Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Tofu Chronicles


As I mentioned in my last post, I used half a block of tofu in an eggplant rollatini recipe. That meant I had half a block left. What to do with the rest? I'd read several places about marinating tofu. Some opted to marinate then cook. Others pan fried then marinated. The logic was that the tofu would absorb more marinade since pan frying would get rid of some of the moisture.

I gave my friend the reins and she simply sliced the tofu into pieces, added some water and then every single seasoning in my cupboard. From scotch bonnet peppers to mojo to spanish paprika to garlic, it all went in. I asked how long the tofu would keep and was told that it would keep for about a week. That wasn't good. I had a lot of other food in the fridge that needed to be used up, I didn't want to add tofu to the list. I wasn't going to waste it though.

First I pan fried it and added it to a spinach omelet. Yes, I was eating two things that I didn't like - tofu and eggs. But guess what? I loved it. The tofu was flavourful and it didn't have that texture that I hated. I didn't do anything special to the tofu so I couldn't understand why I liked the tofu that I made and not what others had made. But then I remembered - I was using extra firm tofu while in almost all the other cases, I had tried soft tofu.

Later I did a pad thai with the tofu. But still there was more tofu left - I'm pretty surprised that one block stretched that far. I was heading out of town. What to do with it? I googled freezing tofu. Sure enough, you can freeze tofu. However, the texture and colour changes. It was suggested that I freeze it without the marinade so I poured it off and tossed it in the fridge. Freezing it in the liquid could lead to ice crystals in the tofu.

When I returned, I tossed some in a pot of black bean chili that I had made in my slow cooker (ode to my slow cooker coming soon!) and it was delicious! The black bean chili was GREAT. The tofu? It tasted almost meat-like. The texture had definitely changed and it now seemed just like meat. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I pan-fried a few pieces and put them on top of a salad and let me tell you, you could really fool someone into thinking they were eating chicken. Seriously - you just need to marinate it in tons of seasonings so it has a lot of flavour. I liked it so much that I honestly might buy a block of tofu again.

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