Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Italian Tofu

I seem to be on a search for good tofu marinades, so thought I'd try out the Italian marinade from Vegan with a Vengeance. (I want to try the pumpkin-seed crusted tofu from this cookbook next!) The marinade was really easy to put together and I thought it was interesting that there was 1/2 a cup of white wine in it. As it turns out, even though I marinated the tofu for 3 hours (2 hours longer than the 1 hour recommended time) it didn't taste like much after I baked it. I think if I changed the quantities of the ingredients (upped everything and put less wine) it would have a lot more flavour. The wine didn't seem to add much to the taste of the marinated tofu, but instead diluted the flavours of the other ingredients.

I really liked the cooking method of baking it on both sides then putting it under the broiler for a few minutes. Very easy and I liked the texture. As suggested by Isa, I didn't throw out the marinade but instead poured it over the yellow peppers as I was sauteeing them. With the bit of marinade that was leftover after that, we poured it over the baked tofu for more flavour. The marinade itself did taste good but it just didn't infuse very well into the tofu. I also love the suggestions for how to cut tofu (into long triangles or short triangles) on the page next to the recipe.

I've never seen an Italian inspired tofu marinade and I loved the idea. I will definitely play around with the ingredients to try and get the Italian flavour to come through in the tofu. If you want to try this recipe, I suggest modifying the amounts (maybe lots of herbs, more lemon, more garlic and more vinegar?).

Italian Tofu
(Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
A big pinch each dried basil, marjoram, and thyme**

Prepare the marinade by combining all ingredients in a wide shallow bowl.

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the tofu widthwise into eight equal pieces. Marinate for an hour or overnight (if you have good foresight and planning), flipping after 30 minutes. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake another 10 minutes. Place in the broiler for about 3 more minutes for extra chewiness.

And as Isa said, use the extra marinade for something instead of throwing it away. Use it sautee some veggies like I did to eat with your tofu!

**I used dried basil, freeze dried basil and fresh basil, as well as some dried marjoram and thyme. (I went a little basil crazy. Never too much basil!)


tigerfish said...

Have you tried Five-Spice Tofu before? I got them from the Asian supermarket before and love them. I was wondering if you could use five-spice or all-spice to marinade the same way. :)

eatme_delicious said...

tigerfish: i haven't tried five-spice tofu before. i should pick some up and try that out. :)

Peabody said...

I wonder if my husband would notice if I slipped tofu into his dinner...he is a meat-aholic.

eatme_delicious said...

peabody: Start slow with the tofu, and make sure the tofu doesn't taste like tofu! Then I think you have a chance. :)

Anonymous said...

OK so you said start slow with the tofu and meatmen... Ive been trying for a week to find a recipie for tofu that my man would at least try. hes had it before and said it was mushy and had no flavor. any tips on making tofu manfriendly, can you grill it, or deep fry it or drench it in bbq sauce or something? Please help me!

eatme_delicious said...

starjanee: Try this tofu recipe: http://www.eatmedelicious.com/2007/06/tofu-magic.html It has lots of flavour, and make sure you cut the tofu pieces relatively small (maybe 3/4" pieces) so it doesn't seem too tofu-y. You could put BBQ sauce on it and bake it if you want yea.

Snow said...

It's less a question of changing the marinade sauce and more a question of changing the tofu. If you buy firm tofu, you want to dry fry it first before you marinade--I tried this the other day and it works wonders!

To dry fry:

1. Press the tofu. Lay it out on a cutting board in the sink and then put a plate or cookie sheet over it and some cans of food on top and let it drain for at least 15 minutes.

2. Cut the tofu into the size you want it and fry WITHOUT OIL in a nonstick pan until golden brown on both sides.

3. Place in your marinade.

I have always been frustrated by tofu not soaking up the marinade the way it seems to in restaurants. This is what the restaurants do! It gets all the moisture out of the tofu so that it can suck it all back in. Try it!

eatme_delicious said...

Snow: Thanks! I've tried pressing the tofu before but it doesn't seem to make a huge difference. I've never tried pan frying it in a dry pan and THEN marinading though. Will have to try that. :)

Mary said...

This was delicious. I used a splash of red wine instead of white because that was what I had open already :) Just LOVE the tofu with basil!

eatme_delicious said...

Mary: I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I should give this one another try.