Tofu done right
So I have now been to a couple of restaurants in the UK, and one in Germany that offered Tofu on their menu, but obviously had no clue as to how it should be cooked. So here it is done right...
These places weren't exclusively vegan, so naturally they are not going to be at the top of their game. But if I see another piece of tofu simply chopped up, boiled, and plonked into a sauce like some pale cube of mush, I am going to have to go back to their chef and give some cooking lessons. It seriously isn't hard to get heaps of flavour into tofu.
Its also the one stereotype that people keep coming back to when they associate vegan food with blandness and snore....
Sure you can boil tofu, in the same sense that you can boil a steak. But neither are going to taste good. So here's the reality. What taste good isn't the protein you are eating, its the sugars, specifically caramelised and slightly burnt, and fat, and salt. Throw in some good spicing and you can never go wrong.
So this isn't a recipes for how to replicate a steak. The source of protein is besides the point. Only that I'm trying to reverse that logic and say that you can still eat Tofu and enjoy it. Hopefully :), depending on your mindset
So how do you get from bland mush to tasty snack. Well first you give props to these guys for inspiring dry fried tofu. Not the first, probably, but its their book that I came across the idea:
Thug Kitchen page 76. No I'm not going to scan it, that would be copyright and its def worth owning yourself.
But I always like to tinker with things, and here's how I do it:
1/ Cut your tofu up and add a healthy amount of fat (oil, non dairy spread etc), BBQ sauce, granulated sugar, salt, and spices (I usually go for a blend of Paprika, dried garlic and onion salt, chilli, fennel, thyme and rosemary). Basically make sure you have fat, sugar to caramelise, spices and salt. easy
2/You can pregrill the tofu. Oh yeah get a massive grill pan, that can fit two blocks of tofu easy. But anyways, either way flip the tofu in the sauce so its all coated:
3/ This is where you will need two staples in any kitchen:
You can get these on Amazon, and I suggest buying in bulk as they pack flavour into everything.
4/Throw in some bragg liquid aminos to start with, and keep cooking that tofu, and turning it. The bragg also stops your sugar from burning, just don't overdo it, you want to keep it as a dry fry for most of the time until you go from this..
And just keep browning it off, add more spices and sugar if you need to, and BBQ sauce and keep dissolving it in braggs and dry frying till it looks right.
5/ Still looks a little dry though, and I like a little glaze on my protein. This is where the liquid smoke comes in, not to mention the flavour depth it adds. Wack the heat up, and just keep hitting it with this, there will be a lot of steam, and bags of smoky BBQ smell coming off of it. You can add more salt as well. But just keep fry it off, and applying more liquid smoke till you get something that looks like this...
6/ Turn off the heat, and serve with whatever you want really.
And that is how you do tofu, not this bland healthy crap.