Friday, June 10, 2011

Think you don't like tofu?

I admit it:  I used to completely turn my nose up at tofu.
I mean, what was it anyway?
It looked icky, felt icky, had no smell.  What could possibly be appealing about it?

When we lived in Korea, it was everywhere.  We could have had freshly made tofu everyday, for practically pennies, or the Korean equivalent (Won), if I had just had the courage to try.
It wasn't like I didn't have the opportunity to try it.  Like I said, it was everywhere, on every menu, on every deli counter, every street corner.

Soft, hard, semi-soft, blocks, chunks, large, small.  Candied, raw, spicy, mild.  Soup, stir fry, grilled, kimche-ed.  You get the point.
But I didn't ever want to try it.  Ever.  Poor Adam, it's a good thing he was able to eat at work, his pregnant wife just couldn't stomach a lot of the smells, textures and tastes.

Thank goodness for Costco, where we stocked up on dairy and things like graham crackers!

But I digress....

So about a year ago, I finally, finally got over my mental food-hurtles and decided that since tofu was so incredibly GOOD for you, not to mention crazy CHEAP, I should try it.
We ordered it at a sushi restaurant as a soup.  I liked itReally liked it.

I was converted.  And, I'm here to tell you, you should try it, too!  Try it for the first time.  Retry it if you have and hated it.  Try it a different way then you did the first time.

And here's a recipe for you, if you're willing to jump over your food-hurtles.  Even my picky eater loved it and had 3rds.

I got this last year from Rachael Ray's grilling magazine (mine is so dog-eared and covered in food stains.  It's obviously one of my fall-back-on-favorites).  I made some changes, so here it is!

Grilled Tofu with Veggies and Chili Sauce

What you need
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of each of the following:

  • soy sauce
  • fresh lime juice
  • brown sugar
 Add 3 Tbs water, 1 Tbs toasted sesame seed oil, 1 Tbs minced ginger, 1 finely chopped garlic clove and 1/2 tsp red chili paste (I used Sriracha).  Your supposed to reserve half of this for dipping sauce but I always forget and dump all the ingredients into the bowl.  No matter, since it's not meat, you don't really have to worry about it, no cross-contamination.

Cut one 16-oz block of tofu into cubes, size is your choice, pat dry.  Add to bowl.  Cut 2 Japanese eggplants into 1/2 inch rounds and add to bowl.  (I can never find Japanese eggplants, so I use zucchini.) Add 1 cubed red bell pepper and 1/3 pound snow peas.  Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high heat, depending on your grill.  You can either thread all the veggies and tofu onto skewers, or you can just oil a grill pan and throw it all in (that's what I did, I'm all about easy).

Grill, turning every now and then, till veggies and tofu get those nice grill marks on them.  Takes about 8-15 minutes, just watch it.

Make a big bowl of cilantro rice to go along side and you've got a great, super easy, healthy and cheap meal!

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Are you a tofu lover?

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