sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:03 am
Oh thanks, _Heatwave_, that was actually something I was meaning to ask! This was definitely a use-up-what-was-already-in-the-house dish, and I was lower on vegetables than I thought I was. (Ended up using garlic, onions, and peas -- that part worked OK.) I did have potatoes and was eyeing them but thought that couldn't possibly work. Your dish sounds wonderful!

Jes, yep, I know about umami, thanks (and love the word -- isn't it a great one? Umami...)
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:18 am
jespah wrote:
There is definitely a textural issue. I pretty much only cook with the firm or super-firm stuff.

One thing you may find after you've followed a bunch of recipes is, one day you just don't have something. So you take whatever is nearest and you improvise (and, actually, Worcestershire for soy sauce isn't a horrible substitution). When you have some successes doing that, at least I found I wanted to do it more. Now, I have recipes in order to be inspired or for baking, where the chemical reactions require a lot more precision. But I pretty much never follow a recipe just to make dinner, not any more (no time during the week).

One idea is tofu on pizza. If you buy a premade pizza shell (Boboli or the like) or make the dough from scratch, the surface, of course, is yours to do with whatever you want. In this case, you'd want much smaller pieces, the idea is to simulate ground beef so grab a knife and smash away at the tofu. Fry lightly in oil with a little garlic. Add to pizza with tomato sauce and sliced mushrooms and bake per package instructions (or per recipe if you made the shell from scratch).

One thing -- umami -- can't recall if you know about this. Umami is essentially mouth appeal and richness. Kinda hard to explain but the concept is that there are some foods with a kind of built-in richness so they taste amazing. It's not salty, sweet, bitter or sour. It's a different taste. Beef has it. And, really, Worcestershire sauce has it. And so do mushrooms. So you can really up the umami quotient by adding mushrooms, particularly other than the white kind, you can mix a few different types together.

Here's some more info on umami.


I'm like you when it comes to cooking. I'll use a recipe as a guide and then alter to my liking. I guess that is why it is sometimes difficult for me to give recipes. I don't like measuring either as I rarely use the amount in the recipe. I like spice so I always add more or if I don't have one ingredent I'll substitue.

This works great in cooking, but not baking. Probably why I am not much of a baker.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:21 am
_Heatwave_ wrote:
Great thread, Sozobe. Making notes as I'm reading along - for my primarily vegetarian household.

M loves tofu in general, and tofu & potatoes cooked together specially. I generally cube into about 1" squares the extra-firm tofu. Chop some potatoes into a similar size. And shallow fry them until the tofu is crispy and the potatoes are browned & cooked through. (In her pea phases, I add some frozen peas.) Next I put some Indian spices (you can use whichever spices you like - I think anything works with tofu & potatoes) - dried cumin powder, touch of red chilli powder, and some dried mango powder. Little salt. Ready to go. The spices coat the tofu & potatoes nicely. It's actually a little spicy, but M loves it.


mmm will have to try to make potatoes a little differently - never thought of combining tofu and potatoes.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:26 am
I used to make a very easy spicy baked tofu dish which involved first marinating it in a mixture of Hoisin sauce, some vegetable oil, soy sauce, grated ginger & something else. (?) Sorry, it's been a while & I've forgotten the other ingredients. I do remember really liking it. Crunchy on the outside. The trick was to get all the moisture out of the tofu before marinating it, by pressing a heavy plate on it for a bit. I'll see if I can track down the recipe if anyone's interested.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 08:54 am
msolga wrote:
I used to make a very easy spicy baked tofu dish which involved first marinating it in a mixture of Hoisin sauce, some vegetable oil, soy sauce, grated ginger & something else. (?) Sorry, it's been a while & I've forgotten the other ingredients. I do remember really liking it. Crunchy on the outside. The trick was to get all the moisture out of the tofu before marinating it, by pressing a heavy plate on it for a bit. I'll see if I can track down the recipe if anyone's interested.


I'm very interested. There was this one hole in the wall type fast food Chinese place I used to get lunch from. They had this incredible Spicy tofu dish a couple of times a week - can't find one like it - I no longer work near it. I have been craving this for quite a while. Like the crunchy on the outside - didn't know about the trick.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:01 am
OK, I'll do a search for you, Linkat. I think the crunchiness had something to do with all the liquid being extracted from the tofu so's the only moisture was the marinade. And the oil in the marinade. PLUS the crunchy baked grated ginger on top. Yum! Why haven't I made that for ages? Where is that recipe? Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:02 am
jespah wrote:
Will be back later. Tofu can be made instead of chicken in a pasta sauce, for starters.



oh, I just remembered, you can use in egg salad also.

