Saturday, September 5, 2009


Tonight I made my first attempt to cook tofu. I decided my stir fry needed a bit of protein and that defrosting chicken fillets would take too long. We had a packet of tofu in the fridge from when one of the kids' vegetarian friends came to stay that I thought would be just the ticket. Don't be fooled into believing that tofu's bland appearance and taste infer simple preparation! A site called provides a helpful video that stresses that before you do anything with tofu you need to squeeze all the moisture out of it. Their recommended method is putting it on paper towel with a board and two tins of tomatoes on top of it. However, in my case this method did not result in a neat rubbery block like the man in the video held to camera but more of a white squishy mess reminiscent of cottage cheese but gelatinous! I did use tins of soup, not tomatoes, so that may have been my mistake...

Appearance isn't everything so I soldiered on and attempted to fry fragments of the mess in the wok in sesame oil with ginger and garlic. The tofu did not go brown & firm like those perversely yummy wettex-like lumps you find in laksa. It stayed basically the same except that it was now covered in tiny specks of burnt ginger and garlic! Oh, well taste is the ultimate test so I tried some. Yuck! It was pretty much how I imagine mixing warm cooking oil with plain yoghurt would taste. It went in the compost and I defrosted the chicken!

I am completely open to critiques of my method and hints for future attempts but in the mean time the only tofu I will be eating will be cooked by experts in Asian restaurants!

1 comment:

Glenda Sladen said...


Just read your blog again - that squeezing stuff is nonsense - board and two tins of tomatoes my foot.

Tofu comes in different textures. The soft white junket-like silken tofu can only be added at the end, otherwise it will break up too much.

The one you're talking about in laksa has (probably - I don't eat laksa) been deep fried in some way so that it has a crispy skin. That style is quite resilient to being bashed about in a wok, but still needs gentle handling.

Then there are long life shelf tofu and a harder tofu, all of which I have used with some success.

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