I’m not a vegetarian; I love fish and seafood too much for that. I also eat the occasional chicken or turkey, and very rarely, have a steak or roast beef (we’re talking once or twice a year for the steak). But for the most part, I eat a vegetarian diet. Over the years I’ve tried to incorporate tofu into my diet for some extra protein, and it never worked. It just seemed so spongy and well, tasteless.
I mentioned this to a friend who is a true vegetarian, and he said that I wasn’t preparing the tofu correctly. He said that I needed to flatten it (can’t remember the exact term he used). So, following his instructions, I put a large paper towel on a plate and placed a block of tofu on top of it. I completely wrapped the tofu in the paper towel and around that wrapped a clean dish towel. Then, I put another plate on top of the tofu, and piled a bunch of cans for weight on top of the plate. After about 20 minutes, the tofu was drained and flattened, and much harder than before.
That first time I made it, after cutting the hardened tofu into cubes, I sprinkled paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder all over. Then, I sauteed it in a bit of olive oil until crispy. I added the cooked tofu to a salad, and it was surprisingly crunchy and tasty. One block of tofu made a lot of cubes, so I put the remaining cubes in the refrigerator, and used them over the next few days in more salads. Since then, I’ve added the cubes to marinara sauces and stir fries, and have been equally happy.
But that’s about as far as I’ve gone with my explorations of tofu. The other day I had a very tasty barbecued tofu sandwich at a restaurant. It seemed to be just tofu cooked with a standard barbecue sauce. I think I’ll give that a try as soon as the weather cools off enough to make turning on the oven seem appealing again.
How about you? Do you ever cook with tofu? If so, do you have any recipes you’d like to share?