How To: Tofu

If you just read this title and quickly scoffed in disgust, I hope to change your mind about this soy based protein source. You pork lovers are mistaken, it’s actually TOFU that should be called “the other white meat.” Just like chicken, tofu can take on the flavour of anything you throw at it. I think part of the problem is that many people have only eaten tofu plain and bland…well who would like that? Not I! When cooked properly, tofu has a wonderful chewy and crispy texture that I just dare you not to like.

My favourite brand

Tofu comes in a variety of textures – from soft, to semi-firm, firm, and our favourite, EXTRA firm. This type is easy to cut and dice, and can be marinated and grilled just like your favourite meaty steak or burger. In order to really let the flavour soak in, it’s best to press tofu to remove some of the excess liquid…here’s how!

Place tofu on a plate or cutting board lined with paper towel. Cover with more paper towel, set a heavy book on top and let stand for about 30 minutes.

Joy of cooking is an excellent cooking resource…also happens to be a very heavy cookbook, perfect for tofu pressing!

The easiest way to cut tofu is to cut it in half, and then in quarters

Cut each quarter in half. You now have 8 equal slabs of tofu

To dice, cut each slab in half lengthwise, then cut in thirds. You now have equal cubes of tofu prepped and ready to go!

Perfect for soaking up an Asian inspired marinade, then roasted until browned and chewy and thrown into a delicious orzo pasta salad.

Erin and I first had this salad when our co-worker brought a version for lunch and we were hooked! A great update from the usual mayo-laden macaroni salad found at many a bbq…this orzo based dish will surely wow your tofu-hating friends.

Asian Tofu and Orzo Salad

Serves 8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Misc Serve Cold
This pasta salad is the perfect summer one-dish meal. Even your meat loving friends will be love this vegetarian dish!

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 Blocks Tofu (cut in cubes)
  • 2 cups Orzo (cooked according to package direction)
  • 2 Peppers (chopped)
  • 2 Mangos (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup Carrots (grated)
  • 1 Cup Snow peas (chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1 Head Romaine lettuce (shredded)
  • 1/4 Cup Green onions (chopped)

Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame oil

Dressing

  • 1/2 Cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Rice vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1/4 Cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar

Note

You can really add anything you like to this salad...peas, edamame, mandarin oranges, chopped and toasted nuts, avocado, corn...the possibilities are endless!

Directions

Marinade
1. Combine all ingredients together and pour into zip lock bag
2. Add tofu to marinade and let sit for at least 4 hours, tossing it around a couple times
Tofu
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place tofu on baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Dressing
4. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Salad
5. Combine orzo, vegetables, mango, tofu in a large bowl. Add about 1/2-3/4 of dressing and toss to coat. Top with sesame seeds and toss one more time. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
6. Save the rest of the dressing to add to the orzo if you have leftovers the next day..it tends to suck up all the dressing.

So the next time you’re choosing between chicken, steak, or fish, take a gander over to your local grocery’s refrigerated section and give tofu a try!

Dara

 

 

 

 

 

4 comments on “How To: Tofu

  1. Anonymous on said:

    Thanks Dara for this great recipe.Before grilling the tofu,would you also suggest a marinade for the tofu? I’m thinking soy sauce but with anything else?like spices for more flavour?What “exactly” went into the recipe shown in the ‘great looking stir fry’ bresides orzo and tofu?Is there rice,cabbage,onions and/or other ingredients? Thanks also for the tips about drying the tofu and cutting it into stir fry size pieces.I will definitely be trying a tofu stir fry in the very near future!!

  2. Anonymous on said:

    Sorry Dara, I just realized that the recipe is right here.I just printed it out. Sorry for the confusion. I can’t wait to try the recipe.Thanks again!

  3. I am making this for a potluck om Saturday! Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Im going to use this recipe and coat them with three different types of sesame seeds…wasabi, black and curry. It’s going to look pretty and taste great!! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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