Friday, March 28, 2008

Tofu - Soybean Curd

Today I cleaned out the fridge. That isn't quite a noteworthy event since I am not one of those people who only clean it out once a year or never. But as I was cleaning it out I came across this box of tofu. It has been in my fridge for at least a month or more and I decided it was time to do something with it.

There were a few different kinds of tofu - I thought the firm smooth texture sounded the "best". It was smooth but not what I'd call firm - more like a thick Jello density, rather than a block of cheese.

Tofu block

I read that you should put the tofu on a plate, place another plate on top of the tofu and then set something heavy on top of the plate to help drain the water out of the tofu for about an hour.

I drained the tofu first, then had my brave girl take the first bite. At first she made a sound of disgust when she felt it but once she took a taste she said she liked it..."plain...hint of water chestnuts." The boy of course didn't like it but agreed that it tasted "plain". I thought it was pretty bland.

I did want to see what the tofu was like once it was cooked so I went searching for a simple recipe. I came up with a recipe for "Hot and Spicy Tofu". It sounded like it might work since I had a few of the ingredients on hand and figured I'd skip the rest of the ingredients.

Tofu cubed and browned.

You cut the tofu into cubes, heat some oil, toss in the tofu and cook until browned. Once browned you toss in bell pepper and diced up jalepeno pepper (supposed to be a chili pepper and onion and garlic but I had none of those things). Cook for 5 min.

Mix together 1/3 c hot water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and red pepper flakes - pour over tofu and veggies and simmer until sauce thickens slightly.

Cooked Tofu and Red Pepper

The tofu cooked with the peppers tasted fine. You ALMOST could think you were eating little bits of chicken breast with red pepper.

For all those tofu lovers out there - what is the benefit of eating tofu instead of say boneless, skinless chicken breasts (which I usually buy). It's not terribly high in protein, it doesn't taste all that good and the consistency isn't wonderful - so what is the allure? Is it primarily for vegetarians???


We are THAT family said...

I have NEVER cooked with Tofu. But that looks yummy. That would have to be a secret ingredient.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I'd say it's mostly a vegetarian thing. It's not really so good, but it is an easy way to add meatless protein.

The only place I really like it is in hot and sour soup, or maybe hidden in a stir fry.

Heather said...

We use it to replace dairy in cooking due to food allergies. It makes excellent puddings, whipped topping, ice cream, and smoothies.It also works very well as part of non-dairy icing and birthday cake. (I replace pudding with it and it makes for a very smooth cake.)
We don't like the taste or the texture of it straight.