Tofu

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by butzy, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. butzy

    butzy

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    For the first time since I have been here, I saw some tofu lying at the supermarket. It is quite a fragile looking block and is sitting in water (in a plastic bag).

    Any good ideas on what to do with it?

    Should I just cut it up and use as is or should I press it first to make it firmer?

    Marinate it maybe?

    I have never cooked with it as I always found it pretty tasteless, so I need to convince myself it can actually be nice?
     
  2. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Have you had tofu before in a restaurant? If not, don't try to cook any. Go to a Chinese restaurant and order a few tofu dishes and see how they make tofu dishes, and how you like tofu texture and taste.

    Tofu comes in firm, soft and silken. 

    I make tofu about once or twice a week. 

    dcarch
     
  3. butzy

    butzy

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    @dcarch:

    Yeah, eaten it in Chinese dishes, in restaurants, take-away's etc.

    Sometimes it's just OK, mostly quite boring.

    I way prefer tempeh over tofu, but I just need to give tofu a try.

    The type I have is probably silken. It is very soft and sitting in water.

    Tofu to me has very little taste of its own, so it would have to be prepared with quite a bit of spices.

    I have quite a lot of Indonesian recipes for tofu dishes (tahu in bahasa indonesia), but I am not sure what type of tofu they start of with.

    The tofu I have is very wet, so deep frying without drying or pressing it first doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
     
  4. ordo

    ordo

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    You could try a first sound entrance in tofu world making Mapo tofu.

     
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Ayeb begomen, an Ethiopian dish of collard greens and cottage cheese, using the tofu in place of the cottage cheese.

     
  6. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I was thinking along the same lines as ordo
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Tofu IS boring. That's a good thing really. Is pasta or rice alone anything exciting?  They're all  a canvas for playing other flavors off against. Further, especially for the Chinese, it's great player in the game of textures. Beyond the commercially available silken, medium, firm, extra firm. you can press it, freeze it (much meatier texture then), fry it, stuff it, use the skin for wrappers or on their own for texture. 



    I probably like it best in Ma Po Tofu, soups of many sorts and hot pots. The tofu skins are interesting too with more texture but still little flavor. They too are good in hot pots but there also good dumpling type things wrapped in them. 



    Also look for fermented tofu, or tofu cheese. Sometimes called wet or red tofu in English. This is used more as a condiment than a primary ingredient though. 
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  8. butzy

    butzy

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    Thanks for the suggestions:

    Do I use the batch that I have as is, or should I press it first to get the water out?

    I suppose it depends on what I would make, isn't it?

    Pressing out as much water as possible in case of deep frying, not bothering about it when it goes into a stew or soup?
     
  9. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    If the tofu you have is sitting in water it is probably not silken, so you can press the water out of it. Depending as you said upon what you are planning on doing with it. Let us know what you do!
     
  10. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    this would be served for free in most

    local bars in Hawaii, YUM!

    very simple, tofu, soy sauce, bonito and

    green onions,

    not boring at all with an ice cold beer (or 3)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  11. ordo

    ordo

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    That looks nice K-girl. Here's a version of easy steamed tofu:

     
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
    kaneohegirlinaz likes this.
  12. ordo

    ordo

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    And a simple and delicious fish soup:

     
  13. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Give this a try?

    A tofu dish that was made for an emperor.

    dcarch

     
  14. teamfat

    teamfat

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    One of my favorite Iron Chef America episodes is Morimoto v. Patricia Yeo, with tofu as the theme ingredient. Yeo, the challenger, scores a very impressive 58 of 60 possible.  But she loses because Morimoto got a perfect 60. It may be worth trying to find a copy of that somewhere if you want tofu ideas.

    mjb.
     
  15. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    I did a tofu dish a couple of monthes ago where I grilled it over charcoal, then poached it in fois gras fat. Seared in a pan to finish. Pretty well received!
     
  16. butzy

    butzy

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    A little update:

    I made an Indonesian dish with the tofu which is described in more detail in the monthly challenge: http://www.cheftalk.com/t/80992/june-2014-challenge-southeast-asian/60#post_473364

    Just some extra info about my experiences:

    The tofu came packed like this and looked a lot more fragile than it actually was


    I cut the tofu in half and let it drain, half was weighed down with a cutting board on it and a bowl of water, the other half I left as is (hidden inside the light blue tea towel)


    It came out as below (the black spot on the top is dirt on my camera lens). the bottom piece was the piece that was weighed down


    I deep fried all of it. The piece that was weighed down didn't foam as much as the other piece, so it obviously did loose more moisture


    As said, for the remainder of the prep, pls see the monthly challenge.

    I must say it actually tasted pretty good and thanks all for your help /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
     
  17. ordo

    ordo

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    Also, for neophytes of tofu, remember to keep it in the fridge and submerged in water, water that you change every day.

    Here's another interesting video that talks about the importance of fresh made-in-the- day tofu. And check that amazing tofu skin.