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how do you cook your tofu?

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Old 09-23-2008, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default how do you cook your tofu?

I'm new to tofu. I love getting it at Whole Foods in my salads. They have BBQ and asian sesame there. I like the texture, it's a little chewy and slightly crispy. I'm trying to duplicate this at home. I tried for the first time last night. I marinated some cubes in BBQ sauce (I got firm tofu) and tried putting them in the oven to bake. After awhile I checked and they just seemed to be hot and squishy, so I took them out and put them in a pan with some olive oil Pam. I burnt them a little trying to get them to the right texture, so they ended up tasting more like toasted marshmellows after they've caught on fire. Lol. Anyway, it was still edible but I'd like to get some recommendations from those of you who eat it regularly. What kinds of things do you marinate it in? How do you cook it and at what temps? How long?
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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I too love tofu! I have a great recipe called Spicy Tofu with Cashews that even my kids love. I brown the tofu in oil (I use olive) first. Take it out of the pan and cover to keep warm. Then simmer together 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp Thai chili garlic sauce and 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger. Cook that for about 1 min and then add whatever type of vegetable you want & stir-fry. While that is cooking, make a sauce of 1/4 cup lime juice, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1/4 nam pla (Thai fish sauce). Once the veggies are nearly done, add the sauce & a few cashews, bring to simmer, add tofu and sliced fresh basil. Toss to heat through (1 min) and UMMMM!!! I use plain, firm tofu pre-cut into cubes. All the Thai seasonings can be found in grocery stores in the International foods aisle. Enjoy!

The calorie count that I have for it says 450 calories but that is served over jasmine rice so if you skip the rice, it is probably around 200-250 calories.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
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I also LOVE the tofu at the WF salad bar. I usually marinate mine in rice vinegar and saute it with a little sesame oil, which are both relatively inexpensive items. I use very firm tofu and cut it into cubes to marinate (sometimes I only have 15 minutes to marinate it, sometimes hours). I haven't gotten the cooking down right as I can never get it *quite* like the WF kind
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:53 PM   #4
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There are several types of tofu-very firm, firm, soft and extra soft sometimes called silken tofu. But Silken tofu is also a brand name that comes in very firm, firm...etc.

You probably want to use firm or extra firm for this recipe.

I found this recipe for crispy tofu:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2176933_cook...paign=yssp_art
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:05 PM   #5
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I would suggest you buy extra firm tofu and make sure it has nigari in it as the firming agent (you'll have to look at the ingredient list.) If it's packed in a lot water (some come packed in minimal water) you'll need to press in to get the water out. To press it put between two plates and lots of paper towels, then put a weight on top (like a large can of tomatoes.) Press for 15-20 minutes.

Then you just need to cut into whatever shape you want, marinate, toss with some oil and then broil it. I find broiling is the only way to get it hot enough to crisp up and get chewy, unless you are willing to deep fry (I'm not.) You have to turn them and watch them closely, but eventually they will get to the right texture.

I used to got to a restaurant that had the best tofu. It was stir fried, but was crispy and the perfect texture. I've only come close to duplicating it under the broiler. Unfortunately, home ranges don't get hot enough to duplicate certain kinds of restaurant food. Professional ranges get much hotter.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
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Thanks! I hadn't even though about broiling!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:58 PM   #7
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I've heard of freezing to firm up the texture. Would press and then freeze, or just freeze?
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulieJ08 View Post
I've heard of freezing to firm up the texture. Would press and then freeze, or just freeze?
You freeze, thaw, then press. It doesn't really firm it up so much as change the texture It makes it more spongy and meaty in texture. I don't care for it once it's been frozen, but try it! You might like it better that way.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenor77 View Post
You freeze, thaw, then press. It doesn't really firm it up so much as change the texture It makes it more spongy and meaty in texture. I don't care for it once it's been frozen, but try it! You might like it better that way.
Thanks! I'll try it. We'll see! The other plus would be not having to worry about using it up before it goes bad.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:13 AM   #10
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Freezing is a good idea, I'll do that too! How long does tofu last after it's opened?
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:50 AM   #11
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As a related question, how long does miso paste keep? It came in a little plastic tub. And does it freeze OK? I mean, how much miso paste can a single woman go through
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:54 AM   #12
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I've never tried freezing it, but I keep it in the fridge forever and so far I've not had any problems. The only time I've ever thrown out a container is when our power went out for 4 days and everything in the fridge was trashed at that time.

Just keep an eye on it, if you see a taste, texture or color change trash it. It contains so much salt I think of it as a condiment more then a food.

I did do a google search and the site said that it keeps for 1 year in the fridge...maybe I better check my container and see when I bought it.

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Old 09-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahyu View Post
I've never tried freezing it, but I keep it in the fridge forever and so far I've not had any problems. The only time I've ever thrown out a container is when our power went out for 4 days and everything in the fridge was trashed at that time.

Just keep an eye on it, if you see a taste, texture or color change trash it. It contains so much salt I think of it as a condiment more then a food.

I did do a google search and the site said that it keeps for 1 year in the fridge...maybe I better check my container and see when I bought it.

Sarah in MD
Thanks! I just didn't know if it would be something that kept well or not. It's not a humongous tub, but I think it will last me a few months
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:14 PM   #14
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i usually make cold tofu dish with soft tofu. Add some garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, dressing, more or less. For firm tofu, i usually marinade them with oyster sauce, or sesame sauce, before toasting them, or adding them to stir fry veggies. Tofu in miso soup is nice too.
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