Tofu Discovery

Tofu is the go-to meat alternative with great nutritional benefits. But so many people complain about the texture and the taste. You can’t complain about the taste because tofu is tasteless and that’s a good thing. That means tofu will take on the flavor of whatever sauce or food it is paired with. But the texture can be a problem. I recently discovered a technique for turning a mushy, watery food into something substantial and chewable. It starts with firm or extra firm tofu. Open the package and drain the water. Set the block of tofu on a cutting board and cut it into even cubes. The cubes can be small or large. Whichever size works for your meal. Set the pieces on a plate that is lined with a layer or two of heavy paper towels. Set the cubes on the towels; do not mound but have them in a single layer and preferably not touching one another. If you need to use two plates, then do so. Take the plates to the microwave and blast for two minutes. Remove from the oven and move them around a little with your fingers. Take to the oven again for another two minutes. Depending on the size of your cubes, you may need to zap them three or four more times. If the cubes are smaller, then you might want to keep the cooking time at one-minute intervals, to get just the right amount of shrinkage. They do need to cook them until they look darker and are somewhat shriveled. You can test them as you are learning this technique. You will see exactly how chewable they are at different stages. In order for them to develop a true chewing texture you will need to get rid of a lot of their moisture. Once the cubes are dried to your liking, stop the process, cool and transfer to a airtight container and store in the fridge. They will keep easily for a week, maybe longer. Use them in stir-fries, toss them with spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, fried rice, use them as part of an egg scramble for breakfast, or soup. Go crazy!

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