Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tofu Is Not A Radioactive Japanese Monster

My (mostly) vegetarian husband and our (mostly) vegan daughter don't like tofu, but I, carnivore with a capital CARN, love it.

Tofu, in case you don't know, is made from soybeans. My new cookbook, SPORK-FED, tells you how to make your own, but -- Dude. Really?

Anyway, this is my favorite way to fix it. It's even better than my old favorite way to fix it.

Take a block of EXTRA-FIRM tofu. Put it on a cutting board or something flat and drainable. Put another flat thing on top of it and a heavy thing on top of that. I put mine between an acrylic cutting board and the back of a plate, then put an iron skillet on top. Now tilt that contraption over the sink at just enough of an angle than liquid can drain off. The longer you leave it, the more moisture squishes out of the tofu.

See, tofu is kind of like a sponge. NO, it does not TASTE like a sponge -- Shut up! Anyway, tofu soaks up flavors. The less moisture that's already in it, the more juicy goodness it can slurp up and deliver directly to your happy mouth.

Okay, now slice the tofu. I wish I had sliced ours thinner, but this tofu wasn't the best, and it wouldn't slice thin. Arrange the slices in a single layer in something with a rim, and pour tamari soy sauce on it. I'm talking about fermented, gluten-free soy sauce, um-yum! Regular would do.

Heat some oil in a skillet. Not a lot of oil, just enough to slick the bottom of the pan. Now fry that tofu until it's crispy on the edges.

MAN, that's good! Makes a good sammich, too.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We cook with tofu and it does indeed soak up whatever flavor you use. Griddled for a long time and it becomes crisp like bacon.

Unknown said...

We love tofu. Last fall I learned how to make fried tofu and the family went nuts for it. It was really easy. We also make baked tofu using The Moosewood Cookbooks tofu croutons recipe. I have never gotten them crisp enough to call crouton but they taste wonderful.

Marian Allen said...

I had some at a Chinese restaurant once in cubes (the tofu, not me or the restaurant), crisp and crunchy on the outside and melting on the inside. I keep going for that, and I'm getting closer. :)