Saturday, 14 July 2018

Tofu marinade ~ and baked vegetables

A marinade is a very good way of preparing tofu and raises it from the status of what many people consider to be a strange white mass to really delicious food!  I don't object at all to a good quality tofu being simply heated in combination with other ingredients of a stir fry but this really does vastly improve it, and I wish I'd learnt to do this years ago - hats off to you, Gary, and thank you!!!

As I've said before, the best place I know of to buy tofu - most delicious, very reasonably priced, and made on the premises, is Asian Groceries, in South Dunedin, which I've written about here.
They also stock lots of intesting beans and grains, including cornmeal (polenta or congrits) in varying degrees of fineness. 

For the marinade I use:
Ratios of
  • Kikkomen or soy sauce - 2 Tablespoons
  • Cider vinegar or lemon juice - 1 Tablespoon
  • Sesame oil can be added.  Suggested amount: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.
  • Minced fresh ginger is also good.
  • Chopped chilli can be added for those who want it hot!
Method:
Mix marinade and set to one side
Tofu holds quite a bit of water which can be pressed out of it - gently.  To remove the excess I wrap slics of tofu in a clean tea towel, or similar cloth.  You can use paper towels but I consider this wasteful 


Place these parcels onto a flat surface such as a board or plate, place a flat board or plate on top of them, and weight these surfaces with something flat and heavy.  I use a casserole dish with water in it.  If using paper towels change them every ten minutes.


Once this has been completed the tofu will have become quite a bit drier and somewhat porous, although it might not look like it.  The drier it is the more quickly it will be able to take up the marinade.     

Cube the tofu into the sized pieces that you like and place into a flatish dish or plate and pour the marinade over it.


Leave it to stand from ten minutes to one hour, forking it over from time to time.

Add more lemon if needed.

Consider coating with sesame seeds before putting into the oven.
  • If using these dry roast 2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds until lightly brown.  Put them into pestle and mortar or food processing grinder.  Grind until about half of them are ground, which will then give a lot of flavour.
  • Coat the tofu with them and or stir in with the veggies.
  • Cook for ten minues and then add tofu and cook for another ten minutes, no longer, otherwise it may become too dry.
I usually use tofu with my fast-and-easy version of stir-fried vegetables and serve it with rice.  


Whole-grain rice has loads more flavour than 'white' rice, and although it takes a bit longer to cook it is also more nutritious.  In the photograph below it has been cooked in the pressure cooker.  I use three times as much water as rice.  


Yum!


Tofu is very good with baked vegetables.  It takes longer but is a delicious variation:

To prepare the vegetables cut them to sizes which will make them cook for about the same length of time - including the onion.
Note that:
  • The quantity of raw vegetables will be quite a bit bigger than when baked.
  • Don't use powdered spices. 
Nice combinations of vegetables:
  • Cauliflower - as main veg - in clumps sliced lengthwise
  • Onions - cut in half and then thickly slice across
  • Tomatoes - halve
  • Mushrooms - whole
  • Walnuts, halved or in large pieces
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Consider fennel seed or dried chilli
  • Cumin - whole seeds - 1 Tablespoon - to go with chilli
Notes:
  • The combination of mushroom, thyme and walnuts is good. 
  • Olives or chilli can be added for flavour
  • Fresh basil added at the end of cooking can be a tasty addition
  •  If serving with potato add dill or fennel
  • Courgettes / zuccini bake well (halved horizontally or sliced)
Toss with juice of half a lemon and soy sauce - optional but good with mushrooms - approx 1 - 2 Tablespoons

Preheat oven to 160 - 180 fan bake, and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.

My other recipes and food articles can be found via the link below:
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