If you're new to tofu and you'd like to read more about it, I'd recommend you go through this post over here.
In today's post, I'll show you how to prepare tofu and share a really nice recipe that I use occasionally.
For starters, tofu generally has a lot of moisture and the first thing you should do once you've purchased your tofu is to remove some of the excess moisture. There are two methods of draining the excess water. The first method involves covering your tofu with a kitchen towel/cloth and sandwiching it between two plates, then place a weight on top of the plate (use whatever you've got available in the house, such as a pile of books). This provides the pressure required to drain off all the excess water.
Another method of draining the water from the tofu is by freezing it the night before and allowing it to thaw the following day. Then squeeze all the water from it. I haven’t used this method but the people who have used it mention that the texture of the tofu changes and becomes more airy/bread-like as compared to the sturdy texture present in tofu that has been drained by using weights (method 1).
Tofu doesn’t have a distinct taste and one of the ways to infuse flavour is by marinating it, which is the fun part of this process. You can use any marinade you like, depending on your taste, though I should point out that you should have a marinade that is not oil based. Oil blocks the pores and prevents the marinade from being absorbed. I usually use a combination of soy sauce, vinegar and a few spices to marinate my tofu. For a sweet flavour, add a bit of brown sugar; for heat, add chilli powder; for a bit of punch, add fruit pulp from fruits such as passion or orange… just be creative with your marinade.
Allow your tofu to marinate for a few minutes in the fridge before you use it. Mine takes around 20 minutes.
To give my tofu a bit of a meaty texture, I place it in the oven for 20 min (10 min on each side) at 180 C. It dries the marinade out and gives it a nice chewy and flavour filled texture. This also works well for tofu mince.
After this step, you can use your tofu chunks in a stir-fry with other vegetables or make a nice saucy tofu mince (if you minced your tofu) for your spaghetti. Please don’t food process your tofu when making tofu mince, unless you intend on making tofu buggers/tofu balls, or you’ll have a nasty mess on your pan. I'd recommend you use your fingers when making tofu mince.
Tofu stir-fry recipe
Cook time 15 min
Here’s what you need:
Oven-dried marinated tofu chunks
1 Teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 medium green pepper
1 medium yellow pepper
1 medium red pepper
2 TBPS Soy sauce
1 Large onion chopped
1 Large carrot chopped
1 TBSP cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
This is how you make it:
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
Add the chopped carrots and ginger-garlic paste and let it cook for 2-3 few minutes, occasionally stirring.
Add the coloured peppers, onion and tofu
Add your soy sauce and stir until well combined
Remove from heat once the peppers become slightly tender
Serve with steamed rice