Tofu recipes sought. All sorts. Tasty ones. That is all. Thank you.
August 15, 2011 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Tofu recipes sought. All sorts. Tasty ones. That is all. Thank you.
posted by beshtya to Food & Drink (31 answers total) 133 users marked this as a favorite
My simplest, favorite thing to do with tofu:

Slice into ~1/2 inch cubes; press and drain.
Get some peanut oil HOT. (Peanut oil is sludgy and gross if you don't get it hot enough, and it has a higher smoke point than most other cooking oils.)
Put on an apron if you haven't already.
Fry the tofu in the oil.
Dress with soy sauce.

Darn it, now I'm hungry.
posted by KAWC at 7:49 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Get some asparagus, if you still can
posted by knile at 7:51 AM on August 15, 2011

Spicy Eggplant Tofu Thing

Slice eggplant into 1/2" pieces and toss into a stew pot of some sort. Add a little water in order to steam the eggplant. Cover.

Wait 10 minutes or until the eggplant bits are beginning to lose their consistency. (Depends on the quantity of eggplant you start with. I usually dice 2 medium-sized Asian eggplant.)

In the meantime, combine some mild-to-medium chili paste (available in a million different varieties in any Asian mart), soy sauce, sesame oil, and molasses (or sugar, or whatever). You're looking for your preferred balance of salty, spicy, and sweet.

Also slice up some firm tofu into cubelets. When the eggplant is ready, dump in the tofu and the sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly, possibly adding some fresh minced garlic. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for a few minutes.

Serve over rice or something. Reheats well.
posted by Nomyte at 8:01 AM on August 15, 2011 [8 favorites]

chocolate tofu pudding. sounds hideous, is actually delish and very very easy.
posted by wayward vagabond at 8:06 AM on August 15, 2011

Silken tofu chocolate mousse is awesome, and not just in a health-food plausible-substitute-for-awesomeness sort of way.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:06 AM on August 15, 2011

posted by nebulawindphone at 8:06 AM on August 15, 2011

Loads of Japanese tofu recipes here
My personal favourite is Mapo doufu. Nomalicious!
posted by monocot at 8:10 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like to bake tofu (400 ish, an hour or so, until it gets golden and lovely), and then either stir fry it or just eat it as is, because baked tofu tastes awesome. I usually cut it in quarters so I get more edges.
posted by jeather at 8:14 AM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Tofu scramble - much better than it sounds.

But first: there are two ways to remove extra water from tofu, making it less likely to get mushy when frying, etc. 1. Freeze firm or extra firm tofu. Defrost. Squeeze water out. This removes the most liquid. 2. Press tofu - wrap tofu in paper towels or cheesecloth in a dish. Put something heavy on top and let rest for 20 minutes or so.

Tofu scramble:

Garlic (minced)
Nutritional yeast (get from the co-op - again, far tastier than it sounds, sort of salty/nutty)
Vegetables to taste - coarsely grated carrot, mushrooms, greens, etc

Press a block of medium or firm tofu. Or don't - unpressed is more egg-like.

Slice the onion and cook in olive oil on medium, stirring occasionally, until it starts to carmelize. Add the garlic and cook thirty seconds. If you are using vegetables that take time to cook (even mushrooms) add them and cook until mostly done. Crumble block of tofu into pan. Add cumin, chili, turmeric, salt to taste. Add 2 T nutritional yeast and about 2 tsp lime juice. Taste. Add more spices, nutritional yeast and lime to taste. (I end up with about 1 T lime juice, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and quite a lot of chili. I also add some hot sauce)

I also cook soft tofu in miso or other vaguely japanese broths. I find that simmering about 1/2 a block of soft tofu for 3 minutes is best. Depending on the broth, I add wakame, sesame oil, hot oil and white pepper. Some folks might enjoy thin rounds of green onion, or some lightly sauteed baby bok choy added at the end.

Or if you make ramen - add the broth packets and cook 1/2 a block of soft tofu in with the ramen for at least 3 minutes. This too is much better than it sounds.

