View Full Version : Bring on your TOFU recipes! (scrambled and otherwise)

10-27-2005, 05:43 PM
OK, so Casa Scarlett is taking one more step toward vegetarianism. I've found that the breaded Boca "chicken" patties are quite good, and quick to throw in the oven for a lunchtime sandwich. I've also been experimenting with tofu.

I know about pressing and freezing it before marinating, to improve the texture. So far I've tried frying some marinated cubes, but I think I didn't fry them long enough, as they didn't get that nice crusty exterior like I get when I order pad thai. But they were starting to get there. (I was in a hurry.) And I've got some other recipes I'm gonna try out (when I can get any tofu, that is -- our local grocery store sucks donkey dick). Tonight's is a Thai Peanut Tofu Stir-Fry, with veggies and rice.

I might eventually try things like tofu lasagna, but for now I'm more interested in recipes for "tofu as tofu." If I want lasagna, I already know how to make it, and I'm not trying to trick my nonexistent kids into eating tofu or anything like that. I'm trying to learn specifically how to cook tofu. So Asian-style recipes and similar things would be good.


I'm also looking for a tasty recipe for scrambled tofu. I've been through a pile of online recipes, but here's the thing:

* Eggs over easy with toast and OJ has always been my standby "quickie" meal, especially late at night. Olive oil in the pan, drop two eggs in, drop the toast and pour the OJ when you flip the eggs, and voila, food. I've never been a big scrambled eggs fan, but I think I could learn to like scrambled tofu IF IT RESEMBLED EGGS ENOUGH. A few recipes said that a bit of nutritional yeast does the trick. True?

* Again, it's a QUICKIE meal, so I don't wanna be chopping any damn onions, mushrooms, or peppers -- especially since I don't really care for any of those items in large chunks (only in small quantities as flavoring, and mushrooms I avoid as much as possible). I'm willing to use spices, dried herbs, soy sauce, oils, garlic/onion powder, or any sort of staples that I would be likely to always have on hand. I wish I could include fresh herbs in that list, but I've had little luck growing them, and see note above about our sucky grocery store. But mostly I just want it to be like eggs. I might chop the ends off a few scallions if I have any, but that's about it.


As long as I'm making a wish list, any good recipes for soft tofu? I see a lot for smoothies, but most include bananas and strawberries, also on my "avoid" list (bananas I can't stand; strawberries I can take or (mostly) leave, and they're hard to get around here). Savory recipes would be good -- I expect that a lot of the time I'm going to be using tofu to make little meals for myself while Mr. S is at work.

Show me how to cook and like tofu!

10-27-2005, 06:37 PM
I have a REALLY good one.

One block extra firm tofu.
1 packet linguini noodles
1 bottle of Alfredo Sauce, I forget the company we use, but I think it's Boticelli or something. I guess you can make your own sauce if you like.
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1 roasted red pepper - you can get them in a little jar.
1/4 stick of butter or margarine.
Cayenne pepper (maybe 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)
About 8 oz of broccoli florets, chopped small.

We use the wok, but you just need a big pan, and a pot for the noodles. .

1. Boil water for the noodles. When the water is at a full boil, dump the noodles in and start the butter in the wok or another pan.
2. Slice the tofu into cubes.
3. Put the cubes in and fry to your choice of consistency. Personally, I like them crispy, so I put them in for a long time. Keep them moving and flip them every so often.
4. Slice up the pepper or grind it up in a little chopper.
5. When they are done to your preferred consistency, put the alfredo sauce in. Put the 1/2 cup of sherry in the alfredo jar, close tightly and shake to mix the sauce clinging to the sides in. Pour this mixture in. Stir.
6. Put the roasted red pepper in, stir.
7. Don't forget to take the noodles off if they are al dente! Rinse them with cold water twice and leave them to drain.
8. Put the mix on to simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it's nice and thick and the while thing is heated up.
9. Add cayenne pepper to your preference. Stir.
10. Add the broccoli florets. Steam for about another 5 minutes.
11. Voila! It's ready!

