One of my goals for 2014 is to experiment with new food without killing my waistline. I found Tofu in bulk at a great price at Costco and decided to give it a try. With less than 94 calories and zero fat per 1/2 cup, tofu was the perfect answer! Although, I’ve cooked with tofu many times, I’ve never enjoyed the slippery texture. Even after cooking it in a stir fry, it can still taste uncooked and flavorless. So, this week I tried making tofu edible by adding flavor and crunch! Here are seven easy tips (four for fried tofu and three for baked tofu) I learned that will keep you asking for more without crashing your diet! Plus, a delicious chopped salad recipe to eat with your tofu.
4 Secrets for Crispy Tofu:
1. Cut 12 oz. of extra firm tofu into 1/2 patties
2. Season with salt and pepper or the seasoning of your choice
3. Cook in heated oil for 3 minutes per side
4. Cool on a bed of four paper towels
3 Secrets to Crispy Baked Tofu:
1. Cut in 1/2 inch patties from 12 oz. of extra firm tofu
2. Marinate in desired sauce/dressing for at least 30 minutes
3. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes per side on a cookie sheet (cover sheet with tin foil for less mess)
Both the baked and fried tofu was delicious! However, I liked the fried tofu best. It was a better crunch!
Use these for salads or as snacks to dip in barbecue sauce or other dressings.
Asian Chopped Tofu Salad
1 whole zucchini, chopped
2 pickled or canned beets, chopped
2 cups frozen shelled edamame steamed
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
12 oz. extra firm tofu
1 cup Canola oil
salt and pepper
2 cups cooked bow tie pasta
1 cup (plus more to taste) Soy Vay Very Very Teriyaki sauce (found at Trader Joe’s and other grocer’s)
Heat Canola oil in a wok or skillet. Cut tofu into ½ inch patties and season with salt and pepper on one side. When oil is heated, place tofu in oil, seasoned side down. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove and cool on a prepared plate with four paper towels.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse and place in a separate bowl. Pour Soy Vay’s Very Very Teriyaki sauce on noodles and marinate about 5 minutes. (Time saving tip: toss the frozen edamame into the pasta pot during the last 2 minutes of cooking, drain together)
While tofu and pasta are cooking, chop zucchini, beets, and lettuce. When tofu is cool, chop and add to separate bowl. Mix all ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Add more teriyaki sauce to taste. Serve and enjoy!
Cost for Tofu: $12 for a four pack at Costco
Time: 1 hour
Love it or leave it? Love it! Adding flavor and texture to the tofu gave it the right taste to keep coming back for more. Even the fried tofu is still a lower fat option over high fat and high calorie meats. I will definitely do this again.
Ick Factor: Medium. A little bit time consuming to cook the tofu but definitely worth the wait. In the future, I will double the recipe for leftovers.