Note that soft, medium, etc tofu all have slightly different calorie counts - soft tofu has the most water, is unsuitable for pressing and has the fewest calories.

In the winter, I press extra firm tofu, slice it into 1/2 slices and then dip it in almond milk (although soy milk or frankly regular milk would also work) and dredge in a mixture of equal parts flour, semolina flour, cornmeal and nutritional yeast plus salt and cayenne, then I pan fry it, being careful to get the pan hot enough and to use enough oil so that the breading doesn't come off. Use the resulting fond in the pan for pan gravy; serve with a big heap of greens.
posted by Frowner at 8:17 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oh, note that I chop the tofu before simmering in broth!!!! This is important.

And when you're making tofu scramble, add grated carrot and chopped spinach, etc after the tofu because the cooking time needed is short.
posted by Frowner at 8:20 AM on August 15, 2011

Make a marinade out of some sesame oil, green curry paste (in the Thai section), coconut oil, soy sauce, and cheap rice wine. Proportion these to taste.

Cube the tofu, and let it sit in marinade for as long as you want.

Then get a pan hot, add canola or peanut oil at the last minute, and then the whole marinate mixture including tofu.

Stir frequently, and just before serving add 2 chopped scallions and stir around, but don't let them cook too much.
posted by Danf at 8:20 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

monocot posted just as I was typing in the link to Maki's site! Her recipes are always good. Check out some other tofu recipes (a bit of overlap) at her other site, Just Bento.

A favorite of ours is Mark Bittman's stir-fried tofu with scallions and walnuts. It doesn't sound that interesting, but it's so good that we usually eat too much.

Some recipes from my Delicious bookmarks that I haven't tried yet:
Baked tofu steaks with mushroom gravy
Chocolate chili tofu pudding
Warm tofu with spicy garlic sauce -- a favorite banchan item from Korean restaurants
Panfried tofu with spicy sauce and panfried tofu in soy sauce / 두부부침양념장, 두부 간장조림 / Dubu buchim yangnyumjang, dubu ganjang jorim -- two banchan items (one is the same as above); also, more tofu from Maangchi, a Korean cooking site with videos
posted by wintersweet at 8:21 AM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Baked tofu is awesome, and Iusually slice it in maybe 1 inch by 1/4 inch pieces first so that there are lots of chewy edges. I've thrown them in with peanut noodles for a tasty salad, but usually combine them with a thai red curry (with butternut squash, bamboo shoots, and broccoli), which is delicious and has wonderful text contrasts.
posted by ldthomps at 8:36 AM on August 15, 2011

I love this Sweet Chili Lime Tofu, and the best part about it is the technique for dry frying the tofu, which is simple and results in the best tofu texture I've ever been able to achieve at home. I'll quote from the site below:

Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. A 10″ skillet will fit all the tofu, so if you’re using a smaller skillet, you’ll need to do this in batches. In order to properly “dry fry” the tofu, you’ll need a pan the tofu won’t stick to even without any oil.

Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu. The liquid will squeeze out and boil away, and the tofu will begin to turn golden. The more water that evaporates, the sturdier the tofu will be, so be gentle at first to prevent the tofu from breaking up. After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of dry frying, you can turn off the heat and set the tofu aside for finishing later, or proceed to adding the sauce. (You might want to set the tofu aside before finishing in order to to prepare the collards, below.)
posted by cider at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

sunrise has a pretty cook collection of recipes
posted by paradroid at 8:42 AM on August 15, 2011

Here's an easy and extremely tasty marinade (works very well with chichken, too):

About equal measure of oil and soy sauce (I usually use EVOO, but that's not required) -- enough of both liquids to marinate your desired amount of extra firm tofu cut in cubes or sticks.

Add minced garlic and finely grated fresh ginger -- this is to taste, but I don't think you can have too much, so go nuts.

Marinate overnight or for as long time as you have, then pan fry or grill. Very yummy!
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:30 AM on August 15, 2011

Stop reading this thread right now and go make this Chili Glazed Tofu with Asparagus and Rice. I'd been cooking with tofu for almost a decade when I ran across it and it changed my ideas of what was possible for at-home tofu cooking.

