Grilled Tandoori/Fajita Tofu
For over a year now, my wife and eldest son have been practicing vegetarians, each at different degrees: he’s been strictly vegetarian, and she, a little less stringent. Regardless, the past year has provided me with a constant challenge: try to make tofu, tempeh, and various protein substitutions taste good. It’s been a process-one that’s not over-but I’m confident enough in my process to share these ideas with you.
I’ve discovered that tofu in particular is super-absorbent, moreso if pressed, then allowed to sponge up flavors. These two recipes take advantage of a practice process that I’ve developed, although I will admit, the ideas weren’t difficult to imagine and there may be many, many iterations of this process on the interwerbs. I purposefully avoided researching how to improve and maximize the flavor and texture of tofu, to see how well I would do. I believe I’m doing ok. You be the judge.
Pressing the Tofu
Within my first few experiments with tofu, I realized that I was not at all satisfied with the flavorless scrambled egg texture and taste it provided. It didn’t matter what your sprinkled on it, the insides tasted and felt like unseasoned soft-scrambled egg. I theorized that the hard tofu would be able to withstand a squeeze to remove a bit of the water content. I also theorized that it would have sponge-like qualities and would possibly absorb liquids and, therefore, those liquids’ flavors.
I grabbed a block of tofu (standard, 1lb block) and placed it in a saute pan, which was lined with several layers of paper towels. I then placed several layers of paper towels on top of the tofu block, placed another saute pan on top of it, and placed cans of tomato sauce and refried beans into that pan, to act as a weight. Sure enough, after an hour, the tofu had expelled quite a bit of its water content. My wife walks in and tells me that tofu presses were a thing. I got one. I got one that was very simple to use. you squeeze the tofu block incrementally over a period of time and the result is a