Firm Tofu Recipes

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Tofu Recipe Ideas (How To Prepare Tofu) Recipe

Whether you're trying to fit in your bikini for the remaining days of the summer, don't like the taste of meat (like my husband Lulu), you have moral concerns or just want to cut down your grocery bills, tofu might be the ingredient to turn to.

If you're a meat lover like me, you might have preconceived notions of what tofu tastes like. When I first met my husband, I was put off by tofu because I felt that it was boring and lacking taste. Well, after seven years of marriage, I can say that I was wrong! Tofu, or soybean curd, is pretty bland by itself, but picture it as a blank canvas upon which you can "paint" whatever flavors you'd like.

I've listed some recipes that have become my family's favorites. Boiled, pan-fried or sautéed, tofu can taste absolutely delicious, and almost any meat dish can be transformed into a flavorful, vegetarian meal. Enjoy!


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Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu Recipe

Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu

01.24.11 by Jackie

Trái bàu translates to calabash, bottle gourd, long melon or opo squash. It's a very common vegetable used in Vietnamese cuisine. The shape is cylindrical and the color is light green. It's best harvested while still young. It can be boiled, stir-fried or added to soups. The texture is very similar to zucchini; the flesh is very soft, spongy and tastes mildly sweet.

Whenever I look at calabash, it makes me think of a very nice lady named Trần and her lovely family. Last year, I got to meet Trần through PhamFatale.com. She read my article about the dragon fruit that I bought at the market and she kindly offered to give me dragon fruit trees her mother grows as a hobby. Trần's mom has magical hands and is a very talented gardener. While visiting their garden in San Jose, I noticed beautiful, giant calabash growing on vines hung over a trellis. I took a few home with me and they were the some of the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to try and to grow some of my own this year, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

For this particular version I made a quick vegetable stir-fry, using miso and honey. In honor of the upcoming Asian New Year, I'm determined to eat vegetarian for a week and at the same time, shed a few pounds.  This recipe was a great way to kick off my challenge.


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Kumquat Breaded Baked Tofu Recipe

Kumquat Breaded Baked Tofu

02.15.10 by Jackie

Kumquat breaded baked tofu is the result of one of my various culinary experiments. I pan-fried pieces of tofu, covered them with a crust of bread and baked till golden. Tofu is a blank canvas that will absorb any flavor. By drizzling the puffed baked tofu with a ginger kumquat sauce, the complexity of the flavor matched the complexity of the texture of the dish.

After making my breaded version of Frenched rack of lamb, I thought it would be fun to make a vegetarian alternative. My little munchkin and I went to the garden and picked a basket full of mini kumquats, and it occurred to me that a kumquat persillade crust would go great with tofu.

Experiments don't always go the way you want them to, but judging by how quickly Lulu and the girls devoured the dish, I'd say it worked out all right. Give it a try, and don't be afraid to add your own twist!


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Braised Tofu with Hoisin Sauce Recipe

Braised Tofu with Hoisin Sauce

01.27.10 by Jackie

Braising is one of the best cooking methods to increase the flavor of tofu. In this particular dish, I braised the tofu in a hoisin sauce-based mixture for its caramel color and subtle sweetness. To this, I added several vegetables such as wood ear mushrooms, button mushrooms, carrots and Japanese eggplants.

If you've been following my culinary adventures, you know I married a vegetarian. I'm not saying it as though it's a flaw, but I have to admit that when we first got married, I was a little nervous about what I was going to feed my sweetie. I really didn't have any familiarity with vegetarian cuisine. I love Lulu so much that I was determined to learn how to prepare flavorful vegetarian meals. Since then, I've tried boiling tofu, pan-searing it, grilling it, braising it and deep-frying it. I think I've gone through every possibility, but If you have any other methods you like for cooking tofu, please drop me a message. 

Braised Tofu in Hoisin Sauce Recipe with Picture


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Crispy Egg Noodles with Mixed Vegetables (Mi Xao Don) Recipe

Mì xào dòn chay, literally "vegetarian crispy sautéed noodles" in Vietnamese, is probably the most typical comfort food in Vietnamese cuisine. Its sauce is quite similar to ma-po tofu and adds an interesting, richer texture when it's blended with the crispy noodles. The addition of mixed vegetables and tofu makes it a very healthy dish even though the noodles are fried.

This dish reminds me of my first date with my husband at a Vietnamese restaurant back in 2000. I remember that mì xào dòn chay was the only vegetarian dish on the menu. I ordered the beef version mì xào dòn bò. I started eating and Lulu, shy, was staring at me. I asked him if everything was okay; I was thinking that maybe he didn't like this dish. And he said that he was afraid to be clumsy and spill the sauce everywhere and asked me if I could mix the sauce and crispy noodles for him. I found it so adorable. I have been mixing the sauce and noodles for him every time I make this dish ever since. 


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