I know tofu can be a bit of a scary ingredient. Too bland, too slimy.. too bleh. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The brilliant thing about tofu, is it’s ability to absorb other flavours.
But how do you go from bland to taste sensation? How do you make it the BEST tofu time & time again?
It’s quite easy really. First you have to remove the water content, in order for other flavours to re-absorb. Then marinate the tofu over night for maximum flavour absorbtion. If you’re in a hurry, just marinate it for half an hour or so, but it won’t be nearly as tasty
To make this kind of tofu, you need to start with a firm tofu type. Leave the soft, silky tofus for sauces and stuffing gyoza. Slice the tofu into 2cm ‘steaks’ then use paper towels or a clean teatowel to envelope the tofu. Press between 2 weighted plates or heavy cutting boards for at least half an hour to dry it out.
Meanwhile, make up the marinade. I pretty much freestyle the marinade every time, depending on how I feel, but there tends to be a few themes:
- Sort of Asian influenced: Chilli, Garlic & Soy sauce with a bit of sesame oil.
- Sort of Spanish-ish, with smokey paprika, olive oil, oregano and garlic.
- Sort of Thai-ish, with lemongrass, soy sauce, chilli, garlic and a hint of sugar for sweetness.
- Sort of Italianish..with garlic, oregano, a little tomato paste and balsamic vinegar.
Pop the marinade and tofu in an airtight container, making sure you have slicked all the tofu slices surfaces with the marinade. Leave at least half an hour, preferably overnight. If you remember, try and turn the tofu so the side that isn’t immersed in the marinade gets some juicy flavour too.
Then, choose to pan fry, grill, BBQ or oven bake.
Each method of cooking gives a slightly different texture, all of which I love. You want to aim for slightly caramelised edges that start turning crispy. If you’re oven baking, you can leave the tofu in on a low heat for 45 mins to an hour, which turns it into a sort of ‘Tofu Jerky’.
Go and experiment, play with the flavours. Then report back here which are your favourites! Yum.