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Topic: tooffuu help  (Read 3305 times)
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« on: April 13, 2004 10:52:14 PM »

hmm i tried cooking tofu before and it went horribly wrong. it stuck to the pan and it was mushy on the inside and burnt on the outside.. it was just sick.
i went to some chinease drive thru place tonight and they had the greatest tasting tofu ever. they were chopped into little cubes and they looked like they were breaded in something. hah i wanna make good tofu like that...
could anyone help?
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2004 05:51:58 AM »

mmm, i love the chinese style fried tofu.  if i'm thinking what you're thinking, heat up a good amount of oil-enough to liberally cover the bottom of the pan (sesame is delish, but canola/safflower will taste fine, too) to medium-hot...test a piece of tofu to see it it sizzles and dances.
before you cook your tufu, pat off the excess moisture with a dishtowel or papertowel.
carefully load up a layer in the pan and fry away, checking the color frequently-look for that crispy golden thing happenning.
when done, drain on paper towels/bags to sop up the oil, and you're good to go.

about tofu- i've found that if the pieces are small and it's to be used in something saucy, you don't need a marinade; otherwise, you do;tofu is pretty bland. and i always say to people who scoff at tofu's blandness-"well, you wouldn't eat raw chicken out of the package now, would you?" Tongue

« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2004 09:53:55 AM »

i'm not terribly experienced with tofu cookery but i have a few suggestions.

regarding the blandness of tofu -
it is a fact that most foods, cooked alone, are more palatable than tofu - especially chicken and other meats which have a strong flavour of their own. that doesn't mean that tofu isn't good to eat, it just means that it needs something to go with it.
i usually soak it in soy sauce and lemon juice before cooking, but you could have it with a dipping sauce or anything with a strong flavour.

i have never had a problem frying tofu - perhaps the heat was too low?
tofu, as a food made of processed cooked soya, does not technically need any cooking, so no need to worry about cooking it all through or anything. however cooking it fairly fast gives it a kind of crust which gives it a bit more texture.
it is pretty soft and smooth in texture, so if it's a bit crisp on the outside that can be an improvement.

i wish i could eat tofu more often, but i usually cook for my flatmates as well as myself (in return for not having to wash up), only one of whom will even tolerate tofu. Angry
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2004 10:53:13 AM »

The place you went to may have used tempura batter, but here's my ex-roommate's recipe which is also delicious.

Breaded Tofu:

Whatcha need:
-chinese tofu
-vegetable oil
-dark sesame oil
-salt and pepper or other spices (powdered ginger and white pepper are good, as is fresh grated ginger)
-paper towels
-frying pan

Heat a half-inch of veggie oil in a pan over med-high heat.

Cut tofu into small-ish cubes or slices.

Toss the slices in cornstarch, salt (from experience: don't go too crazy with the salt--you'll probably be dipping in soy sauce, so no need to add too much), and spices untill the tofu is coated with the breading mix.

Add a tsp or so of sesame oil to the pan (sesame oil burns easily, which is why I don't add it until I'm about to fry the tofu); pop your tofu cubes in the pan (be careful not to get splashed by all that hot oil!) and fry each side till golden (about 2 minutes per side).

Drain on paper towels.

You can make a dipping sauce too.  My favorite is a Vietnamese fish sauce with rice or plum wine vineagar and hot pepper flake, but if you're a veggie, you can make a very tasty sauce with a little soy sauce (you don't need that much), water, rice wine vineagar, a splash of sake (if you have it), chopped garlic, a pinch of white pepper, and freshly grated ginger.

Also: another recipe from the cats and tea corner-- (they were my favorite when I was a vegan, and I still use many of their recipes):
« Last Edit: April 14, 2004 10:58:34 AM by monkeyrocker » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2004 11:34:04 AM »

You should so try to make tofu jerky...it is so delicious. Let me know if you need a recipe
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2004 11:42:33 AM »

Tofu JERKY?!?!?  In all the years I've been eating tofu I've never even heard of it---yes, please, a recipe!

