Tofu How to.....

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-DEADLY SUSHI-

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Can anyone explain the proper way to cook tofu for a stir fry? It seems that I always burn it. Or it just crumbles in my stir fry and looks like crumbled feta cheese. I want the stuff to stay in cube form and suck up the flavor of the food & spices. The last time I tried, it was a large gloppy mess. :?
 

ironchef

Executive Chef
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first of all you need to drain your tofu. cut the tofu into 1" thick slabs, and place them between folded paper towels. using something as a weight (a plastic container filled with water works well), place the weight on the tofu, and let the tofu drain out it's liquid. you may have to change the paper towels a couple of times. cut the tofu into 1" cubes, and lightly dust with corn starch. deep fry the tofu until golden brown, then toss with your stir fry. in essence, you need to cook your tofu seperately. the coating on the tofu will soak up the sauce when you toss it, and the tofu will stay firm and hold it's shape
 

Tarquin

Assistant Cook
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Mar 18, 2004
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I usually cut the tofu in small cubes after rinsing it and throw it right into the wok. I think it might depend on what kind of tofu you use. The kind I use is organic and pretty firm. Some other kinds of tofu i've tried are very gel-like and slippery (such as silken)
 

taintedflood

Assistant Cook
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May 5, 2004
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I'm with ironchef on the draining, but I don't deep fry mine. I do, however, freeze and thaw it before using. It changes the consistency of the tofu and gives it a firmer, "meatier" texture. Also, I only use firm tofu packed in water, not the silken kind that can be stored at room temp.
 

-DEADLY SUSHI-

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Cool beans! Thanks Flood. ;) So ..... you freeze it 1st huh? Interesting. I shall try it out. I have a block of firm stuff sittin' in the refrig.
I'll throw it in. How much texture change should I see??
 

-DEADLY SUSHI-

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Thanks Starr!
it says: Baked tofu comes marinated with ethnic flavors and can be used on sandwiches or crumbled in tacos, enchiladas, on pizza, in lasagna. It can also be sliced and eaten on sandwiches.

This gives me some ideas. I should really eat more of the stuff.
 

htc

Head Chef
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Sep 8, 2004
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USA,Oregon
Try this...

Not sure if this is a Chinese or Vietnamese dish (since I'm ethnically Chinese, but born in Vietname, everything eventually blends together)....anyways...

Get a block of firm (or extra firm) tofu and cut the block of tofu in half and then cut it into half again, making 4 even squares. Use a towel to dry off any excess water. Take 1 square and partially butterfly the tofu (make sure not to cut it all the way). Once this is done take ground meat (I prefer chicken or shrimp) and stuff it into the middle. Then pan fry the tofu on all sides to make sure it is brown and the meat is cooked. Then add some fresh quartered tomatoes and some tomato sauce and salt/pepper. I always enjoy this dish when my mom makes it, if it's too plain for you, play around and add spices you like. :)
 

Yakuta

Head Chef
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Sep 2, 2004
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Chicago
Are you against frying at all Deadlysushi or can you pan fry.

You can use firm tofu and pan fry it in a little cornstarch egg mixture (just lightly coat and place it in a single layer to pan fry with 2 tbsp of oil). Once it gets a little color drain on a paper towel. This will firm it up without making it super oily.

I then add it to veggies along with sauces of my choice.

I have also seen Tyler coat Tofu in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and pan fry it and then serve it with a spicy soup.

The possibilities are endless. I would highly recommend pan frying if you want the tofu from falling apart.
 

homecook500

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
5
Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but make sure to get extra firm tofu for stir fry.

I tried baking tofu once. It worked but was not as crispy. Maybe broiling?
 

amber

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
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4,099
Location
USA,Maine
I've used just a bit of canolla oil (healthy oil), in a saute pan until brown and slightly crisp, then throw it into my stir fry. (drain the tofu first and pat dry).
 

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