Thinking about starting a conversation on Cake with the title, “What to do with Tofu”. I’ve gone through culinary training and know that a lot of people don’t know how to prepare it. Getting the right textures and flavors is key. The bad thing about tofu is that it is so easy to create something disgusting that turns you off of it forever. Or, you got to a restaurant that serves it and you think there’s no way you can duplicate the dish. So I’m going to explain my thought process as I show you how to prepare something flavorable and achievable from your kitchen.
The first rule I always follow is “buy extra firm”. The texture provides a better mouth feel and it’s easier to cut up into whatever sized chunks you want. I like to cut the thickness in half so that you have two equal rectangles. More surface area to cook evenly.
Roasting over stir frying. I know stir frying is more the norm in Asian restaurants, but I am lazy and want to avoid the issue of drying out or burning it. Plus roasting allows more of the flavor from spices and vegetables to be infused into the tofu.
Preheat an oven to 400°. In a roasting pan, toss the tofu with oil, Thai chili garlic paste, and a handful of garlic cloves cut in half. Cover and roast for 20 minutes.
Toss in flavorable vegetables, such as white or red onions, green or yellow peppers. Add a sliced carrot, a half dozen to a dozen mushrooms, and half an avocado to increase the textures of the dish. Cover again and roast for 20 minutes.
Now add some carbs to balance out the meal. I like to microwave a cut up sweet potato for five minutes to reduce the overall roasting time. Toss it and hot cooked rice into the pan. Add a jar of white cheese sauce (Alfredo, Parmesan) and a liberal splash of white wine. Sprinkle on curry powder and a pepper spice: I like dried chipotle pepper, but red pepper flakes, Cayenne pepper, or a pinch of Habanero will do. Mix the sauce and spices throughout the dish, cover and cook for ten minutes.
Now remove the cover, mix it again, and cook uncovered for another ten minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste. If you end up with leftovers, add more white wine, roasted red peppers, and half a bag of frozen chicken strips (or vegan “chicken” strips) for something different on night number two.
Okay, vegans, vegetarians and foodies. Give me your best secret tofu dish.