My changes to the recipe:
- I make real rice (as opposed to boil-in-bag).
- I steam the asparagus separately.
- I let the tofu fry at least ten minutes on each side before adding the sauce for the glaze. You want a nice crust. This is similar to the dry frying method mentioned above, I guess, but I do use a small amount of oil in a non-stick electric skillet. If you have an electric skillet I HIGHLY recommend it for this recipe because of the precise temperature control and very even heat.
posted by something something at 9:32 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

if you're a fan of chinese flavors, i find Mollie Katzen's marinated tofu salad still one of the yummiest ways to enjoy the stuff, with the bonus it's one of the simplest too (no heat/cooking imvolved means no messing with its delicate texture). i also enjoy glazed lemon tofu with broccoli. and i don't have a recipe yet but this little vietnamese spot down the road is infamous for their lunch special of super fragrant spiky-flavored lemongrass tofu, which is fried to create the most perfect texture ever. some day i'll hack that damn thing. so good.
posted by ifjuly at 9:56 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

We eat a lot of tofu. Favorites:

Dubu muchim yangneomjang, a Korean spicy side/salad/main/snack/whatever. Dip sliced firm tofu into a beaten egg; fry over medium heat until brown and warm through. Dress with a mix of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, and Korean pepper powder; eat warm or room temperature.

Ma po tofu, Szechuan-by-way-of-Korea style: Cook a half a pound of ground pork in a saucepan; add minced garlic and ginger and cook briefly. Stir in a couple tablespoons of chili-bean sauce. Add a block of firm tofu, cubed, and a cup of water. Simmer until it's the consistency you like; eat over rice.

Simple grilled tofu: Marinate thick tofu slices in a mix of soy sauce and mirin; coat with sesame seeds. Grill over a hot fire until crusty outside. We put this into peanut noodles or top soba with it or eat it just standing in front of the fridge, it's so good.

Caramel tofu, Vietnamese-style: Cook white sugar with a couple tablespoons of water in a skillet until it starts to color, but don't let it cook to a candy stage. Immediately add equal parts fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice along with a minced clove of garlic. Either dredge tofu in this mixture, shake off excess, and grill over a hot fire, or throw the tofu in along with more water and simmer until the sauce reduces a little. Eat with rice noodles, vegetables, and nuoc cham, or put it into a bahn mi.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:03 AM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Make sauce with:

peanut butter
lemon juice or lime juice
a little sweetener (sugar, agave, honey)
soy sauce
finely chopped ginger and/or garlic
hot sauce

Stir fry tofu in a little oil. Add saucy deliciousness to pan; heat through. Top with chopped scallions. YUM.
posted by Wordwoman at 11:07 AM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Marinate slabs of firm tofu. Bake a while. Put in sandwich.
posted by amtho at 11:27 AM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

a 1/4-1/2 inch slice of tofu drizzled with soy sauce with brewers yeast sprinkled on top. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute and serve on toast. If a microwave isn't available, you can do it in a frying pan.

This sounds horrifying, but is really tasty. Try it before you knock it!
posted by stoneweaver at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

My basic tofu preparation is pretty simple...
1. Press a block of firm or extra firm tofu for 30mins or more
2. Dice into 1/2" cubes
3. Toss in peanut oil and salt
4. Line cubes on a baking sheet or Silpat and bake for an hour or so at 400'F

These cooked tofu cubes can then be used in myriad and sundry ways, like...
• Tossing with a basic vegetable stir fry
• Saucing with a miso/peanut butter/coconut milk combo and serving over brown rice
• Mark Bittman's recipe for Tofu Provençal
• Eggplant and shitake stew
&c., &c.
posted by slogger at 12:51 PM on August 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

In Thailand, they will happily use tofu as a meat analog for all the classic dishes like pad prik khing, pad krapow, green curry, and so on. To my palate, the way that Thais cook tofu (a dense, chewy, hearty, star of the meal) is much more delicious and vegetarian-friendly than the way that the Chinese use it.

