese restaurants serve it that way); soft tofu mixed in a blender as the base for salad dressings or smoothies, or commercially prepared as a soy yogurt substitute to see if you really like it. I do but cooking with it is a whole other process and I commend you for taking that on.
Thanks for the response. I wonder if I didn't allow it to drain long enough. It definitely did not have the texture of fully cooked egg whites, which I enjoy. I'll give it another try and allow it to drain longer this time.
I find that it has the texture of a completely cooked egg white. That is how I describe it to folks who have never had it. Once you express the water, it will absorb any flavor you give to it. When I used to eat it, I would put clean tea towels around it, a weight on top, and express the water for about 3 hours. My favorite way to cook it was as a meat substitute in chinese stir fry.
I can't eat much soy any more because I have an under-active thyroid and it messes with the meds absorbtion.
Life is not waiting for the storms to pass..it's learning to dance in the rain.
"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." - Scott Hamilton
Anyone have a favorite way to cook it that makes it tolerable? I tried it last night for the first time after (I think) thoroughly expressing most of the water, marinating it for 30 minutes in a lemon pepper marinade, then sautéing it. It was quite frankly one of the worst foods I've ever eaten. I want to find a way to enjoy it and some people seem to rave about tofu. Suggestions? PS, what seemed to gross me out the most was the texture. It wasn't soft, but wasn't chewy, either. It was a mystery texture somewhere in between and I purchased the "super firm" kind.
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