Friday, October 16, 2009

How to make "chewy" tofu:

1. Place a package of water-packed tofu in the freezer until frozen solid (at least overnight).
2. Let thaw completely.
3. Press the block of tofu between two plates until most of the water is squeezed out.
The tofu will be spongy (thus able to absorb sauces), slightly tan, chewy, less fragile and (imo) better tasting than unfrozen tofu.

A lot of people talk about tofu "absorbing" the flavors of whatever sauce it's cooked in. But the truth is, plain ol' tofu straight out of the package is too saturated with water to absorb much of anything. It makes a decent ricotta cheese substitute (with the addition of strong-flavored herbs such as oregano and basil, or mixed with spinach and stuffed into manicotti shells and slathered in a zesty red sauce). But for recipes that call for chunks of "meat," I vastly prefer using pre-frozen tofu.

Compare the two: try dousing a chunk of ordinary tofu with wine and/or soy sauce. Then try the same experiment with a frozen, thawed, and wrung-out chunk of tofu. The difference is amazing!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent tip! I also noticed the saturation factor, like a wet sponge. I tried the freezing tip but they didn't mention pressing. I've also tried extra time in the skillet, which does burn off some of the moisture, and adds a nice golden-brown, but it burns quick around that point.

    I wish tofu had the firmness of eggplant, and eggplant had the taste of tofu. Eggplant, baked, does emulate a meat -- your mention of a zesty red sauce has me going.

    Do you use any of the Morning Star products like the soy, hamburger-like "crumble"? We rely on it but my guess is that it's very processed.