Tofu inspires many reactions from lip smackin' to the furrowed brow and frown. "What is it?" "Why eat it?" and "What do I do with it?" are all common questions I get all of the time. I have to admit that I am a real tofu fan. Tastes like chicken!!
Firstly, what is tofu. Traditionally, tofu is fermented soy beans. Ew, fermentation! Yes! The wonderful benefits and power of fermentation (soy sauce, tamari, pickles, sauerkraut, sourdough, yogurt, etc) will be discussed later. Back to tofu. There are 2 common types of tofu I am going to talk to you about. Firm and Silken. Tofu is a wonderful meat substitute and takes on the flavors it is cooked with.
Before I begin I want to say that I AM BEING VERY BASIC HERE! This is like telling a person 1 way to cook chicken. You can do sooooooo much but we've got to start somewhere.
Firm tofu is, generally, sold in a block surrounded by water. The best way that I have found to prepare it is...1) Always FREEZE it. 2)Thaw it. 3) squeeze the block to get rid of the water. 4)wrap in a towel, place on a plate and place a weight on it for a minimum of 1/2 hour (can be done ahead of time and placed in the fridge). 5) marinate and COOK!
Here is a yummy recipe from Deborah Madison.
2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
4 t. finely chopped Ginger
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 T dark sesame oil
2 T. sesame oil
4 t. brown sugar (can replace with another sweetener)
3 T. soy sauce
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then pour over drained, sliced tofu. GENTLY stir until all tofu is covered. Refrigerate until ready to use. Grill (shish-kabab) or broil, using extra marinade as a sauce. Serve over rice.
Okay now for silken tofu. I love to use it in DESSERTS!!! I LOVE a good tofu mousse.
Here's a recipe inspired by Tosca Reno with my adjustments...
Tofu Chocolate Mousse
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
12 oz. silken tofu at room temp. drained
1/2 c. warmed almond, rice or soy milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract (optional)
In the microwave SLOWLY in the microwave (or double broiler). Stir until uniformly smooth.
In food processor combine tofu, chocolate, warmed milk and extracts. Serve chilled. YUM.
A little tip about tofu is....TRY TO BUY IT ORGANIC. There is a lot of controversy over the genetically modified crap and what it does to your hormones. Let me know what you think of the recipes and if you have questions.
Quote of the day: "Worryin' is like rockin' in a a rocking chair...it gives you something to do...but doesn't get you anywhere." (Ziggy and Tom Wilson)
Assignment: Don't be afraid to try something new. Embrace life. Expect to fail and celebrate success. Life's about learning and trying new stuff.