I typically rely on beans and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds for the bulk of my protein needs and am more than happy eating this way most of the time. Every now and again though I get a hankering for a good chunk of tofu or tempeh- perhaps the vegan equivalent to an omnivore’s steak cravings?!
If you’ve cooked with tofu before it’s almost inevitable that the first few times it was verging on inedible. Learning to cook tofu well is definitely something that took me some time. For the weekly @veganrecipehour chat on Twitter last week (Thursdays 8-9pm GMT #veganrecipehour) we were talking about all things tofu, sharing tips and recipes and so I dug out a few of my favourites from the archives:
The key to good tofu almost always comes down to pressing and marinating. You need to first squeeze out the watery liquid in the tofu so it can soak up your marinade and give it the flavour it doesn’t have on its own.
I used a recipe similar to my simple Asian grilled tofu, then added a crunchy cornflake topping spiked with lime zest, chili and herbs before putting it in the oven to get nice and chewy. In the pictures It’s shown cut into two but I would actually recommend cutting the rectangles in half again to get thinner slices for a better texture.
The tofu is quite spicy but the creamy, herbed rice is a lovely cooling contrast and will soothe your tingling lips!
Chiil-Lime Crusted Tofu with Creamy Herbed Rice:
1/2 400g/14oz pkg Firm Tofu, Pressed and sliced into 2 (or 4) rectangles
1/2T Lime Juice
1/2t Toasted Sesame Oil
1/3C Crushed Cornflakes OR Breadcrumbs
1 Small Chili, deseeded and minced
Zest of 1 Lime
1T Chopped Fresh Basil
1T Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
For the Rice:
1/2C Long-Grain Brown Rice
1/2T Olive Oil
1/4 Red Onion, diced small
1/2 Red Pepper, diced small
Large Handful of Spinach (approx 50g/2oz)
2T Chopped Fresh Basil
1/2C Unsweetened Non-dairy Yogurt
1T Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper
Combine mirin, tamari, lime juice and sesame oil, place tofu rectangles in a dish and pour over this mixture. Leave to marinade for a minimum of 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
Combine cornflakes ( use a food processor or a rolling pin to crush them), chili, lime zest, basil and oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Transfer tofu to an oven-proof dish and top with the cornflake mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Cook brown rice according to pkg instructions. I use the absorption method.
Sauté onion and pepper in the oil until soft (5-10 mins) then stir through the spinach just to wilt.
Add the vegetables to the rice along with the yogurt, basil and lime and again season well with salt and pepper.
Serve alongside the baked tofu.
I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-up, Wellness Weekends.
If you liked the dish I brought along to the Virtual Vegan Potluck- Vegan Crepes with Date & Orange Compote & Cinnamon Ice-Cream-I’d really appreciate you voting for Coconut and Berries in the dessert category. You can select your favourite for each of the 8 course categories here. Thank you!