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Thread: Flavoring tofu?

  1. #1
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    Question Flavoring tofu?

    Hello!
    I was wondering if any of you had very basic recipes for making tofu yummy. I'm the only veg in the family and sometimes the others can't help but make a meat-based entree, in which case I usually just bake or fry some tofu for myself. Unfortunately, I'm pretty bad with spice combinations, and I've had quite a few disasters when trying to make my tofu more flavorful. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    For me the very most basic recipe for making tofu sort of resemble meat is to use soy sauce. Seems to work pretty well. You can cut it into cubes and soak it in the soy sauce for 30 min and use it soft or soak it in the soy sauce for 30 min and then bake it. This way it takes on a chewier texture and I often use this for 'chicken' salad and some other chicken replacement recipes.

    I go this recipe from a macrobiotic cook book years ago and I found it works in a lot of savory recipes.

    Also - if you are near a TJ's you can buy baked savory flavored tofu.

    You can do the same thing as the above with any marinade, actually. As far as using dried spices - I don't really know.

    Meg

  3. #3
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    You're light years ahead of me if you can eat it baked/fried without something really flavorful. I'm having to really work at it. With that said, we liked this one from Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.

    Spicy Pan-Glazed Tofu

    Copyright: Jack Bishop, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

    1/2 cup vegetable broth
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    2 medium garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
    Salt
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 pound extra-firm or firm tofu, cut crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs and blotted dry between several layers of paper towels (Do not use silken tofu.)

    1. Combine the broth, syrup, vinegar, garlic, pepper flakes, and salt to taste in a small bowl and set aside.

    2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn the tofu and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 5 minutes.

    3. Add the broth mixture to the pan and simmer, turning the tofu once, until the liquid reduces to a thick syrup and the tofu is glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a serving platter, scrape the glaze left in the pan over the tofu, and serve.

    ***********

    You might also want to check out this thread, where several of his tofu recipes are included. He has a bunch of them in that particular cookbook:

    Jack Bishop Thread

    There is also an ongoing thread covering Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian that you can find by clicking here.

    You might also try using the search feature for "Inspired Vegetarians," which should take you to a pretty long list of monthly threads. And if you still come up empty, there are several vegetarians on the board with blogs who would be willing to provide you with links if you're interested. Welcome to the boards!
    Okay...it's time to pull up your big-girl panties and get on with it. (Seen on a bathroom wall.)

    Visit my blogs: Cooking the Books

    For recipes only, visit the companion blog: Cooked Up.

  4. #4
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    This is a favorite I usually enjoy in ww wraps with baby spinach. I leave out the cilantro altoghter, sometimes substituting parsley, but there's plenty of flavor going on without either.

    Bob

    ***************************

    Lemony Baked Tofu - with spicy cilantro marinade
    (Moosewood New Classics)

    Whisk together

    1 cake firm (or extra firm) tofu cut into four horizontal slices
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 Tbsp. minced scallion
    1 fresh green chili, minced and seeded, if desired, or 1 tsp. hot sauce
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (I used more than that, to taste)


    Pour half of the marinade into a ceramic or pyrex dish that can "house" the tofu in a single layer. An eight inch square is a perfect fit. Place tofu slices on top, and cover with the rest of the marinade.

    Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes, turning once after about 30 minutes. The baked tofu should be browned, bubbling and curling at the edges. (Note: I boosted the oven temp to 450 for a few minutes at the end to brown and "crisp" it more.) Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or chilled. Will keep in an airtight container or plastic bag in the fridge for up to five days.

  5. #5
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    I recently tried this recipe and love it. Made it a few times already. Even my meat eating DH loves this tofu recipe. I had this weekend over some jasmine rice with a side of sauted bok choy. Wonderful.

    Five-spice Hoisin Tofu
    Spices of Life

    1 1/2 lbs. firm tofu, drained and cut in half through the thickness

    marinade
    3/4 cup hoisin sauce
    1/3 rice wine or sake
    3 TBSP. soy sauce
    1 1/2 TBSP. minced garlic
    1 tsp five-spice powder
    1 tsp sesame oil

    Mix marinade. Pour over tofu and let sit for an hour at room temperature.
    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

    Arrange tofu on a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Pour the marinade on top and base for 35 mins, then remove from the oven and cool slightly. Cut into pieces and sppon some of the cooked marinade on top and serve.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2003
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    I like this recipe for baked tofu. I got it from a friend and don't know its original souce or even its name. I just call it marinated tofu.

    1 block extra firm tofu, pressed to remove the liquid, and cut into 8 slices
    2 tbsp canola oil
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp mirin
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1 tbsp minced peeled ginger (I use ginger juice)
    2 cloves minced garlic
    1 tsp dried thyme

    Mix together marinade. Arrange slices of tofu in a baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu and marinate for 30 minutes to overnight, turning tofu slices once.

    Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.

  7. #7
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    These sound great everyone, and so much more interesting than what I've been doing! Thank you!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktg0930 View Post
    I like this recipe for baked tofu. I got it from a friend and don't know its original souce or even its name. I just call it marinated tofu.
    I had this last night and am becoming a real baked tofu lover. Thanks for all the recipes-keep them coming. Any southwestern flavors?

