Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Few 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 now I have this white blob - 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" - if you use super-market variety, regular water-packed tofu, you may want to "press" it for a bit to remove excess moisture, but I skip this step.

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.


C said...

Mhm... that tofu looks so good!
I've never had really fresh tofu, too bad. I'm sure it's a whole different experience.

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

Yum! I wish I was one of your sprouts!

The Voracious Vegan said...

Fried tofu is the best! I love it soooo much, I need to make it more! I've never had really fresh tofu, I can only get the stuff from the plastic tubs. Hopefully someday I'll get a chance to try the fresh kind, I bet it's fantastic.

Catherine said...

I don't think fried tofu and salad is a terrible dinner! Tasty, high in protein, and veggies, to boot.

I should really try making tofu sometime. I wonder whether my co-op carries coagulant? Hm. Investigation required.

lynn said...

Fresh tofu? I've never even SEEN it. Soooooooo envious.

Shannon said...

Wow, that looks amazing! I have seen the fresh tofu at the Tan A Supermarket here in Richmond, VA but have been timid to try it because I am not sure how "fresh" it really is. The local HFS also has it but I was not thrilled by the taste of their fresh 'fu. So jealous!

crystal said...

Rumor has it that Small Planet Tofu is moving to the Seattle area. I'm really sad to see them go, but I know you'll all appreciate them over on the Westside!

Soundly Vegan said...

Tofu, where is your favorite Asian grocer? We've checked out BooHan's and Ranch 99 so far [I'm used to Ranch 99 cause there was one in San Diego and I love that place], as well as a vietnamese place just across I-5 on 38th Ave. Asian food is one of our favorite indulgences but since we're new to the area we need help!