Tofu-rrific

May 11,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Are you like my friend Jenn? Jenn is a true chef, but she turns her nose, head and more away from anything with tofu in it. I was a Jenn once, but have come to see the light. Tofu is a healthy, inexpensive and tasty, yes tasty, way to add protein power to your meal. I think some folks shy away from tofu because it can taste quite bland unless you help it pump up its flavor. But once you start using tofu you will realize that its neutral flavor is actually one of its greatest attributes. Give it a little sauce or marinade and you can easily transform it to fit almost any dish. Recently I have been marinating tofu before I use it in a stir-fry with great results. All I do is slice extra firm tofu and place it in a dish with my flavor du jour: Since tofu is somewhat porous, it quickly absorbs the marinade, making it a great quick fix meal solution. Let the tofu sit anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours, depending on your schedule for getting dinner to the table, and the intensity of flavor you desire. Once you are done marinating, cube the tofu and toss in a couple of tablespoons of flour: The flour helps firm up tofu while stir-frying and gives the tofu a really tasty “crust.” Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil over high heat in a wok. Add the tofu and stir-fry, about 5 minutes: For this week’s meal, I sautéed up some onion, bok choy, broccoli and baby corn, tossed in a little Soyaki Teriyaki sauce: added the tofu and served it over brown rice: So if you are a “Jenn,” I challenge you to give tofu a chance. SPC