  9. #9
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    This is what I make when I want a simple, tofu salad. I put it on top of greens, or eat as it is. Sorry, no measurements, I just eyeball it.

    Dice tofu, sprinkle with rice wine vinegar, a little bit of soy sauce or tamari, chopped ginger and sliced scallions. And some crushed red pepper for heat. Stir, and pop in the fridge to chill. I sometimes add just a half tsp or so of toasted sesame oil, for a little more flavor.

  10. #10
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    I second (or third or whatever ) the recommendation to check out the Jack Bishop method of making tofu. I think it makes the price of his book worth it right there. So far I have made the red curry version and it was a HUGE hit:

    Pan-Glazed Tofu with Thai Red Curry Sauce

    Source: Jack Bishop’s A Year In A Vegetarian Kitchen

    Ingredients

    ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used ½ cup light)

    ¼ cup vegetable broth

    1 T soy sauce (I used fish sauce)

    1 T fresh lime juice

    1 t Thai red curry paste (I used Mae Ploy and frankly given the proportions it was too spicy for my elder daughter but not the rest of us)

    1 t sugar (I used 1 T)

    1 T roasted peanut oil

    1 lbs extra firm tofu, cut into 8 ½ inch thick slabs and blotted dry with paper towels

    2 T chopped salted peanuts

    1 T minced cilantro
    Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

    Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (he emphasizes elsewhere it really should be nonstick as tofu sticks easily so I did it in 2 batches since my skillet is 10 inches) over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown, 6-7 minutes. Turn over and cook further, another 5 minutes, until golden brown on that side too.

    Add the coconut milk mixture to the pan and simmer, turning the tofu once, until the liquid reduced to a thick syrup and the tofu is glazed, about 2 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a serving platter and drizzle the glaze over it. Garnish with the cilantro and peanuts.

    I mixed and quickly cooked extra of the sauce and served it with jasmine rice. This was my first foray into the world of tofu and it was a huge success.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  11. #11
    All of those tofu recipes look so good. I'll have to give them a try. It's so easy to get in a rut and make the same marinade every time.

    There are a couple of really yummy tofu recipes on my website (www.everydaydish.tv) -click on "Cooking Show" and you'll see the recipes on the right. The Breast of Tofu is amazing and I love that you can store the tofu in the marinade for a week.

  12. #12
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    This is my current favorite.

    Deep fried Tofu with Sichuan Pepper and Salt and Lemon
    Kylie Kwong

    Serve as a starter for four or as part of a banquet for 4–6.

    How simple is this dish, yet so sophisticated. Good cooking is all about treating ingredients with respect and knowing how to handle them – knowing how to bring out the best in ingredients.

    1 - 10 oz packet silken tofu
    vegetable oil for deep-frying
    1/3 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
    handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
    1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper and salt
    1 lemon, halved

    Gently remove tofu from packet and invert onto a plate. Carefully slice into 6 cubes by cutting tofu lengthwise in half, then widthwise into thirds, draining off any excess liquid.

    Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Lightly coat tofu pieces in flour and using a spatula, carefully lower into the hot oil – it is important not to coat the tofu in advance of heating the oil, or it will become very moist and sticky.

    Deep-fry tofu for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper.

    Arrange tofu on a platter garnished with coriander and serve immediately, sprinkled with Sichuan pepper and salt and accompanied by lemon halves.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by wineandchocolat View Post
    There are a couple of really yummy tofu recipes on my website (www.everydaydish.tv) -click on "Cooking Show" and you'll see the recipes on the right. The Breast of Tofu is amazing and I love that you can store the tofu in the marinade for a week.
    The Breast of Tofu looks interesting, I'll give it a try. I tried to click on the link to Tofu Sandwich Filling and got Corned Beef instead. I would like to see the sandwich filling recipe - can you help? Thanks.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by sugaree View Post
    The Breast of Tofu looks interesting, I'll give it a try. I tried to click on the link to Tofu Sandwich Filling and got Corned Beef instead. I would like to see the sandwich filling recipe - can you help? Thanks.
    Hi Sugaree, I just checked it out and realized that the recipe is not on the website, but is in Dreena's Cookbook (Vive Le Vegan) and on her website (http://viveleveganrecipes.blogspot.c..._archive.html). If you watch the video on the Everydaydish website, you can see what she does. Basically it's tofu baked in a lemon marinade (similar to the lemony baked tofu recipe above, but with dried oregano, thyme and basil). After it's been oven roasted and cooled, you whiz it in the processor with veggies and a little mayo. It makes an awesome sandwich filling. I've watched tofu haters gobble it up.

    The ginger peanut tofu salad is also delish, as is the scramble, the agedashi tofu and the chocolate espresso pie (www.everydaydish.tv). Enjoy!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookin4Love View Post
    You're light years ahead of me if you can eat it baked/fried without something really flavorful. I'm having to really work at it. With that said, we liked this one from Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.

    Spicy Pan-Glazed Tofu
    Yesterday was shopping day, so I made sure to buy the ingredients I need to make this. It sounds delicious, and it's what I'm having for dinner tonight with quinoa and a salad. Can't wait!
    "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

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