10-27-2005, 06:38 PM
Sigh...and I just realized I violated most of your rules. Picky, aren't we? :) I don't eat tofu as tofu much.* Anyway, it's there for anyone else if they want.

*Ok, fried & breaded tofu can be quite delicious. I'm not sure how my SO makes it, though. I'll have to ask him.

10-27-2005, 06:44 PM
An excellent smoothie recipe from here (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=337381&highlight=smoothie) My standard smoothie is a 2 bananas, a half cup of whatever kind of berries are cheap, a cup of oj, a half block of soft silken tofu (oh stop, you can't even tell!) and ice to fill up the blender. If the berries are underripe, a little sugar and some vanilla make it all better. And I'm serious about the tofu - it bulks it up, adds a lot of protein, and makes it all nice & creamy. Try it, you'll like it I haven't tried it yet, but it looks really good. Other posters in the thread mention that ice isn't even necessary - just freeze the fruit before you plop it in.

10-27-2005, 06:46 PM
This is hippie comfort food from the original Moosewood Cookbook. As a bonus, they called it "Buddha's Jewels."

1 package firm tofu, pressed
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/4 cup minced cilantro or parsley
1 TBL tahini or peanut butter
1 TBL soy sauce

Mash tofu and other ingredients together. Form into golf-ball sized dumplings and place on a greased or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until lightly browned.


1 cup orange, pineapple or apple juice, or a combination.
1 TBL vinegar
1 TBL cornstarch dissolved in a little cold water
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

Bring juice and vinegar to a boil and then add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened. Add garlic and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust seasoning to your taste with vinegar, sugar and/or soy sauce.

Serve dumplings with sauce and with or without steamed rice. A green vegetable like sauteed spinach is good on the side.

10-27-2005, 07:16 PM
As I mentioned in another thread, a stirfry of tofu, green beans, asparagus, and cashews is fabulous and filling.

Tofu scramble is good - heat up your pan, add onions and garlic if you wish. Drain and crumble tofu with your hands - woohoo messy and fun. Now, toss your tofu in the pan, and stir stir stir. There'll be some water coming out of the tofu - you wanna make sure that evaporates. I can't give an exact cooking time, but you'll want there to be no water in the pan, and the tofu to start to stick to the pan. I always add some turmeric for that "Eggy" colour. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavour, so ya that would probably go well. Serve with yummy homemade ketchup. And toast. Or, if you've got some extra time, fill a tortilla with the tofu scramble, black beans, some mesa red sauce or salsa, and stick it in the oven with some cheese on top for a yummy huevos racheros type thing.

Heart On My Sleeve
10-27-2005, 07:17 PM
Chocolate Mousse

1 lb soft (silken, I like Mori Nu for this) tofu
3/4 c cocoa powder
6 T Sugar
1/2 c milk or vanilla soymilk

Place all ingredients in blender or food processer and puree until smooth and creamy. Pour into individual dessert glasses and chill. Garnish with a sliced strawberry and/or fresh mint.

Two excellent cookbooks for tofu (and other vegetarian dishes) are "The Compassionate Cook" compiled by Ingrid Newkirk and PETA (not that I advocate their tactics, but it's a great cookbook) and "The American Vegetarian Cookbook from the Fit for Life Kitchen" by Marilyn Diamond. Again, you have to put up with some kooky ideas (Just MHO), but the food is great. I especially like the latter's, "'Stedda' Fish Fillets" and "'Stedda' Tuna" as sandwich filler (you can cut down on the chopped veggies she includes--like carrots, yechh).

And lastly, one suggestion that might be viewed as slightly odd (but I hear the Japanese do variations on this, too), I like just plain ol' extra firm tofu, sliced or cut into cubes with fresh lemon or lime juice, salt or soy sauce, and pepper or other spices (red pepper flakes and/or Mrs. Dash), served cold.

Oh, oh, one more easy thing. Add plain cubed tofu to cooked soba noodles, a broth of just soy sauce, water and red pepper flakes and you have a yummy, filling soup.