The key here, as I've learn from watching my Thai friend, is to deep fry the tofu cubes before using them in a green curry or stir fry. Lightly stir frying in a just lick of oil does not really cut it.

(Having said that, the suggestion of baking it would be equally delicious and meaty methinks).
posted by dontjumplarry at 3:02 PM on August 15, 2011

BBQ tofu in the slow cooker. It's stupid easy and about as white-trash as you can get cooking with tofu. Ketchup is the star ingredient! I suggest adding 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke for that... authentic?... flavor.
posted by chairface at 3:47 PM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Chocolate tofu cupcakes. I don't know whether this is exactly the same as the recipe I've used, but it's at least very close.
posted by lakeroon at 4:11 PM on August 15, 2011

I used to make this all the time for dinner parties and it got rave reviews.

Drain and chop a block of tofu into cubes. Then shallow fry in a pan with a few tablespoons of oil until it gets a bit of color (browned on two sides should be sufficient).
Then remove the tofu and blot on paper towels.

Next take 1/2 cup of raw spanish peanuts. Roast on a dry skillet (not the one you just used) and transfer to a food processor bowl. To that bowl add 2 shallots, two cloves of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of shrimp paste (skip if you are vegetarian or vegan), and a few tablespoons of water. Pulse till peanuts are coarsely chopped. Set aside.

Next, take two pint sized glasses. Fill both with 3/4c cold water. In one glass add two tablespoons of tamarind paste and stir. In the other add two tablespoons of plum sauce (hoisin sauce) and stir.

Now reheat the pan (you used earlier for the tofu) with a little oil and fry the peanut-shallot mixture till it loses its rawness (6-7 minutes). Then add both sauces (you may need to stir then again if they've settled). Add a teaspoon each of sugar and soy sauce. Now cook over medium till the sauce thickens. (2-3 minutes)

Stir in tofu right before serving.

Garnish with julienned red peppers and bean sprouts. Serve with a side of rice.

Can you say Nom!
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 4:35 PM on August 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

Really Barbecue Some Tofu

Freeze the tofu
Defrost the tofu
Press the water out of the tofu

Make a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, mushroom stock and any other flavors you enjoy. Place the tofu in the marinade, press it down and allow it to soak up the marinade.

Make a rub from sugar, salt, chile powder, garlic powder, mustard powder and/or any other flavors you enjoy. Rub it on the tofu.

Smoke the tofu for two or three hours until it has a nice chewy texture.
Use the wood you like, but I find mesquite to be too strong for tofu.
If you don't have a smoker, contemplate making one from clay pots.

While it is smoking, make some barbecue sauce.
1 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup (or more) crushed red pepper, a couple table spoons of sugar or honey and a squirt of ketchup. Shake and let sit. This can be made weeks ahead of time and the flavor only gets better.

Make some coleslaw. Your favorite kind.

When the tofu is done, slice it, pile it on some bread (cheap white seeded hamburger buns are the ideal southern white trash mode of transport), pour on some sauce and then pile on some coleslaw. Eat.

Damn it's good.
posted by Seamus at 7:37 PM on August 15, 2011

Dry-Fried tofu
Really tasty. Good enough to eat by itself. Plus healthier than the deep fried version.
posted by spiny at 7:56 PM on August 15, 2011

PS: I forgot to add that you should also add a couple of peppers (either Jalapeno or serrano) to the peanuts that go in the food processor. my bad for missing that.
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2011

Two of the posts above mention freezing the tofu. If you freeze fresh tofu, the water expands the tofu in small pockets as it becomes ice. After you thaw the tofu out, it has this wonderful texture that also holds flavor amazingly well. My wife usually stir-fries the defrosted tofu with small cuts of chicken and other things that happen to be around, and it's always delightful. You can take most Chinese dishes that use tofu and replace with frozen tofu and get a better dish right there.
posted by jasonhong at 12:57 PM on August 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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