When I've made egg salad without the yolks, the texture isn't the same, and it just is "missing something"

Sometimes I'll make egg salad and leave in maybe 5 yolks for a dozen eggs.

But, if you add little cubes of soy and mash it in, you can use all the yolks and just extend with the soy. Since the soy picks up the flavor, it tastes better too.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:09 am
Soz, you're looking for other vegetarian options?
If you're interested, I'll post the recipe for my famous baked spinach & ricotta pie. Easiest thing in the world to make & my eternal stand-by dish for when I have to bring "a plate" to a gathering. Not bad at all! Very Happy

And there's always couscous! Yum!
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:12 am
I'm interested!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:12 am
So, if you us it in spaghetti sauce, do you press out the water first?
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Thu 12 Apr, 2007 09:16 am
Nothing to do with Tofu:

I met a guy who is a fruitarian. He only eats fruit as dietary lifestyle choice. he tells me he's 65 but looks 40.

I must eat more fruit.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Sat 14 Apr, 2007 10:03 pm
Linkat wrote:
msolga wrote:
I used to make a very easy spicy baked tofu dish which involved first marinating it in a mixture of Hoisin sauce, some vegetable oil, soy sauce, grated ginger & something else. (?) Sorry, it's been a while & I've forgotten the other ingredients. I do remember really liking it. Crunchy on the outside. The trick was to get all the moisture out of the tofu before marinating it, by pressing a heavy plate on it for a bit. I'll see if I can track down the recipe if anyone's interested.


I'm very interested. There was this one hole in the wall type fast food Chinese place I used to get lunch from. They had this incredible Spicy tofu dish a couple of times a week - can't find one like it - I no longer work near it. I have been craving this for quite a while. Like the crunchy on the outside - didn't know about the trick.


Still looking, Linkat!

No success so far, obviously.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Sun 15 Apr, 2007 07:27 am
We did a Mexican dish with tofu last night.

Tofu (drained and pressed), asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes and tomatillos, cooked in a cast-iron skillet with some grill seasoning thrown on. At the end, added cilantro, lime juice and monterey jack cheese, then tossed the whole mess on top of blue corn nacho chips. Had black beans with cheese and a little lime on the side, plus guacamole and sour cream. Except for the grill seasoning and scallions, nothing was actually spicy, and you could skip the scallions and go with salt and pepper instead of grill seasoning (those are the 2 main components of grill seasoning anyway).
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Sun 15 Apr, 2007 10:08 am
msolga wrote:
Linkat wrote:
msolga wrote:
I used to make a very easy spicy baked tofu dish which involved first marinating it in a mixture of Hoisin sauce, some vegetable oil, soy sauce, grated ginger & something else. (?) Sorry, it's been a while & I've forgotten the other ingredients. I do remember really liking it. Crunchy on the outside. The trick was to get all the moisture out of the tofu before marinating it, by pressing a heavy plate on it for a bit. I'll see if I can track down the recipe if anyone's interested.


I'm very interested. There was this one hole in the wall type fast food Chinese place I used to get lunch from. They had this incredible Spicy tofu dish a couple of times a week - can't find one like it - I no longer work near it. I have been craving this for quite a while. Like the crunchy on the outside - didn't know about the trick.


Still looking, Linkat!

No success so far, obviously.


Whenever you find it.
0 Replies
 
flushd
 
  1  
Sat 21 Apr, 2007 08:07 pm
Good thread, Soz. I like tofu (and its low fat and cholesterol! ) but my cooking with it is pretty dull. Stir-fries, smooch it into things, usually very spicy.

You probably already thunk of this, but will throw it out there anyways. The packaged 'fake meats' can be really good for when you feel lazy. Smile
I like the tofu-ground burger stuff, and the hot dogs. The rest, not so much. Well, I like lentil burgers. Smile

It's not the same but can be nice. You can do most anything with it.

Lentils and beans are another thing I did retain from time as a vegetarian. Lots of options with that, and very tasty when done right.

Too bad about the mushrooms and fungus! Mushrooms are great for that 'meaty texture'. God, I love meat.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Mon 16 Aug, 2010 08:59 pm
bookmark....must learn tofu-ese...
ehBeth
 
  1  
Fri 20 Aug, 2010 07:21 pm
@Lash,
Had a couple of tofu dishes out at Basil Thai tonight.

Probably more than I normally would have in a month, but it was yum.

Gonna have to stay away for it for a while again.
0 Replies
 
 

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