Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pressing Tofu and Vegan Bahn Mi

The secret to making tofu (not the silken kind) is pressing it. I use this:

It's not difficult or very time consuming, you just put in the block of tofu and turn the knobs, then continuing turning the top piece down until it meets a lot of resistance - you really wanna get the water out of there but you don't want to destroy the tofu. I let it sit in the sink on it's side for about 15 minutes. After that, you have many options.

Marinating the tofu can give it great flavor, even in as simple a marinade as soy sauce alone, or balsamic vinegar with a little sugar or agave nectar.

If you want a quicker option, cut the tofu into small blocks, or slice it (about 1/4 inch thick), sprinkle it with salt and pepper and bake it - about ten minutes on each side for slices, or 15 minutes total for diced tofu, or fry it in a nonstick pan (or just add a little nonstick spray) or deep-fry in oil.

It's perfectly fine to eat the tofu at that point - it's actually pretty good just like that with a little ketchup or on a sandwich with some condiments. You can create a delicious bahn mi style sandwich with tofu cooked this way.

This is a simple sandwich with lettuce, vegan mayo, pickled carrots, cucumber and jalapeƱo slices and some delicious baked tofu slices:

Yet another option is to put the tofu in sauce and then bake it further. This takes a bit more time but really gives the tofu excellent flavor. I like to use barbecue sauce and bake it with some veggies. It's really good like that with carrots, white or sweet potatoes or even broccoli and cauliflower.
Tofu is truly an incredibly versatile ingredient, and when you also include the many things you can do with silken tofu, like adding it to smoothies or making mousse, the choices are endless,