TWO TOFU RECIPES! Who likes tofu as much as I do? Like brussels sprouts, mushrooms and chicken livers (to name a few), you either love tofu or hate it. People who don’t like tofu don’t like its texture and its taste (or lack of it). But the trick is always in what you mix with it.
Where I used to live, I cooked tofu every weekend. Most of the time, I would simply fry it and use a dipping sauce of vinegar, soy sauce and chopped onions. Then I almost burned the house. So I stopped cooking tofu that way. Actually, I just stopped cooking tofu, period. How did I manage to almost burn the house, you asked? Watery tofu + very hot cooking oil + old range hood grease filter = Fire. Thank God for a fire extinguisher and a housemate who knew how to make it work (I couldn’t!). Thank God also for a boyfriend who painstakingly wiped out the fire smoke stains from the kitchen ceiling.
It took me a while to get back to cooking tofu again. I now make sure the tofu is dry before carefully putting it in the hot oil. I also tried baking tofu instead (as I learned from Lorena of The Rich Hours. She has a wonderful baked tofu recipe from her eBook). But fried tofu is still what I crave for.
Five-spice tofu with sweet chili dipping sauce ~ Recipe here
For this recipe, I made sure it is extra dry and flavorful by coating it with flour mixed with five spice powder. The dipping sauce is a mixture of rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce and sweet soy sauce. If you haven’t discovered sweet soy sauce yet (called Kecap Manis in Asian stores) then you’re missing a lot! It’s one of my secret ingredients (oops! not a secret anymore!) thus is always present in my pantry.
And as if fried tofu is not enough, what about silken tofu for dessert?
Filipinos call this warm dessert “Taho”. You can read stories on the Internet about how “taho” is sold by street peddlers and how it always brings back fond memories of childhood in the Philippines. I never thought I could make it myself by using silken tofu available in supermarkets, until I read a blog – that is now close to my heart – by New York-based food blogger and photographer Jun Belen. I followed his recipe to a T and at that moment I was a very happy child again.