November 23, 2011

What Can I Do With Soft Tofu?

Enchiladas can be filled with a shredded tofu mixture,
and served with Spanish rice and re-fried beans
When I began to cut meat out of my diet, tofu was one protein source that helped take its place. At first I only used firm or extra firm tofu - many recipes call for these, and they are more... meat-like. You can crumble, cube, and slice it. It can be boiled and fried. But what about soft tofu? What, I wondered, can I do with soft tofu?

Traditional tofu (non-GM) is soft, and for a while I was not sure exactly what to do with it. In recipes such as chili, or Dal, soft tofu breaks up into little micro-pieces, and has a mushy to non-existent mouth feel. But it was inexpensive and nutritious, so I kept on trying.

I tried putting soft tofu in smoothies, but that didn't really appeal to me. Then I stumbled across a method for transforming soft tofu into something completely different, when I froze a chunk (without water).

I didn't recognize it when I took it out and thawed it. The tofu was no longer a soft, smooth consistency. It was like a sponge with a more fibrous structure. I squeezed all the water out of the block of spongy tofu, then using my kitchen scissors, shredded it into a frying pan of hot oil.

With the addition of a few spices I had essentially made 'veggie ground round', a packaged soy product that simulates Mexican spiced ground beef. I like veggie ground round, but it is too expensive. Making it with soft tofu that has been frozen is much, much cheaper.

Freezing soft tofu transforms the soy into a chewier, more textured finished product. I like the mouth feel that it adds to the dishes it is added to. This form of tofu absorbs seasonings well due to its sponge-like properties.

Mexican Shredded Tofu

350 - 454 grams  - Traditional tofu (soft)
2 tbsp  - oil
1/2 - onion
dash   - Bragg seasoning
1/4 - 1/2 tsp each - cumin, oregano, chili powder
dash - salt, pepper

Thaw a block of tofu that has been frozen. It can go in the microwave to speed the process. When thawed, squeeze the water out, like squeezing a sponge. Heat cast iron fry pan on medium, add oil. Brown diced onion in hot oil.

Add cumin, oregano, and chili powder and stir for a minute or two. Using kitchen scissors, cut the tofu into pan. Add Bragg seasoning, stir, lower heat. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and salads.

And for dessert, why not make chocolate pudding out of, yes, soft tofu. I usually think of tofu in savory dishes, not sweet ones, but this recipe makes a simple, fast, smooth, and yummy pudding. It is an excellent recipe to make if you have a block of soft tofu and are not sure what to do with it.

Soft Tofu Decadent Chocolate Pudding

Block  - fresh soft tofu
1/4 cup  - cocoa powder
1 tsp  - vanilla
dash  - salt
1/4 cup  -  sugar

Toss everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You may have to mix first to break up the tofu, and/or add a bit of milk. When perfectly smooth put in fridge for 30 minutes. Makes about 4 servings.

Traditional (soft) tofu is economical and nutritious. Using it instead of meat has many benefits for the health of the planet, as well as your health.

2 comments:

  1. I fried some with some seasoning. the soft non-gm tofu taste bitter. what's wrong with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tofu should not taste bitter, and actually has a pretty bland flavour. Was it past its best before date?

      Delete

Discussion and debate is welcome on NBA. I believe that this can be done via courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the post, whether or not they agree with the views expressed.

Comments containing profanity, abusive language, or baiting will be deleted.

Comments with a user name attached above, or in a sign off in the text, are appreciated. It lets us meet on common ground, and get to know each other better.

I answer comments depending on what is happening in my life, and how much gardening, cooking, hiking, and music making needs to be done.

Click the "notify me" box to be updated on the thread by email.

Note: Comments are moderated to eliminate links to commercial interests. We are proudly a no selling, no buying website.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...