Archive for the ‘tofu’ Category

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crispy vegan kung pao tofu

January 22, 2015

This hit the spot. It tastes like something from an Americanized Chinese restaurant – sweet, crunchy, salty, and satisfying. I definitely recommend this one. If you can get past frying the tofu, the sauce takes three minutes to cook up, and your house will smell great.

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vegetable or peanut oil for frying or baking
1/8 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Kosher salt
1/4 cup cold water
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes, pressed with something heavy to release moisture, and ideally patted dry to avoid the oil spitting
1/4 cup water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sichuan broad bean chili paste (I used miso and chili-garlic paste)
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
3 scallions, whites finely minced, and greens finely sliced, reserved separately
3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sichuan peppercorns, divided
12 hot Chinese dry chili peppers (I used 6)
2 small leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 1/2 cup total) (I left these out and it was still great)
2 ribs celery, split in half lengthwise and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 long green Chinese hot pepper, stemmed and seeded, cut into 3/4-inch squares (I omitted this)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
Cooked white rice, for serving
Procedures

1
Heat oil in a wok to 350°F. (You can also bake the tofu if you prefer! If baking it, move to step 3.) Whisk together cornstarch, flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add water and whisk until a smooth batter is formed, adding up to 2 tablespoons additional water if batter is too thick. It should have the consistency of thin paint and fall off of the whisk in thin ribbons that instantly disappear as they hit the surface of the batter in the bowl.

2
Add tofu and carefully turn to coat. Working one at a time, lift one piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Carefully lower into hot oil. Repeat with remaining tofu until wok is full. Fry, using a metal spider or slotted spatula to rotate and agitate pieces as they cook until evenly pale golden and crisp all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all tofu is fried. Carefully pour oil out of wok.

3
Combine stock, soy sauce, bean paste, vinegar, sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons corn starch in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine scallion whites, garlic, and ginger in a second small bowl. Set aside. Coarsely grind half of peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

4
Set a fine mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl or saucepan. Return 1/4 cup oil to wok and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add remaining half of peppercorns and chilies and cook, stirring, for 5 seconds. Immediately drain through fine mesh strainer. Pick out chilies and set aside. Discard cooked peppercorns

5
Return infused oil to the wok and heat over high heat until lightly smoking. Add leeks, celery, and long pepper and cook, stirring and tossing, until vegetables are lightly charred and tender-crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes. Clear a space in the center of the wok and add the scallion/ginger/garlic mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add peanuts, dried chilies, and drained tofu. Stir sauce mixture and add to wok. Cook, tossing and folding ingredients together until tofu is fully coated. Add scallion greens and ground peppercorns and toss to combine. Serve immediately with white rice.

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adapted from serious eats

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five-minute hot and sour soup

November 18, 2014

Another reason to keep homemade stock around.

Feels great for the winter blahs.

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Add bone broth (or veggie stock) and water to a pot.

Bring to a simmer with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil (fry for a minute in a medium hot pan,) and salt.

Optional: If you like it restaurant-style and thick, add a corn starch slurry. Start with a half-teaspoon of starch to a teaspoon of water. A little goes a long way, but go as thick as you like.

Also optional: If you have them around, you can add dried or fresh mushrooms, bamboo shoots, lily buds, cilantro, extra-firm tofu, slivers of pork shoulder or chicken, or whatever you like in soup.

About 30 seconds before serving, beat an egg with a pinch of starch like potato or corn starch. Drizzle forkfuls of egg into the simmering soup.

Take off heat. Add tons of white pepper and either chinkiang vinegar or a combination of red wine, rice, and apple cider vinegars. Top with cilantro, or sesame seeds, or just sip it and keep warm.

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modified from serious eats

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how to get crispy tofu

June 13, 2014

the minimalist baker says you should drain your tofu 1.5 hours before the meal is ready.

then, roll it in a kitchen towel and press it with something heavy, like a pot, for 15 minutes.

then, cube and pre-bake for 25 mins at 400 degrees to dry it out a little more.

then, stir-fry as usual.

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thai salad with crispy tofu over greens

June 13, 2014

can’t wait to try this one from veggie and the beast feast.

1 chopped red bell pepper
1 chopped carrot
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 tablespoon olive oil
salad greens
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
¼ cup raw cashews, chopped

tofu:
1 14-ounce container extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cornstarch

dressing:
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon tamari
3 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons light coconut milk

toss red pepper, carrot, and edamame in olive oil and broil for 5-7 minutes, stirring/shaking the pan 3 times and checking frequently to keep the veggies from burning.

remove from oven and lower to 400 degrees.

let tofu drain, or press to remove moisture.

slice tofu and add the sesame oil and tamari and sesame seeds.

bake for 25-30 minutes, flip once.

combine everything. drizzle with dressing just before serving.

dressing: food process or blend ingredients.

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modified from veggie and the beast feast

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vegan cajun “blackened andouille sausage”

May 4, 2014

another happy accident from my kitchen to yours.

cut extra firm tofu into “steaks” and marinate in your favorite dressing or marinade as long as you can stand. (i did oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, tahini, and some other stuff. you can use salad dressing if you’re lazy.) sprinkle with a lot of cajun seasonings. if you don’t have it, throw together lots of paprika with a little salt, thyme, red pepper, black pepper, and lots of garlic powder. make it as spicy as you can stand with red pepper or cayenne.

marinate a few hours, or as long as you can stand to wait.

start hot chili oil (or any high heat oil like canola) on medium-high, like for flash-frying.

fry on one side until dark brown.

start to break it up with your spatula. get rough with it, until it crumbles into ground sausage sized pieces.

continue stir-frying until crumbles firm up and get meaty.

serve on top of a salad – i can attest that this is terrific for dinner!
you can also serve it anywhere you need a little spice! How about on a vegan po’ boy sandwich, in a stir-fry, mixed into a bean salad, tucked into a lasagna, or – of course – jambalaya, gumbo, or any of their infinite variations? the possibilities are endless!

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vegan satay & dipping sauce

September 28, 2010

this recipe works with any protein, by the way. i’m using tofu here because more of my friends eat this than other proteins. chicken, pork, beef, etc. work just as well.

marinate tofu/meat in cayenne, ginger, garlic, and some kind of delicious spice blend. i’m making this today at a friend’s house who will have more latin-influenced spices than indian, so i’ll probably do cumin, lime juice, coriander, cinnamon, cilantro/coriander leaves, and whatever nutmeg/mace/allspice stuff she has. shrimp paste and fish sauce makes this authentically thai; lacto-fermented hot-pepper pickles add a sour tang and can be a substitute.

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dipping sauce

coconut cream/milk
peanut butter
tamarind
butter/oil
cilantro

heat. dip. enjoy.