Will post again when I have more time with some cookery ideas....
« Last Edit: April 14, 2004 12:27:21 PM by waterbaby » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2004 01:50:30 PM »

Tofu Jerky

1 lb extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup soy sauce
3-4 tbsps liquid smoke
1/8 cup water
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp pepper
1 tsp sweetener

Drain the tofu and then cut into long narrow strips about 1/4 inch thick.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Put tofu strips in a shallow pan or cookie sheet and pour marinade over them.  Let marinate for several hours or overnight in the fridge.  Cook the tofu in a food dehydrator if you have one, or you can bake in the oven for 4-6 hours at 200 degrees F.  Turn the tofu over once every hour.  Continue until the tofu is chewy but not burnt or crispy.  Store in a tupperware type container, will keep indefinitely.

Seriously, I know you don't believe me that this stuff is good, but you have to make it at least once.  It tastes just like real jerky!  
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« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2004 06:43:05 PM »

thanks for the tips and recipies... hah im excited to give cooking tofu another try.
tofu jerky... that sounds really intresting Grin
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2004 11:55:36 PM »

fun with tofu texture!

1. freeze it, then thaw. it actually gets chewy and kind of spongy, and sucks up more sauce. my favorite is this tofu in homemade bbq sauce (lots of ingredients but simple to make).

2. steam it! it gets chewy and kind of rubbery-- very meaty. if you then shake it in flour or breadcrumbs with a bit of cumin and pepper, and fry it up, it will taste a lot like chicken nuggets.

3. the more you drain and press tofu before cooking, the more seasoning it will suck up and the less soft it will be. a good way to press it is to put tofu on a board with a few plates stacked on top. (steaming accomplishes the same sort of thing-- it gets the excess water out).

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2004 06:40:45 PM »

You can make a mixture of breadcrumbs, wheatgerm and spices, coat blotted tofu with it and then put it in the oven to bake for about 10-20 mins.  Then serve with a dipping sauce (I like peanut sauce).
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2004 01:50:39 PM »

I bake mine.  Make sure to get fresh tofu, NOT the kind in the box (also called silken tofu).  Get fresh and take it out of the package, drain it, and set it on a plate with a folded paper towel under the tofu.  Put another plate on top of it and weigh the top plate down with a heavy pan.  Leave it for about 30 minutes.  This presses more water out of it.  

Make a marinade with 1 TB soy sauce, 1 TB sesame oil, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger, and 2 TB sherry -  more or less.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Take the brick of tofu and slice it lengthwise into four slabs.  Cut the slabs into four triangles.  Put the tofu into the marinade, stir very gently so it's all covered, and leave it for about 20 minutes, turning it occasionally.  You may need to make more marinade - you want enough to cover it in one layer with some leftover.

Put the tofu and any remaining marinade in a single layer on a baking pan (with sides) and bake it for 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally.  It will get crisp-ish on the outside and be dense and flavorful.  I make this about twice a week and we put it in stirfrys, salads, sandwiches, and eat it right off the pan.

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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2004 02:38:19 PM »

hm, i must say, i'm not a big fan of tofu. i usually put it in stir-fry and stuff, where it's mixed with other stuff. My sister once put it in scrambled eggs, b/c she was too lazy to go to the store, and wanted some eggs. it made them taste REALLY eggy. but i added some cheese, and it was pretty good! i must say, this tofu jerky sounds kind of good. i might try it. but, jazminecat, what do you mean in a box. i get mine from this asian market, and it comes in a plastic box with weird liquid in it. Is this fresh??? they also have a big tub of it, and you can choose your own out of it. and if you don't feel like frying your own, they usually have pre-fried stuff at asian markets. i've always wanted to try it. thanks for the inspiration, i'll have to cook with this more!!!!!

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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2004 08:14:45 AM »

elefant - yeah, the kind with the liquid is fresh tofu.  You can also find tofu on the shelf, not refrigerated, and this is called silken tofu.  Silken tofu is great for salad dressings and sauces and dips, because it is smooth and creamy, but not so good for baking or eating in a stir fry.  I always use fresh tofu for baking and stir frys.
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