Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How I Cook Tofu

For dinner tonight we had tofu and veggie quinoa stir-fry.  I have wanted to share how I like to cook tofu for a while and figured this was a good opportunity.  I know lots of people are scared and grossed out by tofu, but I swear if you cook it this way it is quite tolerable and actually pretty delicious.  Even though I am a vegetarian I will admit I am not a huge fan of some of the meat alternatives out there.  Some are just plain nasty and have the weirdest textures, which can be unpleasant.  I'm really picky about the veggie burgers I eat and about how the tofu I eat is cooked.  I don't like jiggly tofu and this cooking technique prevents that. 

I always buy extra firm tofu and today bought this tofu +plus.  Extra goodness.  The first step is to cut the tofu into about eight rectangles (just slice it).  After doing that I cut the tofu into small triangles, I like that shape.  I didn't take pictures of this step, sorry.  Next, I layer the bottom of a cookie pan with several paper towels then place all the tofu on top.  I then put several more layers of paper towels on top of the tofu and place another cookie sheet on top of the paper towels.  To add weight I put cans and jars on the cookies sheets and put everything in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (you could really do it as long as you wanted though). You are doing this to get some of the liquid out of the tofu. 
This was actually after I had already pressed the liquid out but you get the idea.  Make sure it's all flat though unlike a few of my pieces.
You could use more cans we just don't have many yet. 
Chilling in the fridge.  

After it's been in the fridge for a while take the cans and cookie sheet off the tofu.  I then heat just a drizzle of olive oil in a pan to fry up the tofu.  I have to fry it in two different batches because it won't all fit in the pan at one time.  I cook it for about 10 minutes on medium high heat.  It should look golden and feel pretty firm when it's done.  You can really cook it as much as you want.  The more it cooks, the less jiggly and squishy it becomes. 
When it first goes in the pan.
Golden brown and firm when it's done. 

At this point you could really do anything you wanted with the tofu.  It is pretty bland on it's own so adding any sort of sauce or marinade would taste awesome.  Because I was making stir fry I marinated it in a mixture that contained the following three ingredients. 
Sweetness and saltiness.  
I put the tofu in the marinade about a minute after taking it out of the pan to let it cool down a little.
I let the tofu soak for about an hour but I'm sure the longer the better.  I sliced up the veggies and cooked the quinoa.  If you've never had quinoa you NEED to try it!!! We love how it tastes and love all it's wonderful nutritional benefits.  It's great for us vegetarians because it's a complete protein. 
Water chestnuts, baby corn, broccoil, onion, red pepper, snow peas and bean sprouts.
It's delicious!
I heated some olive oil in the pan and added some garlic.  I then cooked all the veggies and added the entire tofu and marinade mixture.   This was the final product.

Cambria wanted to be held when I was cooking so for the first time in a very long time I held her in my sling.  She didn't like it at first but quickly became comfortable and started helping me by eating the broccoli that was on the counter :) She enjoyed her dinner too. 
No more belly so it's comfortable for me again.  I have a strange, random piece of hair on my face, please excuse it.
Munching on some corn.
I also wanted to share Cambria's plate before and after her lunch today.  She had black beans and rice, spinach and tomatoes with tzatziki sauce and red pepper humus with whole wheat pitas.  Another excellent vegetarian meal.  I gave her seconds on almost everything.  She wasn't feeling the spinach can that little girl eat!
And of course I have to include a picture of our rolling 3 week old Ezra.  I am anxious to discuss this crazy rolling with his pediatrician and to see if he is still gaining a pound week like he did during his second week of life.
This was taken by his Aunt Amber. 
So anyway, try the tofu, it's yummy!!! 
I first saw it cooked this way here. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious! I've heard great things about Quinoa... I need to try it and make this whole meal! Great gluten-free meal! Even the La Choy... some soy sauces have gluten, but not La Choy =)