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Old 10-23-2007, 05:59 PM
 
169 posts, read 583,261 times
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I often shop at Whole Foods and sometimes in their prepared foods dept they have a cold "Cashew Tofu" mixture. Ingredients are celery, red and yellow peppers, cashews, and cubes of tofu that is slightly chewy, all marinated together. I like it but the problem I have is that it also contains scallions... and I am allergic to onions, garlic and (to a lesser extent but they still bother me) scallions. So I can't eat this item often and when I do, I have to "pay the price" with an slightly upset tummy afterward because of the scallions being there .. not much fun. (I get a viciously upset stomach for hours afterward from even the slightest bit of either onion or garlic in anything!)

I really like the marinated tofu and would like to experiment at home with some tofu recipes. Unfortunately all the recipes I've seen online for marinated tofu seem to have onions and/or garlic and/or scallions in them... so I'd love to know of some recipes that do not include those ingredients. Anyone?

I like any kind of nuts or seeds, if that helps. I don't eat meat so I wouldn't want to marinate the tofu in beef stock or anything like that. I don't eat eggs but I do eat lowfat milk and yogurt. I will eat any kind of vegetable (other than onion or garlic or scallions or leeks).

Also another question: When looking at the plain tofu available in the stores' refrigerated case (I think the brand name was NaSoya) there was a bewildering array of different kinds of tofu. Which is the type is normally cut into cubes or rectangles and marinated, with a slightly chewy (not hard, not mushy) texture? I saw "soft tofu", "silken tofu", "light silken tofu", "firm tofu" and "extra firm tofu" but no guidance on the packages as to what kind of tofu is suitable for different uses. Help?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:26 AM
 
8,306 posts, read 3,235,167 times
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I like the Cashew Tofu from Whole foods ! I dont eat meat too, but onions and garlic are ok with me. It must be tough for you avoiding so many foods

I use Nasoya as well.lol .. The extra firm tofu is good if you want to marinate it and grill it , or pan fry it. The silken tofu is generally used for puddings etc and the soft ones are good for soups.
There was a thread on Tofu a while back, where some posters had given me great tips on Tofu . One of them is that you need to drain the tofu , before you cook it, so it has a better flavor and texture. Cover the cutting board with paper towels, place the tofu on it and cover it with another paper towel, Put a heavy weight on top so it releases all the extra water . Also, the longer you marinate it , the better it will absorb all the flavors.
You can marinate it into your favorite sauce and bake it.

Another good recipe I found is Deep fried tofu in Sweet and sour sauce :

1 pound medium or firm tofu
3 - 4 tablespoons cornstarch or flour, as needed
Oil for deep frying, as needed
PREPARATION:
Drain the tofu.
Cut the tofu into 4 large triangles or cubes as desired.
Roll the tofu in the cornstarch or flour.
Heat wok and add oil for deep frying.

For the sweet and sour sauce:
1/3 cup white or rice vinegar
4 TB brown sugar
1 TB ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water
PREPARATION:
Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

(If desired, you can add 1 green pepper, cut into chunks after adding the cornstarch.)

Another one you might like is a Soy Ginger Dip for the tofu:

1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
a pinch of white pepper
sesame oil to taste
PREPARATION:
Combine all the ingredients. Serve as a dipping sauce or pour over noodles or rice.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:42 AM
 
4,270 posts, read 13,947,692 times
Reputation: 3350
If there is a "Chinatown" in your area (or "Asia-town" or the like) check out their grocery stores. I bet their tofu is going to be much cheaper than these "foo-foo" tofu brands.

With that said, any kind of sauce you use with tofu, it's going to suck up the taste so just about anything is fine. Soy sauce (or light soy sauce) is probably the most commonly used. Just make sure you watch the ingredients. I'm not allegeric to MSG so I've never paid attention but I think all soy sauce has some MSG. I like to use "soy sauce for seafood". I know it sounds weird but it doesn't give it a fishy smell or anything - I promise! If you see it around, give it a shot.

Okay, regarding firmness. I've never bought "American brands" like NaSoya but I'm assuming the "grade" (ie soft, medium, or hard) should be about the same. "Soft" usually means it's going to just melt in your mouth - hardly any "chewing" involved. It's usually in miso soup or mapo tofu if you've had these dishes before.

Medium is a little firmer than that and "firm" means really chewy. You probably use firm for stir-fry type dishes. Medium is just that: somewhere in between. It really just depends on your preference. If you do stir fry, you're definitely not goin to use soft tofu but might be able to use medium.

Also, if you see friend tofu, they are to die for. I LOVE fried tofu dishes. The only thing is, it doesn't serve the purpose of healthfulness. It's probably REALLY bad b'c tofu has a tendency to soak up whatever comes its way.

My last advice pertains to just that: tofu easily soaks up sauces so you should be on the conservative end until you've made the dish enough times to perfect the taste. If there is oyster sauce in your area, you can use that, too on tofu. One of my favorite dishes is dicing up soft tofu and adding a hint of soy sauce and oyster sauce. It's divine!

I can't cook worth a crap but I'm Asian and "grew up on tofu" if you will so I'm a tofu enthusiast. I'd share recipes but like I said, I can't cook so I don't have any! Have fun!
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