Tofu Recipes

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Octopus Sushi (Cooked Sushi Recipe) Recipe

We've been setting up my little sis-in-law’s school lunch menu as she's about to enter 1st grade tomorrow. She participated in the entire process. The little munchkin mentioned that she loves sushi and wanted to have some for lunch this school year. It's a fast and easy way for her to have a quick lunch, so I was happy to oblige. She also mentioned she loves baby octopus but she doesn't want to scare her friends away with weird food so I coarsely chopped them and used them as the filling along with other vegetables. I cooked each ingredient separately, let them cool completely and then combined then into sushi rolls. The sushi got an “A” from my sis-in-law, so I'll definitely be packing them for her this school year.

Involving children in preparing their own food encourages them to eat with more enthusiasm. Cooking in a fun environment is also a way to learn. If your kids aren’t adventurous enough for octopus, you can try some of my other school lunch recipe ideas.


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French Rice Salad Recipe Recipe

French Rice Salad Recipe

06.09.10 by Jackie

Salade de riz aux légumes is my attempt to serve my family healthy food that doesn't sacrifice flavor. As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to make food that is a bit rich. We're all trying to workout more and get into good shape, and while I won't ever give up butter and cream, I've learned that I don't have to put it in every dish.

The rice salad is made with a blend of both brown and white rice for a balanced texture. I also added a mix of vegetables that are available this time of the season (the zucchini and squash are from our garden). I used fresh steamed corn, roasted bell peppers, diced tomatoes, grilled eggplant, edamame and tofurkey.

Since there is no cheese involved, I was afraid the rice salad would lack flavor, so I made spicy vinaigrette. Since I still need "real" protein besides the edamame beans and tofurkey, I added smoked turkey in a separate batch. Everyone enjoyed it, myself included!


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Vegetarian Fish in Nori Rolls (Ca Keo Chay) Recipe

This dish is a vegetarian version of the Vietnamese dish called "cá kho tộ", which is braised fish simmered in caramel sauce. Instead of using cá kèo (a dark-scaled small fish that is very popular in Saigonese cuisine), I stuffed tofu in nori sheets to resemble the look and taste of seafood. Once wrapped, the nori rolls are simmered in a sauce made of coconut and soy sauce. Even though the real fish dish is cooked in a claypot to perfectly sear the fish, for the vegetarian equivalent I don’t think it’s necessary. I used a  regular  deep non-stick pan.

I served the vegetarian fish with thin vermicelli noodles and a banana blossom salad. The more authentic version calls for rau răm, which is a Vietnamese aromatic herb that is an acquired taste for those who are not familiar with it. My husband Lulu is not a big fan, so I garnished it with African basil from the garden. 

If you're planning to cook for vegetarians, this meal is perfect; the texture of firm tofu resembles fish without its strong aroma. If you like this recipe, you'll be happy to know that there are a lot of similar vegetarian equivalents to traditional Vietnamese dishes that have been developed for the Buddhist vegetarian diet. I'll post more recipes resembling seafood such as shrimp and other fish dishes soon.

Sorry for not posting yesterday'; our internet was down .


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Pineapple Tofu Recipe with King Mushrooms Recipe

Pineapple tofu with king mushrooms is a great dish for both vegetarians and "meat-atarians", as my little munchkin would say. King mushrooms, also known as "abalone mushrooms", have a very meaty, chewy texture that I love. They complement the pineapple really well. If you can’t find fresh pineapple, canned crushed pineapple will work fine. I made a sweet and sour sauce using canned pineapple and dipped the fried tofu in the sauce with the mushrooms.

Even if you are a "meat-atarian", it’s worth working some vegetable dishes into your diet. It’s good for your health, and if you try recipes like this one, it will be good for your tastebuds as well.


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Tofu Stuffed Bitter Melon (Kho Qua Nhun Tau Hu) Recipe

Khổ qua nhưn tàu hũ, tofu stuffed bitter melon is similar to dishes you might have seen at Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants. The difference is that it's usually shrimp paste instead of tofu (tàu hũ) and eggplant or button mushrooms in place of the bittermelon, called cà tím nhưn tôm ("eggplants with shrimp paste" in Vietnamese). I made my own blend of ground tofu paste with fried tofu and vegetarian ham to resemble the color of shrimp paste. I then stuffed the mixture into the bittermelon rounds and steamed the vegetables. For more flavor, I pan-fried the tofu filling then braised the dumplings in sweet pineapple hoisin sauce.

I love this dish because it's so flavorful and the texture of the tofu is very similar to meat. My husband Lulu, who’s a vegetarian, really likes it even though he isn’t into meat substitutes. It just proves that there’s more to vegetarian and vegan cooking than just silken and firm tofu!


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