Tag Archives: tofu

tofu spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce

Hey everyone, I’m participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. It’s a fun opportunity to connect with blogs from all over the world and share our favorite vegan recipes.

If you’re stopping by for the potluck, welcome!

For this potluck, I’m bringing these fresh tofu spring rolls and some peanut dipping sauce.

Tofu Spring Rolls

These spring rolls use rice paper, and I don’t fry the whole spring roll, although I did fry the tofu. You can find the rice paper, rice noodles, tofu, and Thai basil at your Asian grocery store.

Prepare the Tofu

First, press the tofu for about 15 minutes to prepare it. To press tofu, drain it, wrap it in a few layers of paper towels, place it on a plate and put something heavy on it. In my case, I use my cast iron.

Once you’re done pressing the tofu, pat it dry and place it on a cutting board to slice it. I sliced mine on the thin side, a little bit bigger than your finger.

Pour your flour into a bowl. The flour helps give the tofu its golden color when frying. Place each piece of tofu into the flour and cover it well on each side.

In a skillet, heat about a half-inch of oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Place the tofu in the skillet and cook until golden-brown, or about five minutes on each side.

When it’s done, drain the oil on a paper towel.

Prepare the Rice Noodles

Rice noodles take very little prep. You’ll be amazed. Pull apart about a cup of dry rice noodles. Place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cover the noodles completely with hot water. I heated up some water in a tea kettle, but don’t bring it to a boiling. Let them set for about five minutes, and they’ll be perfectly soft.

Prepare the Rice Paper Wrapping

Ok, so rice paper is a tricky thing. You’ll need patience and delicate fingers. Be prepared to lose a few wrappers in the process. I lost two. You’ll need something that’s large, round, and flat. I used my skillet (do not heat up the skillet). Fill it with about a half-inch of warm water and place the rice paper in it. Let the rice paper rest in the water until it’s completely soft and you can no longer see the textured pattern. This only takes a few seconds. It may try to curl up on you, simply push it down.

Once the rice paper is soft, gently pull it out of the water and give it a shake. Try your best to prevent it from folding up on itself. If it does, you can probably still rescue it, once you put it on a plate. Only soak one rice paper at a time.

The plate can be your best friend. I found using a plate that’s smaller than the paper, and one that has a dip in it can be very useful for helping you straighten out your rice paper. I also let my rice paper dangle on the edge of the place, so I could smooth it out.

Assembly

The trick to assembling these is to avoid over stuffing them. Just remember, less is more. The delicate rice paper can’t handle a lot of stretching, so they’ll either tear, or you won’t be able to completely wrap them. The amount of filling depends on the size of your rice paper, but I try to keep my fillings about the size of my palm.

You can assemble however you’d like, but I put the lettuce first, since it helps keep everything contained. Place your fillings about 1/3 of the way down on the plate.

Rolling it up

Lightly fold the top 1/3 over the fillings, and then fold over the right and left sides one at a time. Once you have three sides folded, you can begin to roll it.

These are severed with the peanut dipping sauce, which can be found at the recipe below.

tofu spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 11
Ingredients
Spring Rolls
  • 1 16 oz. package extra-firm tofu
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dried rice noodles
  • 11 pieces of rice paper
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 5 leaves lettuce
  • Thai basil and/or mint
Peanut Dipping Sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 heaping tbsp peanut butter
  • ¼ c hot water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp sugar
Instructions
Prepare the Tofu
  1. Press the tofu for 15 minutes, until well drained.
  2. Slice the tofu into ¼ inch thick pieces.
  3. Pour flour into a small mixing bowl.
  4. Place tofu in flour until well coated.
  5. Pour vegetable oil in a skillet. Warm over medium-high heat.
  6. Fry tofu in oil until golden brown, or 5 minutes on each side.
  7. When it has a nice golden brown color, place on a plate with a few napkins, to drain.
Prepare rice noodles
  1. Place rice noodles in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. Immerse the noodles in hot water. Let set for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  3. When the noodles are tender, drain the water.
Prepare the rice paper
  1. Place the rice paper in a shallow pool of warm water for about 20 seconds, or until soft.
Assembly
  1. Place the lettuce, tofu, noodles, carrots, and herbs in the middle of the rice paper, about ⅓ of the way down. The spring roll filling should not be larger than your palm. Do not over stuff. Carefully fold the rice paper around the fillings and roll it up.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, peanut butter, hot water, soy sauce, peanuts and sugar, until smooth.

 Thanks again for joining me for this potluck. Please check out the rest of the blogs participating today.

low carb pad thai with tofu

After my roommate and I signed our lease on our new place in Crown Heights, I invited her over to my rental room for an experimental lunch of low-carb pad thai. After all, broker’s fees make me ravenous. I was really concerned about how lunch would taste. I even prepped her, “I’ve never made this before… It might not be good… There’s always pizza if it doesn’t work out.”

