Dried tofu tastes so very different than fresh tofu. If you don´t add any seasonings, then it tastes and looks literall like a wet sponge, even exactly the same texture as the sponge used for wiping blackboards 😀 On the other hand if you first fry it and then soak it in a yummy marinade…both the texture and most of all the flavour change and you will be surprised what a transformation that is!
In any case, first you have to soak the slices of dried tofu (they come in small blocks), a couple minutes will do. Then squeeze out the water, but not completely, they should be still quite moist, otherwise they soak up too much oil. Slice up the blocks into strips. Gently pan-fry them in oil of choice, until light golden. Then place in a bowl with a marinade and set aside for at least half an hour – I used water, tamari soy sauce and apple cider vinegar. You can play with the ratios…
When your tofu is almost ready to be taken out, sautee some sliced onion with a pinch of salt, adding carrot slices and broccoli florets/stems and cooking them until softened. Add the marinated tofu strips and heat through.
I served the dish with a rice/hato mugi mixture.
Here goes another “complete macro plate”! A very warming filling meal great for any cold day…
I first sauteed some sliced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then added roughly chopped veggies – carrot, burdock root and green savoy cabbage, and sauteed them all for a while together, in a heavy cast iron pot. Then I added cubes of smoked tofu and a substantial amount of sauerkraut. I filled the pot with enough water to almost cover the vegetables, sprinkled some dried thyme and tamari soy sauce on top, put the heavy lid on and let the stew gently simmer for perhaps half an hour. Towards the end I heated oil in a pan and after it warmed up I stirred in a couple tablespoons of corn flour to create a base for a simple thickener for the stew. Once the flour starts turning golden and emitting a roasted smell, you can carefully pour in some water until you get a thick creamy sauce. Stir well to prevent lumps from forming while cooking the sauce for a couple minutes. When the stew is ready, mix the sauce into the veggies and tofu and cook all together for another five minutes or so. Done!
I also had some steamed chinese cabbage to balance the heavy grounding energy of the stew, served with a sauce of white (shiro) miso, tahini and lemon (you could eat the sauce raw, or let it come to boil in a little pan, that way the miso will be easier on your digestion). There was also pressure cooked brown rice with roasted sesame seeds.
Just a tiny inspirational post…
Coarsely grated giant kohlrabi sauteed together with sliced onion on some pumpkinseed oil, with a pinch of salt and mustard mixed in at the end
Sweet potato cut into fries, drizzled with oil, salt and cumin, baked in the oven until crispy, turning at times
Rice pressure cooked with amaranth and sprinkled with gomasio
Store-bought seasoned tempeh baked together with the fries
Tempeh is great for two things: marinating it and frying it. I like to connect both. But you can do it in several ways and you can decide whether you first want to make your tempeh crispy and then marinade it, or first marinade it, and then fry it up… Well, this time I first lightly pan-fried my tempeh slices in some oil until golden and then I let them sit for several hours in a bowl with a solution of water, tamari soy sauce and apple cider vinegar (the ratios were 2:1:1 – I used 50:25:25 ml to be exact). After a good soak, I took the slices out, made little “sandwiches” by connecting the tempeh slices using a thin layer or organic mustard, and then just heated them up for a few minutes under a lid on a pan on a low flame.
I made a sauerkraut sidedish by first sauteeing onion on oil with a pinch of salt and caraway seeds, then adding the sauerkraut and some water to nearly cover and letting it cook under a lid for maybe fifteen minutes. At the end I mixed through about a teaspoon of organic corn starch diluted in a splash of cold water and let it come to boil and thicken.
The two dishes were served with a rice/amaranth mixture with gomasio and some steamed carrot diagonals.
Anybody missing a hearty casserole with creamy melted cheese on top? Well, try this one, it´s not exactly the same, but it is equally good, I dare say!
I had some cooked rice which I mixed with oil-sauteed leek, mushrooms and carrot slices. For the cheese I purchased a block of smoked tofu which I pureed in the blender with water, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, until I got the consistency of cream cheese. I spread the “cheese” on top of the rice/vegetable mixture, in a deep casserole dish, and baked in the oven for about 20 minutes until the “cheese” became light golden.
Tempeh is such a great material for further use – on its own it doesn´t have a pleasant flavour at all, and it frankly even cannot be eaten as is, just steamed or baked, but it is great material for further additions of flavour. Try this one…
First cut plain tempeh into cubes and deep-fry them in quality oil until they are light golden and slightly crispy. Drain the pieces on a paper towel. Then place in a saucepan with 2 TBSP of shoyu soy sauce, 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar, 1 TBSP of maple syrup (you could use brown rice syrup or barley malt instead, but the maple syrup gives an extra lovely taste), a small pinch of chilli powder and enough water to barely cover. Simmer on a low flame with a lid until the water evaporates and the coating gets a bit sticky, don´t let it burn though!
As a little side I also deep-fried sweet potato cut up into “french fries”. It replicated the real thing pretty closely, especially when I added a gentle sprinkling of sea salt. Normally I never serve two deep-fried food items at one meal, but this is still a post from our Christmas holiday cooking! 😀
I also had some steamed cabbage to balance the richness a bit, and brown rice with nori flakes.
This is quite a fancy way to serve arame, especially to people who are not thrilled by the vision of eating seaweed – and there are too many of them! 😀 Adding rich ingredients such as almonds and deep-fried tofu always helps…
First prepare your tofu – you could use regular firm tofu, OR dried tofu, which has both a very different flavour and texture, that I really enjoy – if it´s prepared properly. First soak the dried tofu for about 15 minutes, then squeeze out water with your hands, but don´t squeeze too hard, you want the tofu to stay moist, retaining a bit of liquid, otherwise they soak up too much oil. Deep fry the soaked tofu slices until light golden, let them rest for a while on napkinks to drain excess oil and cut up into cubes when cooled down.
Meanwhile you can take a handful of arame seaweed and soak it, also for about 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with fresh water. Sautee onion in a pot with a tiny bit of sesame oil and a pinch of salt, add soaked arame, chopped carrot, curly cabbage and daikon (I used the green variety). Add roasted almonds (I roasted them for maybe 15 minutes in the oven, on a tray with a silicone baking mat). Season with 2 TBSP shoyu soy sauce, 1 TBSP rice vinegar and about half a teaspoon of dried ginger powder. Add fried tofu cubes and enough water to nearly cover. Simmer on a low flame for half an hour, adding water as needed, but only very little at a time.
I served the arame dish with a rice/hato mugi mixture and some raw greens (edible weeds).