What is tofu?
Short answer: tofu comes from soy beans. Long answer: tofu is made from soy beans that are soaked, blended and from there separated out into soy milk and soy pulp. From there the milk is heated until it forms "curds"...those curds are then pressed into the familiar tofu blocks that we know and love. Okay, so I probably left out a few steps, but I don't want to bore you with the details, so if you want to know more about how tofu is made, check out this video called, "How It's Made: Tofu" or another video called, "Ever Wonder How Tofu Is Made?" by Amy's Kitchens. They can probably help explain any questions you may have.
|Welcome to Tofu University, my name is Ashley,|
and I'll be your tour guide.
I'm sure there are lots of great brands of tofu out there, but I like the Nasoya brand shown above. It is often one of the only brands offered at my local grocery store. My local health food store has a few other varieties, but I especially like this brand because it is organic. I always make sure to buy my tofu organic because I can rest assured knowing that it is NOT genetically modified (since most conventionally grown soy foods are genetically modified).
|Here are all the pieces of the tofu press: the main container,|
the lid, and the top that screws on to press the lid down.
|Once you're done pressing the tofu, drain the water into|
Here's how I "flavored" and cooked the tofu for the "Mongolian BBQ recipe" below....
|1. Create a "dipping sauce" of 2 Tbs. Braggs Liquid Aminos|
and 1 Tbs. oil (I use Safflower oil). Then lightly dip the
tofu chunks into the "sauce" before placing them
on a baking dish.
|2. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.|
|3. Be sure to flip them over halfway through, then put them|
back in the oven to cook for 15 more minutes.
|The result? Delicious, semi-crispy chunks of tofu...|
just asking to be eaten!
To see more about what tofu is, how to cook it, and my full "Mongolian BBQ" recipe, check out this week's video...
As I mentioned in the video, one of my favorite recipes is a Homemade Mongolian BBQ Stir-Fry. If you've followed my blog long, you know I love Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill here in Kansas City and this recipe was inspired by our many visits there.
|Genghis Khan on the outside.|
|Here you can see the three carts full of veggies, pasta, meat|
and spices. Just like a buffet, you go fill your bowl with
whatever you would like!
|Then you take it to this massive grill, where they grill|
it up for you. It's pretty entertaining!
I love Genhis Khan so much, I went there when I was 40 weeks pregnant on Avery's due date for a "Due Date" party as you may remember from this post. Apparently the food must have helped Avery settle in even more because she still didn't make her grand appearance until 11 days later. But hey, at least I got a good meal out of it!
|Here's my plate from Genhis Khan and inspiration for the recipe below...|
tofu, rice noodles, onions, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli,
corn, cilantro and chipotle powder.
Homemade Mongolian BBQ with Tofu
The best thing about this dish is that you can personalize it to fit your taste buds. I like broccoli, corn, mushrooms, and onions...you may like tomatoes, celery, and green peppers. That's cool, do your thing! So while I suggest some veggies and spices, feel free to use whatever you would like.
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped into half-rings
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped
- 1 pkg. baby portabello mushrooms, chopped
- 2-3 large carrots, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2-3 gloves of garlic, minced...I use my "Garlic Twist"
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- chipotle powder
- salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)
- Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 pkg. noodles, I use gluten-free rice noodles like Annie Chun's Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles
Tofu Ingredients (as seen above):
- 1 pkg. organic extra firm tofu
- 2 Tbs. Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- 1 Tbs. oil (I use safflower oil)
|Another helpful kitchen tool for Mongolian BBQ is a wok,|
I use a carbon steel wok.
|1. Cook your noodles and set aside...sometimes it helps|
to cook, drain, and then let them sit in a pan with a little water
so they won't dry out before being added to the stir-fry.
|2. Chop your veggies and set them up in buffet-type style.|
|3. With your pressed tofu, dip it in the dipping sauce listed above|
and cook in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Flip the tofu halfway.
Once done add to the stir-fry.
4. Warm your wok/skillet to medium-high, and add your veggies. Saute for 5 minutes or so. I place a glass lid over my veggies to help steam them a bit quicker.
5. Add your tofu to the pan, followed by your spices. I use 1-2 tsp. chipotle powder, 1 tsp. Braggs Liquid Aminos, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 Tbs. Trader Joe's Sweet Chili Sauce.
6. Now add your noodles, stir to combine and then serve.
|It's Mongolian BBQ time!|
|"BBQ Black Bean and Tofu Burritos"|
from Vegan on the Cheap on corn tortillas with
Daiya cheddar cheese.
|Here's a new favorite of mine, from Gluten Free Happy Tummy|
called, "Veggie Curry Pasta" with yellow bell peppers,
carrots, red onion, mushrooms, and an awesome mix of
flavorings with curry powder, turmeric, garlic, cilantro
and more. One awesome dish, can't wait to make this one
|"Spicy Tofu Tacos" from Peas & Thank You,|
topped with corn and some of my "Smooth & Creamy Guacamole"
On the side, some corn on the cob, organic blue corn tortilla
chips and more guac.
|Here's tofu in another form for you...in a casserole,|
"Cheesy Casserole" with rice, tofu, broccoli,
carrots, and potatoes.
|Here's an unlikely tofu recipe: lasagna. It uses "firm" tofu to|
make a ricotta cheese. Lasagna: based loosely on this recipe
from Peas & Thank You with a gluten-free roll. Read more here
about how I make this lasagna, gluten-free.
So there you have it... tofu in a nutshell. I hope this helped answer some questions you have about tofu, what it is and how to cook it. If you have any other tips to add to the list, please share them below...we're all still learning when it comes to cooking in general, especially when it comes tofu! So even though I've had some experience with it over the past few years, I know there's always more to learn. I'd love to hear any of your favorite tips! Or do you have a favorite tofu recipe? Share it below!
This post was also recently linked up to "Healthy Vegan Fridays" which you can find on any of these three blogs: Everyday Vegan Girl, Veggie Nook, and Carrie On Vegan. So get your "vegan on" and check out some of these great recipes and vegan cooking tips!