So, clearly, I’m a nervous wreck about cooking something new for someone. But this low carb pad thai turned out great. And it only has 13 carbs per serving! The secret? I substituted cabbage for noodles. The carbs were not missed. It was still oily and peanut buttery, which is all I ask for in my pad thai.

pad thai

low carb tofu pad thai
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: thai
Yields: 5
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 16 oz. block of extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 cups, or ¼ head of large cabbage, shredded
  • 5 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
  • 2 green onions, chopped
Extra Delicious Options
  • Scrambled Egg
  • Sriracha
Instructions
Fry the Tofu
  1. Press the tofu for about 15 minutes to drain all water
  2. Cut the tofu into triangles or cubes
  3. Pour oil into frying pan, until it covers the whole pan and is about ¼ inch deep
  4. Warm oil over medium-high heat
  5. Add the tofu to the oil and cook on each side for about five minutes, until all sides are a nice tan color, appx. 25 minutes.
  6. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil
Pad Thai
  1. Chop the cabbage into long, thin pieces
  2. Pour 4 Tbsp. oil into pan and warm it over medium heat
  3. Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped onion and sautee for five minutes, or until soft.
  4. Sautee in the cabbage and top with the soy sauce
  5. Continue to cook the cabbage, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a noodle-like consistency
  6. After about 10 minutes, toss in the garlic and peanut butter and give it a stir.
  7. Once the cabbage is completely cooked down, add in the tofu and green onions and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  8. If you want, now is a good time to crack an egg in the mixture and scramble it.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 320 Fat: 27 Carbohydrates: 13 Protein: 12

Felicite was in charge of the photo taking that day. Here’s are some shots of the the cooking.

There’s nothing more satisfying than eating tofu in a triangle shape.

This is the light, golden color you want your tofu to be. On the left, you can see the long strips of cabbage.

Adding the soy sauce. 

This is about mid-way through the cooking process. I would normally cook something like this in my wok, but it’s in storage.

The waiting. This is really an excuse to show off that apron. P.s. That is my entire kitchen. It’s why I haven’t been cooking much since I moved.

Here’s a better view of the kitchen. Things get crowded fast.

And finally adding in the tofu.

Some other, non-food related pics. Kevin, the house cat. The king. I will miss him so much when I move out. 

Felicite took a selfie on our dirty mirror. And I am playing with Kevin in the background.

And this sweet guy. I love him.

Fantastic Baked Tofu

This is the best tofu you’ll ever have. I’ve had a lot of tofu in my life, this tops. And it’s baked(!), not fried. And let’s face it, all of the other “best tofu” is usually fried. I sort of can’t believe I don’t eat this every day.

best tofu

I was inspired by this recipe, which used fried tofu.

The trick to this recipe is to spray the breaded tofu with a light layer of cooking spray. It gives the panko an extra crisp and helps brown it.

Before:
Tofu BeforeAfter:
Tofu After

crispy baked tofu
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
This is the best baked tofu you'll ever eat.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: vegetarian
Yields: 2-3
Ingredients
  • One 14 oz. packages extra-firm tofu
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. course ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
Preparation
  1. Press the tofu under a book for ten minutes to drain any excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Coat a baking sheet with a think layer of cooking spray.
  4. While you're waiting for your tofu to press, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in one bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and water together.
  6. Pour the panko in a third bowl.
Making the Tofu
  1. Once the tofu has been pressed, slice the tofu in large triangles.
  2. Dip the triangles in the flour mixture, coating well.
  3. Then transfer the flour-covered mixture to the egg bowl. Coat well with egg.
  4. Finally, cover the coated tofu with panko.
  5. Move the coated tofu onto the baking sheet. Once all tofu triangles are on the baking sheet, give it another light spray with cooking oil. This helps turn the panko crispy.
  6. Place the tray in the oven, baking for ten minutes on each side.

Serve this with rice and your favorite sauces. This would make an excellent sweet and sour base.

Delicious Tofu

This is linked up here and here.

vegetarian tofu butter chicken

I was feeling a little inspired last night and decided to make one of my boyfriend’s favorite Indian dishes – butter chicken. Except I made a vegetarian version.

It turned out so great. I barely remembered to snap a picture right before he had seconds.

butter-tofu

 

I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Butter Chicken, but made some changes.

The most obvious change was marinated tofu and some gardein vegetarian chicken patties. Honestly, I preferred the taste of the tofu to the veggie chicken anyway [although gardein products are fantastic]. I added a lot more spice, basically tripled whatever spices she recommended. I also added a lot of curry and turmeric. Her recipe also called for a pint of cream, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I only used like 1/2 a cup. It turned out fantastic, and highly recommend the recipe. I still think one of the most important parts of cooking is a good recipe. Also, this is very easy. I’d even suggest it for beginners.

Happy cooking.