Tofu is usually cheap (even cheaper if you learn to make it yourself. The process looks easy on youtube), but I've never been a huge tofu fan. I like a lot of restaurant tofu dishes, but I've never had a lot of luck with it myself. I've never gotten the taste/texture right (without deepfrying or adding a lot of fat).
Last night hubby made a tofu salad (we were having dinner guests, one a vegetarian) and I made meatless pad siew.
After more than 8 years of marriage, I had no idea very-not-vegetarian hubby was such a whiz with tofu. I did know that he worked as a chef in a very upscale 4-start chinese restaurant, but he'd always said he "hated tofu" unless it was deep-fried.
The secret (apparently) is pressing the tofu before marinating. We bought firm tofu at the grocery store (Walmart, no less). He would have bought extra-firm, but it only came pre-cubed.
At home, he unwrapped the tofu, put it in a shallow dish and put a plate on top of the tofu, with a couple cans on the plate to press the liquid out of the tofu. He let it press for a couple hours. Then placed the pressed (and drained) tofu in a simple teriyaki/rice vinegar marinade.
He sliced assorted veggies very, very thin on the bias (bell pepper, carot, green onion, savoy cabbage), and added them to the marinade.
Just before serving he heated a little bit of canola oil and sesame oil and poured it over the tofu (something he'd seen on the create channel's Simply Ming).
WOW, it was really good. The texture was almost like cheesecake, without even a hint of "plastic" flavor (tofu picks up the flavor of whatever it's with. So it can pick up the flavor of the container).
I may actually have to learn to make tofu, it was that good.