Bring on the soy sauce, garlic, peanut butter and chocolate.
Once a counter-culture food, tofu is now at the center of many a plate. It’s stir-fried, in wraps, broiled in teriyaki sauce, and deep-fried (making it suspiciously similar to chicken nuggets) at Whole Foods Markets.
Tofu is the perfect culinary chameleon. It’s very porous and soaks up whatever flavor you match it with. There are two types: water-packed and silken, vacuum packed in boxes. Water-packed tofu, often labeled “firm” and “extra-firm,” is wonderful cut into slabs, marinated and grilled, pan seared or cubed and stir-fried. Silken tofu is soft and creamy, almost custard-like and can be made into dressings, pie fillings and puddings.
Here are some quick suggestions and recipes for an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert.
- Brush extra-firm tofu with barbecue sauce and bake.
- Dice firm tofu into cubes and stir-fry with mixed vegetables.
- Add diced silken tofu to noodle broth with vegetables.
- Puree silken tofu with honey, cocoa powder and vanilla, place in glasses and refrigerate overnight like pudding.
- Make eggless-egg salad by mashing silken tofu in a bowl with “Nayonaise” or regular mayonnaise, celery, seasoning and turmeric.
- Combine cheese and tofu, spread on wheat bread and grill.
- Add sauerkraut and Russian dressing for a meat-free Reuben sandwich.
–By Chef Steve Petusevsky