Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Frozen curd

Almost always, I have a package of tofu in my freezer -- never opened, just as it came from the store. That's because I love what happens to it when it's been frozen and then thawed. What was once a lump of smooth and succulent soybean curd becomes chewy and spongelike. Can you see the difference in the photo? And even more so than with fresh tofu, it soaks up flavorings and adds a very satisfying texture to a saute or soup.

There's nothing to it, really! Take the package out of the freezer and let it stand at room temperature for a few hours before you plan to use it. Then remove it from its packaging and very gently squeeze it over the sink to remove most of the water. Then dice or cut into thin strips and use anywhere you'd use regular tofu.

This time out, I sauteed some onion and oyster mushrooms in roasted sesame oil with strips of thawed bean curd, splashed in some soy sauce, then added garlic and ginger. Sauteed for a time, adding water as needed to keep the mixture barely moist. When the mushrooms were almost done, I added some cooked brown rice and cilantro (at which point I took the accompanying pic), then piled on some chopped choy sum, which is a close relative to bok choy, the more common Chinese green. Put on a lid and let cook for another 5 minutes or so. Delicious!

If you're a vegetarian and eat a lot of tofu, as I do, variations on the bean curd theme are always welcome. I encourage you to try the frozen/thawed version, if you haven't already. It may open up a new window of inspiration.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I started freezing tofu a year ago, I can hardly eat it any other way! And my method is just like you described. You're so right - there's a huge difference in taste and texture.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger always learning said...

freezing it also allows it to soak up whatever flavors it's cooked in. It's the best kind of tofu for hot pots! :)


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