Tofu is a favorite staple of vegetarians, utilized as an addition to a meal or as the meal itself. Of course, non-vegetarians can also enjoy it as well, as the bean curd is especially healthy and can be prepared in many ways. Aside from the dense, solid white blocks many people are familiar with, it can also be found fermented, soft as custard or even dehydrated. So how do you typically eat your tofu? Perhaps with a few drops of soy sauce?
If so, you are doing your taste buds a great disservice, because the versatile ingredient lends itself very well to many different preparations and dishes:
Easy Upgrade Recipes
Mash 1/4 avocado. Chop scallions. Place the mashed avocado and scallions on tofu, and drizzle with special sauce (1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and a dash of black pepper).
Chop about 1 inch length of scallions. In a small bowl, mix scallions with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Place salty scallions on tofu and sprinkle with bonito flakes.
Tomato and Scallion Tofu
Chop tomato and scallions. Mix 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 minced garlic clove. Place tomatoes and scallions on tofu, and enjoy with garlic soy sauce.
Tuna Corn Salad Tofu
Mix plenty of canned tuna and corn in a small bowl. Add about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Place the tuna salad on top of tofu and enjoy as a tofu salad.
Other Ways to Upgrade Your Tofu
If you’ve never tried pan-fried tofu, you’re missing out on a treat. The best tofu to use is extra-firm one that you can cut into slabs about 3/8-inch thick. Soaking them in hot, salted water will result in a crispier and tastier tofu when pan-fried. Soak for about 15 minutes, and then pat dry with a dish towel.
When pan-frying, a cast-iron skillet works best. If you don’t have one of those, a simple frying pan will do. Heat the skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable or peanut oil. Coat the pan with the heated oil and add the tofu. Cook one side until it turns a deep golden brown, then flip and do the other side. Season with sea salt or drizzle with a sauce. You can also add them to a salad.
This upgrade recipe is delicious any time of day. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, sea salt and cumin. Cut tofu into small pieces, drain excess moisture or pat dry, and add to the mixture of oil and spices. You can add more oil or soy sauce to taste if the mixture seems too dry.
Cook the tofu in a skillet over medium heat for 10 minutes or until it turns a golden brown. Remove them and add 1/2 yellow onion, diced, to the skillet and cook until soft. Then add vegetables of your choosing: broccoli florets, mushrooms, spinach or chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Return the tofu to the skillet and heat and mix together. You can then serve or add scrambled egg at this point to make a flavorful scrambled egg dish or omelet.
The tasty adventures don’t have to stop there. A quick search online will reveal hundreds of recipes to try!