Left Hand of Dorkness
10-27-2005, 07:26 PM
Two. First, tofu kale stuff, maybe similar to what you've already made.

Cut a block of tofu into dice-sized chunks (maybe a little larger). Cover them barely with a mixture of tamari and water. Grate a shitload of ginger into it, add several cloves crushed garlic, and chile pepper flakes to taste. Now, stick the bowl of this goodness into the microwave for six or seven minutes. This is a quick and easy marination.

Meanwhile, get your brown rice going. This dish is much tastier with brown rice.

When the tofu comes out, drain it, saving the marinade. Try to get the ginger and stuff into the marinade, not with the tofu. Make sure it's well-drained.

Heat some oil in a pan very hot, and saute the tofu. The easiest thing to do is to constantly agitate the pan over the heat, so the tofu doesn't stick: you just want to brown it a little bit, and honestly, if you don't manage to brown it, no biggie.

Meanwhile, whisk a humongous spoonful of unsweetened peanut butter into the hot marinade. WHen you're good and ready, pour it back over the tofu, and reduce heat to a simmer.

Now, if you're lazy, go ahead and chop a bunch of kale up and, when the peanut sauce over the tofu is all thick and reduced, stir the raw kale in, and put a lid over the pot. If you're feeling more industrious, steam the kale separately and then squeeze the excess liquid out before adding it. The advantage of the industrious way is that if you add the kale to the sauce raw, a lot of water will leak out and thin the sauce, and then you have to rethicken it, and the kale gets overcooked.

In the end, you want to have a thick peanut sauce with bits of lovely simmery tofu in it along with the bursts of chewy kale leaves, served over the nutty brown rice. It's very spicy, very fatty, and very delicious.

The other recipe is stuffed tofu, from Sundays at Moosewood. It's one of my wife's favorites. I'll have to find the recipe.


10-28-2005, 10:51 AM
Sigh...and I just realized I violated most of your rules. Picky, aren't we? :)
Actually it does sound kind of good! Unfortunately I'm trying to stay away from sinful things like alfredo sauce (which I love). I'll have to save this one for a special occasion.

Thanks also to everyone else for your tips and recipes. I keep reading good things about the Moosewood cookbooks -- might have to break my rule about buying only illustrated cookbooks (except Joy of Cooking) and pick one up.

The Tofu Peanut Stir-Fry was pretty good and rather easy. Mr. S loves him some peanut sauce. The one weird thing was that the tofu kind of crumbled up rather than staying in cubes, but that may have been because of the egg-cornstarch "breading." But it was quite tasty with basmati rice, and I used my rice cooker for the second time. Mighty convenient to start the rice a few hours before dinner and have it waiting nice and warm when we finally got the rest all put together! I used to scoff at rice cookers -- "what kind of bozo can't cook rice without a special machine?" -- but now I can appreciate the convenience as well as the extra burner on the stove.

10-28-2005, 11:23 AM
First of all, try Left Hand of Dorkness's kale and tofu recipe. It's become a staple in my diet because it's easy, nutritious, and sooooooo good. I make it with all different kinds of greens: kale, swiss chard, beet greens, mustand greens, etc. Dinosaur kale (aka lascinato, Tuscan cabbage or black cabbage) is my favorite for its mild sweetness and firm (but not grainy) texture.

Second, if you want the nice crusty outside on your tofu cubes, you have to cook them hot. For that you need to use an oil with a high smoke point. (http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/CollectedInfo/OilSmokePoints.htm) I like peanut oil, which gives you a nice hint of peanutty aroma, as well. You also need to use a goodly amount of oil, say a quarter to half inch in the bottom of the wok. After cooking the tofu, I pour off some of the oil (carefully, into a dry glass container!) and toss in the veggies to make stir fry.

August West
10-28-2005, 12:16 PM
Easy tofu recipe? I got that.

1 block extra-firm tofu in 1 inch thick slices
BBQ sauce of your choice
Coleslaw (optional)

Baste tofu slices in BBQ sauce and throw them on the grill.
Throw them on a bun and top with cole slaw.

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