This Tofu is to Die For!

This tofu is to die for!  Really?  I’ve never heard anyone say that before.  Has anyone ever heard that in all the history of tofu-dom?  I’ve heard of dishes with tofu in them that were to die for…. good pad thai comes to mind, but tofu in and of itself?  It certainly caught my attention when a new friend told me that her sister’s recipe for baked tofu was to die for.  When I told her I admired but was a bit dubious of this description of tofu, we decided that a great way to cement the friendship and get to know each other better was to have a cook-off to share and make some favorite recipes together.

Bearing the ingredients to make vegan parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese-y ball (also vegan), roasted (no stank) broccoli and some pre-made nut butter bliss balls, Mr. Bigg Sis, My favorite Son and I set off for our friend’s house where they would try to kill us with tofu.  What can I say, we like to live life on the edge…. (Don’t say you aren’t impressed ’cause I can feel it from here!)

Little did we know that our friends were not only treating us to baked tofu but oysters (clearly not vegan, but oh so fabulous).  Everyone rolled up their sleeves and got to work – with My Favorite Son making spiral potatoes, Mr. Bigg Sis shucking oysters with Mr. Host and me baking deadly tofu with Ms. Host.  Luckily for all of us the soy-based suspense was limited as Ms. Host already had a batch of baked tofu in the oven so we didn’t have to wait long to try the dangerous dish.  It was in fact delicious!  Everyone in my family agreed and we happily munched slabs of tofu while preparing all of the other delicacies I mentioned above.

What a lovely way to get to know people better.  We had a great meal, lots of laughs and learned some new favorites.  Ms. Host and I concluded that the generous amount of onion powder in the recipe is very important to the success of the baked tofu, or as she stated in her love for this tofu, “I think it’s the onion powder that makes this stuff like crack to me.”  Another tofu statement for the books…. or the blog!

I give you, straight from Ms. Host’s sister Nancy:

To Die For Baked Tofu!

3, 16 ounce packages of Firm or Extra Firm Tofu
1 cup flour (we used GF)
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp wheat bran (we left this out to be GF)
1 stick vegan margarine or butter (1/2 cup) melted (we used Earth’s Balance Vegan margarine)

Mix dry ingredients together with fork. Have melted margarine / butter in saucepan on stove over low heat.

Drain tofu on a cotton cloth, & slice each block into 1/4 inch thick slices. Dip each piece of tofu in melted margarine/butter and remove it from saucepan with spatula.

Place into breading mixture. Coat thoroughly in breading mixture.

You can use a fork to scoop breading over the tofu, and then place on cookie sheet that has been greased with olive oil. When cookie sheet is full, pour any leftover melted margarine/butter over tofu pieces. Bake at 375 on the lowest shelf of the oven for 1 hour, turning after 1/2 hour. (If breading has not quite adhered to tofu, after 1/2 hour, just cook about 10 minutes longer before turning.)

Watch it towards the end of the hour as it is much tastier when still just a little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Don’t overcook! Baked tofu keeps well in fridge, can be frozen and makes great sandwiches.

Enjoy!  Preferably with new friends 🙂

Singapore Fling

I imagined that a recipe called Singapore Noodles would have garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions…. you know the usual cast of characters in Asian food.  Not to mention the usual cast of characters in my kitchen.  So how nice to discover that although I was drawn to this recipe by anticipating familiar ingredients, there were some uninvited guests who made the party refreshing and interesting.  Clearly I’d never heard of Singapore Noodles before and didn’t know that curry is a prominent flavor.

So, with a head of Napa cabbage that my husband bought (don’t know what possessed him, but there it was!), a lime, and some tofu, and the very last leek from the garden until Fall – I decided to use them all up.

The tofu I used was “pre-squeezed.’  Easy now… that sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?!!

I got it at Trader Joe’s and it is very firm and has already had the extra moisture squeezed out, leaving it ready for baking.  It does not state this on the label but they nicely had an explanation by the product that caught my eye.

It slices very thinly and easily and has a lovely firm texture…

I made a marinade as follows:

1.5  Tbsp roasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos
juice from 1 lime
1/8 tsp. chili powder (I used chipotle which is strong – you might
like more if using standard chili powder)
I had leftover which I saved and added to the whole dish at the end.

To bake the tofu:
Put parchment paper on a baking sheet
Slice your tofu about 1/4″ thick and lay the slices on the tray.
Brush the marinade on the top of the slices and bake at 375
for 10 minutes.
Flip the slices and re-apply marinade
Put back in oven for 5 – 10 minutes and flip again if you like.
Keep in oven until you reach desired toughness / chewiness.
I cut some up to top the noodles and am saving some for sandwiches.

Here is my twist on a recipe for Singapore Noodles:

Singapore Noodles

1 pack thin rice stick noodles (rice vermicelli)

Then, thinly slice up:
1 red or green bell pepper  ( or half of each)
1 carrot into match stick size bits
3 cups Napa cabbage
3 teaspoons minced ginger
2 green onions (I used one small leek)

Then for the sauce mix together:
1/8 – 1/4 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar  ( or favorite sweetener)
1/2 teaspoon salt  ( or 1 tsp soy sauce )
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder, or to taste (I used 1 Tbsp.)
Prepare noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
Then in a skillet or a wok, heat some oil then add, scallions, sugar, ginger – then peppers, carrots and lastly cabbage

Add a little water to help cook down the cabbage.

Drain the noodles and chop

Mix with veggies and then add the remainder of the tofu marinade and taste.  I added another Tbsp or so of Bragg’s at this point.  Top each serving with some of the tofu pieces.

I also thought this would be yummy with some fresh fruit on it, so I added a few fresh pineapple chunks.  No picture with pineapple.  I ate it : )

My 11 year old in particular enjoyed our Singapore Fling.