Monday, December 04, 2006

Tofu Thoughts


Woo-hoo! Jackpot!

Went to my favorite Asian grocer tonight, and they had just filled the bulk buckets in the cooler with fresh tofu.
Their fresh (not the stuff in the little plastic box) tofu sells out within a couple HOURS, so I rarely manage to get my hands on any. You just grab a chunk out of the water with the tongs, put it in a plastic bag. Tonight I stocked up - it keeps for quite a while if I put it in a Tupperware and change the water daily - and it freezes great!

If you've never had fresh (I mean REALLY amazingly fresh) tofu from a bulk bin or tub, I suggest you try it - it's SOOOOO good! Trina, my Vietnamese friend, told me about this particular market - said they're known for having the best tofu in town. I have to agree, and now I'm spoiled - this is the only way I'll buy the stuff.

OK, so what to do with it?

Not that I have ANY trouble findng a use for tofu, but Littlest Sprout wanted "Chicken Tofu Sticks" (with barbeque sauce of course!!) and since it's so quick and simple and we were running late - well, we basically made a meal of fried tofu and salad. Maybe not the most healthy supper on the planet, but I can think of worse.

I'm not really sure where this recipe came from or if it ever WAS a recipe, but I've been fiddling with it for years (like most of my recipes); since my oldest still likes real (*gasp*) chicken when out with her Dad once in a while, I've tried to season these sorta the way she likes. Go with less cayenne or lemon pepper if you prefer. Cold, the next day, these things are very scarily chicken-like...

"Fried Tofu Chik'n-Style"

6 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast
1/2 cup finely ground dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dry vegetarian "chik'n" bullion/broth powder

1/2 tsp. sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
Dash of cayenne pepper

lemon pepper to taste

1/2 cup soymilk
1/4 cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayo. of your choice
2 Tb. nutritional yeast
peanut oil for frying
1 pounds firm, fresh tofu, drained, blotted dry and cut into "sticks".

In a small bowl, whisk the Vegenaise, soymilk and 2 Tb. nutritional yeast; in a separate dish, toss the cornstarch, breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast with the salt and spices.

Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a cast-iron or non-stick pan. (I know, I know!!)

Dip each tofu stick in the soymilk mixture to coat, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the mixture on. Carefully lower into the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes. Turn with tongs and continue cooking until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with dipping sauce.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the recipe!

Urban Vegan said...

We sometimes get our tofu like this in Chinatown. It's not organic--but it sure looks cool, huh? There's something so satisfying about buying something that is not prepackaged. Ditto olives, bulk foods, etc.

Your recipe sounds great. like you, I'm a vegan who loves to cook.

bazu said...

Yes! I've only had fresh tofu a few times, but you are so right the taste is incomparable. I was reading in the New Yorker (?) about making your own tofu and how it's an artform in Japan... maybe after I get my degree, I'll have to try that!

Gaia said...

Hi there !

It's my first visit to your blog and I find you so very lucky !
I wish I could buy fresh tofu somewhere around here !

Great blog ! I'll be back !

aTxVegn said...

Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog. This is such a timely post because I have a new asian supermarket with fresh tofu. I always freeze my cartons of tofu before I use them so I wasn't sure I wanted the fresh. But it sounds like I should give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Tofu mom - why have i never heard about your blog before. It looks fantastic. I plan to visit you often!

I love the idea of putting Veggie broth into the breading mixture. Great idea.

Also - I have to get my hands on fresh tofu. My old boss used to rave about it. However, I don't know of any places to get it in downtown Toronto. Don't suppose you live in Toronto and know of a source?

Anonymous said...

I saw your comment on Urban Vegan's blog and thought I'd stop buy. I'm not a huge fan of tofu (yet) but your Chicken Tofu sticks look great.

Nikki said...

Hi there! :) This is my first visit to your blog.

I've been told that fresh tofu is amazing. I have always wanted to try it.

Candi said...

I've never tried fresh tofu before! I didn't know where to look. I will be in search of it now though!

The Chix Stix look like something my daughter would love!! :P (ok, and me too, who am I kidding?!) Lol!

Pixie said...

Wow, I want to live where you do. Fresh tofu, too cool. I don't even think there's an Asian market here. I'll need to do some research. Your blog is awesome. That recipe sounds too good. I'll need to try it. Of course it'll just be for me since I'm the only tofu fan in our house. Yea me!