Tofu U – Part 1 – Italian Style


Margaritas tonight.

Every 2 years, another failure.  That’s how often I give tofu a try, and how successful I’ve been in the past.  I’m sure somewhere there’s a way to cook tofu that turns out to be actually good.  Ain’t found it yet, but haven’t given up.   The pictures of tofu with grill marks straight off the barbeque look great.  Haven’t tried it that way, but I suspect in the end, another failure.  At least by my tastes. In fact the only tofu I remember being half-way good was in a Chinese restaurant surrounded by meat and vegetables with a lot of good tasting sauce on everything.  Maybe that’s the way to cook it?   Go to your local Chinese restaurant and order it there.  Here’s this year’s biennial challenge.

Tofu doesn’t have many good eating things going for it.  The texture is good for gumming, but tofu lacks just about any kind of taste.  Maybe tasteless is good for gumming also.  Now I do remember having read that tofu takes up any flavor around it and mimics that taste.  Not true in my book.  But to test that myth, I soaked slices of extra firm tofu in Italian dressing spiked with some extra oregano and basil and garlic just to tilt the odds in tofu’s favor.  Taste doesn’t get much stronger than store-bought Italian dressing.  Marinated might be the more proper term, except it stayed for over 24 hours in the refrigerator with the aforesaid mixture. That’s a soak in my book.

The cooking process consisted of frying the 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch slices of soaked tofu in extra virgin olive oil (yes, the kind used for volcanic sacrifices) until the smoke alarms went off.   Seriously.   It took about 10 minutes with a few turn overs in the middle.  The result: sort of tasty crunchy tofu, still gummable but better than undercooked french fries some restaurants like to serve.  And also tasting better than those horrible french fries.

As a variation on this theme and the Chinese restaurant approach, I covered the soaked almost burnt tofu with some of the marinade.  Hopefully I didn’t need to cook the marinade because it wasn’t used for meat.  If I was wrong about not cooking the marinade,  this could be my last blog.   Results:  how could you go wrong adding more oil, spices and garlic to anything?  Added taste equals better tofu.  As a further test of  the “a good sauce will make anything edible” theory, I slithered the marinated burnt tofu into good old store-bought thick tomato based barbeque sauce.   All I can say is, pig smokers watch out.  People might not know what they were eating, but 99% of the people wouldn’t guess tofu.  To keep on their good side, better not tell them, at least don’t tell them until they’ve had enough margaritas so they won’t remember in the morning.  So two years brings some progress.

Was it worth a stove splattered with olive oil and tofu protein?  Well if I was going to end up with this kind of mess, I would’ve made eggplant parmesan.  You might have been wondering what I was going to do with that basic marinara sauce recipe. Or not.  But there’s a thought, tofu parmesan,  see you in six months to a year this time.


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One Response to “Tofu U – Part 1 – Italian Style”

  1. Lamonica Rodriguel Says:

    I love the entry. It looks good. Thank you!


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