Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tofu Two Ways!

As a vegetarian, I often have troubles getting the requisite amount of protein each day. Even though tofu tends to be the go-to food for veggie protein, I don't really like the flavour or texture of most tofu. Also, for some reason, I am really bad at cooking with tofu. It just turns out terrible, its either too soft and soy-y or too salty or too hard and flavourless or pretty much anything but tasty D: (To make matters worse, they always come in these HUGE containers. Maybe it's just my aversion to cooking with it that makes the quantity seem daunting...but seriously. ENORMOUS. So then half of it always ends up going bad because even if you soak it in water in like you're supposed to it never lasts more than half a week. Luckily, I've found this really nice tofu at my far-away Largest Asian Grocery In The Tri-State Area that's a third the size of normal blocks and comes in two chunks. PERFECT :D /tangent)

Luckily, scrounging the fridge for dinner tonight, I remembered this really tasty tofu dish my mom used to make for Saturday breakfast time to go with 稀飯/がゆ/rice porridge. All it was was a block of tofu and some soy paste. Being adventurous, I decided to kick it up a notch and try one with miso too. Both turned out remarkably tasty (although I made way too much of the miso sauce and ended up scraping off half of it D:). Paired with some azuki-brown rice, miso soup, and a simple side of tomato, it was a well-rounded, protein-filled, and most importantly, SUPER-YUMMY dinner.

For Simple Soy Paste Tofu:
Soft tofu, drained
Soy paste (Kimlan is the best!)
Green onion/scallion, slivered (optional)

1. Cut your tofu into blocks (I didn't do this, 'cause I was the only person eating so there wasn't anyone else to get squeamish about me massacring the tofu with my chopsticks. If you're serving others, however, they'd probably like it pre-sectioned.)
2. Drizzle with soy paste (about 1/2 T. per 1 oz. serving...or however big my piece was. Just look at the picture.)
3. Sprinkle with scallions (optional). Devour.

For Slightly More Complicated But Still Very Easy Miso Tofu:
Miso (1 tsp per serving)
Mirin (couple drops per serving, to taste)
Roasted black or white sesame seeds

1. Cut tofu into blocks.
2. Mix 1 tsp. miso and mirin to taste.
3. Top tofu with miso mixture. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds. Yum yum!

For Tomato Salad That Was Actually Way Tastier Than I Thought It Would Be:
3 Cherry Tomatoes, washed and halved
Splash Vinegar (I used rice vinegar, but it was kinda stinky; next time I'm sticking with distilled white vinegar)
2 t. olive oil
Pinch Garlic salt
Pinch Sugar, to taste (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes + vinegar)

1. Mix it all together before preparing the rest of dinner, so the flavours can develop.
2. Eat. Serves 1.

For Brown Rice with Azuki
This should be prepared the night before you want to eat it, because it requires soaking time. I used long grain brown rice 'cause that's all we had, and it was fluffy. I would suggest short grain for those who eat with chopsticks because it is stickier. I got frustrated eating mine D:<
Also, you need a rice cooker or steamer.

1. Measure out 1 cup brown rice. Take out 3 T. of rice.
Put it in your rice-cooking bowl.
2. Add 3 T. azuki beans.
3. If using rice cooker, add water up to the line for brown rice plus a millimieter over. For steamers, use the finger trick and add just a hint more water. In both cases, let soak at least overnight (6-8 hours).
4. Hit cook/steam.
5. Eat. Serves 4.

Happy Dining!


  1. Yum yum!!
    I just made brown rice and you really only need to let it soak for 2-3 hours :p Mine still turned out all fluffy and delicious ;)

  2. @Sparklewolfie: Awesome! I was always afraid that it would be too hard so I soak the BRAINS out of them :))

    Also, I've been tweaking the tomato thing for a few days now, and I think the best version is with some black olives and a drop of rice vinegar to ~1 t. distilled white vinegar, keeping the rest of it the same. The leftover sauce tastes awesome soaked up with baguette :X