Tofu for Dinner

The issue of vegetarian/veganism is popping up all over the blogosphere these days thanks to America’s charming upcoming holiday that centers around eating a dead animal. Except for the lucky one. Oh and football, of course.

While I am slowly trying to make adjustments to my diet more towards the veggie-side of things, I can’t honestly claim myself to be a pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, raw, etc. because I haven’t quite made the leap to sacrifice yet. Although, when I read things like this, I want to.

So there will definitely be turkey on my Thanksgiving table. And I’ll eat it. With stuffing, and gravy made from giblets. I apologize for the lack of holiday posts and will definitely get some good recipes up here shortly including my favorite Thanksgiving sweet potatoes. I’m sure everyone got super excited during Thanksgiving week to see the post title “Tofu for Dinner.”

But one of the things I automatically find myself eating more of when I get on a vegan-kick is soy. Gena has a great post about why tofu isn’t necessarily the best choice for your health, but the reason I can’t stop eating it is because it’s not necessarily a replacement for me, it’s because it’s something I really, really like to eat.

I grew up not eating red meat (this includes no pork, the “other” white meat) so we ate tofu growing up. It makes me nostalgic. That may seem weird, but I wonder if other people just haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy tofu cooked simply, not masked to taste like Thanksgiving turkey.

Here’s how I make tofu for all my stir-fry recipes, with an unnecessarily detailed explanation my tricks to get it crispy and tasty. I’ve had luck with Gliding Calm’s baked tofu as well but frankly, if you’re going to eat tofu, you might as well fry it.

Stir Fried Tofu

Canola Oil
Chili/Sesame Oil (optional)
Extra firm tofu cut into cubes (drying with paper towels is nice but not necessary)
Soy Sauce

I always cook the tofu and the add-ins (veggies, noodles) separately. If you want to use the same pan (less dishes = less pain in the @ss) cook your veggies first, keep them in a bowl while you cook the tofu, then throw them back in at the end to heat them all up to the same temperature. Your tofu just isn’t going to crisp up with the water from the veggies going on at the same time.

Use a frying pan. Whatever pan you have that you know heats up and browns well. Add enough canola oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan but not enough so it’s an inch thick. Gross.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it’s pretty hot but not spitting. You want to brown the tofu when it first hits the pan, not burn it. Toss in the tofu cubes. BE CAREFUL! The oil may spit a little when you toss in the semi-wet cubes.

If you’re Julia Child, or just awesome at flipping your tofu cubes like me, flip them occasionally until all the sides are browning. Otherwise, I would use a spatula as opposed to tongs since you want the cubes to keep their shape. If you find you need more oil, add your chili-sesame oil if using, or just a little more canola oil. Don’t add to much because you want the browning.

Right when they start to really crisp to the point of burn, pour your soy sauce over them, again being careful of the hot oil spitting. Continue to flip them as the soy sauce caramelizes and they get some crispy burn parts (not too long).

Add with whatever you’re eating with the tofu and enjoy! If I’m adding veggies, etc. I’ll add them already cooked right before I add the soy sauce at a relatively high heat.

And if THAT insanely long super informative description of tofu doesn’t get you excited about eating veg, check out these links:

I was researching Reader’s Digest for a client today when I came across an article “4 Places You Didn’t Know You’d Find Animal By Products.” Ew.

Ok, so I know there’s probably gelatin (commonly made by boiling the bones and connective tissue of cattle or pigs – thanks for that visual) in my gummy bears and other processed candy I claim I don’t eat but sometimes do, but WINE??? That sucks.

21 responses to “Tofu for Dinner

  1. looks like a great recipe!! I would just replace the tofu with zucchini for myself. I plan to be turkey and proud free this holiday season =)

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