Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tofu, Korean Syle: A (kind of) Recipe

Guys, I've been trying to perfect my tofu game for a while now. I FINALLY NAILED IT TODAY. Let me clarify a few things before I dive in:
  • I love meat. I'm a hardened carnivore. I'm not excessive about it (spare me the bacon-wrapped triple cheeseburgers) but I'm not a vegetarian. My husband seems to think that my new fascination with tofu means that I am. No, it does not.
  • TOFU IS SO CHEAP. Y'all, tofu is $1 for a one pound block of it at the commissary. CHEAP MEALS. 'Nuff said. 
  • I'm home alone for lunch during the week, making it the perfect time to experiment with and eat tofu (still don't have husband completely on board with eating it, but I'm hoping today's results will change his mind).
Okay. With all of that being said, I have a great recipe for you guys to use with tofu. Come on, give it a try. It really isn't bad. It's easy, it's delicious, it's healthy, and it is so cheap. What's not to love?

I used this recipe, which I cannot say enough good things about. We eat it weekly because we love it so much. We usually make it with ground turkey. Here's what you need to make it the tofu way:

-1 lb tofu, prepared as described below*
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-3 cloves minced garlic
-1/2 tsp ginger
-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 bunch green onions, diced (So important! Don't skip it!)
-Rice for serving

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and garlic; mix thoroughly and fry for a couple of minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, red pepper, and salt and pepper. Mix and simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to seep into the tofu. Serve over rice and topped with green onions. YUM!

IS IT BEEF? IS IT TOFU? It's delicious, and that's all that matters.

*How to prepare tofu like ground beef:
I did a lot of research on this so I could figure out the best and most successful way to prepare tofu to taste just like beef, and I'm pretty happy with the outcome of how I did it. Here we go:

-Freeze the tofu. I just threw the entire block, package and all, into the freezer for a few days. This is good to do with all of your tofu that you buy; it keeps way longer in the freezer and freezing completely transforms the texture of tofu, making it more chewy, meat-like, and capable of holding more flavor.
-The night before you're ready to use it, thaw it out. I began by running mine under warm water, melting the ice surrounding the tofu off.
-Wrap the tofu in towels and put a heavy item on it, such as a plate. Allow tofu to drain for a few hours, changing the towels as needed.
-When you're ready to use it, unwrap it and squeeze any remaining water out between a fresh towel. I cut it into cubes to do this.
-The tofu should now easily crumble into ground beef-like pieces. I crumbled it using my fingers, but I'm sure you could rough chop it if you're not up for doing it with your hands!

That's it. It's so easy, and it's such a great alternative. Now go eat!

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