Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Fruits of the Press

Yesterday, I discussed making tofu. When I posted, I had yet to actually try any of the fruits of our tofu press. Today we had both something made from the leftover soybean pulp (or okara) and the freshly made tofu.

For breakfast, Lance fried up some soysage patties. If you like sausage, you definitely will not be fooled, but these little mock-breakfast meats were pretty satisfying with a fried egg and piece of homemade bread. I like them and will most likely continue to use the okara (soybean pulp) to make a batch every now and then.

Dinner was also soy based, as I wanted to eat the tofu while it was still fresh, since all of the tofu making guides claim it is most delicious when fresh. So I busted out Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, my go-to guide for cooking, well, everything vegetarian. (A note: if you are looking for a comprehensive guide to vegetarian cooking, buy this book. Seriously.)

I decided to make Braised Tofu and Peas in Curried Coconut Milk, which while it might seem to be something to mask the flavor of freshly made tofu, it in fact proved complimentary. Luckily it made enough for many meals for the next week. Since I love peas, curry, and coconut milk (not to mention tofu), it was a recipe that pleased me. A warning: the recipe calls for quite a lot of tofu. If you are new to tofu or are uncertain if you like the texture of braised tofu, try a bit less, add more vegetables, and see how you like it. You can also freeze and thaw or press and fry the tofu beforehand to firm up the texture.

And yes, the fresh tofu definitely tasted better than the packaged stuff, but if you're new to tofu, definitely don't be intimidated. I like the ease and convenience of the non-homemade tofu as much as anybody and will probably still buy it on occasion because making tofu is sort of a pain, even if it is cheaper and tastier.

adapted from Sam's Mom's recipe
  • 4 cups soy pulp
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cup water (original called for soymilk, which I didn't have)
  • 2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or more for spicy soysage)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, if you love garlic), or 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tbsp mustard powder
Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Put into a loaf pan and steam in a wok or a covered pot on a rack for at least half an hour. Let sit until cool, then scoop out to make patties to fry.

Braised Tofu and Peas in Curried Coconut Milk
adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes with their liquid (I prefer the Muir Glen canned tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp garam masala or curry powder, or a combination--to taste. (I mixed them, and added 3 tbsp)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • red pepper or other heat (we like it spicy in the M-M household)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs (1-2 packages) firm to extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4-in cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups peas (I ended up using two 10-oz pkgs because I LOVE PEAS)
  • 1 can coconut milk plus a little water
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish (unless cilantro is vile to you like it is to me, then I garnished with some cashews instead)
  • brown rice (or other grain) for serving (optional)
Place the onion and the tomato in a food processor and puree. Put the oil in a pot and heat, adding the puree. Add salt, pepper, and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add the tofu and peas and cook for another 5 minutes, until the tofu swells slightly and the peas are tender. Stir in the coconut milk and bring back to almost a boil, stirring occasionally (though not too much, or you'll break up the tofu). Taste, adjust seasonings as needed and serve with (or without) garnish.

1 comment:

toontz said...

Thank you for the recipe for "sausage" I have been looking around for a recipe for awhile, and this one so far looks the best. Even though I make soy milk almost every other day, I have yet to try my hand at tofu. I read the instructions and just give up, lol.