Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegan MoFo 9- What is Smoked Tofu? Puffed Tofu? Silken Tofu?

What is Smoked Tofu? Puffed Tofu? Silken Tofu?
Puffed tofu is essentially deep fried tofu. It puffs up so the outer skin holds the soft aerated inners together... and you all know tofu is soy bean curds right? Tofu comes in so many forms but my favourites are smoked and silken, my husband on the other hand prefers firm and puffed. If you're yet to try the different types give them a go! The puffed variety has already been cooked so you can just reheat it and add a yummy sauce or add it to soups, stir-fries or curries etc.
Smoked tofu is an intense smoked extra firm tofu which reminds me of ham or bacon. A little bit goes a long way so I tend to use half the quantity because of it's big flavour which spreads to the other components of the dish. It makes a great garnish too...
The tofu fridge
is a little intimidating at first. There are Chinese or Japanese style tofus, silken, regular, firm, extra firm, fermented, marinated etc. and then of course there are all the different brands, shapes and sizes of each. The firmness if your tofu is just how much water is present (the silken is like custard and extra firm like cheese) and you will need different types for different recipes. You can also buy a tofu press (or press with heavy books) to remove some of the extra water yourself.
It's no secret love my silken tofu, I use it to make 'creamy' sauces and desserts regularly. It lends itself to these sort of recipes beautifully but can also make a starring role in soups and savoury dishes (just don't try and use it to make tofu scramble!)
Tofu also comes pre prepared marinated in various sauces and in noodles like these. Personally I like rice/bean noodles better but if you're looking for some variety they're worth a try.
I use tofu a lot so here's a selection of recipes to get you started
Here's a puffed tofu recipe courtesy of my husband. It's delicious but hot, be warned!
Puffed Tofu Noodle Soup
1/2 packet Puffed Tofu (2 cups?)
1 Birds Eye Chilli (personally I would de-seed it and only use half)
1/2 cup Fresh Coriander
2 cups Fresh Shanghai Noodles (thick white wheat noodles)
2 cups 'Chicken' Stock 
1 tbsp Five spice
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Fried Shallots
  • Chop chilli and coriander
  • fry tofu puffs in five spice
  • add stock, soy & chilli
  • par cook noodles separately
  • drain and add to soup
  • simmer for another 3 mins
  • garnish with coriander, chilli, sesame seeds and shallots
  • Enjoy!

I promise if you don't like tofu you just haven't had it made the right way yet! There's a recipe for everyone. 
All the best,

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