CRISPY, SPICY CRUMBLED TOFU – AKA HOW TO MAKE TOFU TASTE LIKE MEAT October 14 2017

Your relationship with those humdrum blocks of tofu is about to change, my friends.

I had a somewhat spicy fling with tofu in the past, but the balance of our infrequent exchanges was admittedly "meh." Besides cutting the tofu into cubes and marinating it for a length of time that never seemed to be worth the final flavour result, I wasn't really in love. The only person who looked forward to eating tofu was my girl. Her, I love.

A few months back, I ran across a method for how to make your tofu taste like pork. Such a bold claim, I thought. Skeptical but curious, I read on... aaaaaand then bookmarked it for another day.

Well, "another day" happened to be one when I woke up feeling less than stellar. I pulled myself together enough to get the kids off to school (while I kept my miserable state confined to my car) and decided I was due for a sick day.

When I'm unwell, I don't just crave soup: I crave spicy soup. But also a strong hot toddy with lemon and bourbon, just not at the same time ;P

I remembered that enticing spicy crumbled tofu from before and called up the original post. Too lazy to follow all the steps, I gleaned a coles notes version of the process and gave it go while I was waiting for my miso soup broth to achieve its full germ-banishing potency.

I wasn't convinced this crumbled mess of tofu would even remotely resemble ground pork until about the 20-minute mark. Yep. It takes time and a little more oil than I anticipated to achieve that dark, crumbly, crispy-yet-slightly-chewy taste and texture of well-cooked ground pork. The soy sauce and sesame oil definitely help the tofu look much less anemic, and the result was nothing short of remarkable.

About the same time this culinary miracle was finished, so was my miso soup. A few ramen noodles and a well-placed egg later, I reached the pinnacle of satisfyingly spicy, soul-lifting, virus-blasting comfort food. With a gratifying stir to combine the crisp, peppery bites of tofu with the smooth miso broth and I'm in heaven.

Funnily enough, the next time I made and shared a photo of this tofu revelation, again served specifically with my cheater miso ramen soup, it was August. You'd think that posting something like this during the heat of summer would tame the response, but it didn't, and I think that's pretty amazing.

Thanks for reading and I hope you'll keep in touch on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for frequent foodie fixes.

Eat well,

Gayle

 

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Crispy, Spicy Crumbled Tofu
Say goodbye to boring tofu. This method of cooking tofu is heavily inspired by Bon Appetit and transforms a rather drab block of tofu into something remarkably resembling meat.
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp + more if needed neutral oil
  • 350 g extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp or to taste sambal oelek
Instructions
Prepare the block of tofu by wrapping in several layers of paper towels or clean tea towels and squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible. I usually set it on the counter and lean with both hands on top of the block a few times. It will begin to crumble, which is perfect.Meanwhile, heat a neutral oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil over high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet until shimmering. Add the crumbled tofu to the hot oil and stir immediately to coat the tofu in the oil, breaking up larger pieces with a wooden spoon. Now shake the pan and let fry without disturbing it for a couple of minutes to allow the tofu a chance to brown. If you feel like the pan is too dry, add a little more oil throughout the process. Keep frying and stirring occasionally until the tofu is darker in colour. It should resemble cooked ground pork at this point.Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and sambal oelek; stir-fry for a few more minutes until the tofu is well browned. Remove from heat and use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Worth noting: If you are at all interested... this cooking method works perfectly to make a Tex-Mex style filling for taco or to add to our Vegetarian Chili. Swap out the soy and sesame oil for taco seasoning and a couple tablespoons of water. This homemade seasoning is delicious.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4