• Jacques Brennan

Sweet & Sour Bean Curd ( TOFU )

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

RECIPE: SWEET & SOUR TOFU


First let's have the recipe then all the explanations, philosophy, blurb, etc...

If you hate tofu ... go directly to the explanations then perhaps you may come back to the recipe.



So healthy ... when you eat this type of food you do not get tired!



My daughters started making something like this, now I make it. The recipe they used had too many ingredients in it, too many steps ... so I first give it the Brennan Touch before proceeding.


INGREDIENTS


One block of tofu - 400g ( approx. ) / just about 14 oz - firm.

( Let me quality the firm part. Tofu is pressed soya curd. Some tofu is pressed a lot

and some less. I prefer 'medium' firm, but often what you get is real hard firm.

The difference is the texture, and at the end it is a personal choice. )


4 Tbsp of Tamari soya sauce - to marinade the tofu.

4 tbsp cornstarch

Vegetable oil for frying


Glaze:

4 tbsp - maple syrup or date syrup or sugar

1 tbsp - soya sauce ( or if some left from marinade, use that )

1 tbsp - apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp - tomato paste

1/2 cup water

2 tsp - Cornstarch

A pinch of chilli flakes

Optional ...

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger, minced

To garnish

Lime wedges

Chopped up green onion

Toasted sesame oil



METHOD


Part 1 - Marinade the tofu

- Squeeze out as much water as possible from the tofu by pressing on it or using a little weight.

- Cut into bite size pieces and drizzle the Tamari over them, coat well and allow to sit for 20 minutes


Part 2 - Crisp the tofu

- Take the tofu cubes out of the Tamari, place in a separate bowl and sprinkle some cornstarch over them, ( the first 4 tbsp ), mix well to coat all sides.

- Heat a shallow layer of oil in your pan and fry the tofu, turning to crip all sides and set aside.


Part 3 - Make the glaze

- Dissolve the cornstarch ( 2 tsp )in the water.

- Add all ingredients to the frying pan and turn heat to medium.

- Stir continuously until the liquid starts to thicken, then keep cooking until you have a glaze.


Part 4 - Prepare the tofu

- Toss in the crispy tofu cubes into the glaze and cook on low heat. Mix them well to get them nicely coated... your tofu is ready!



Serve on a bed of brown Basmati rice.

Drizzle a little sesame oil over it and a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle the green onion over it... make it all look better!


Also as a side dish what goes very well is some steamed or stirfried broccoli and Bok Choi.






What is tofu?


Soya Bean Curd - it is like cheese, but not cheese!

Tofu became popular in the west as people looked for alternatives to meat products. But tofu has been around for millennia. In the west it came with the proliferation of Chinese restaurants and today it is everywhere.


Soya beans are soaked, ground up and then cooked. A coagulant ( gypsum or lemon juice) is added to the milk and it seperates the curd from the water. The curd is then pressed into a block shape and that is the tofu. It is rather tasteless in this form, but it is a block of protein which can be made into varying shaped and texture and many dishes. A staple food in many Asian countries.


In China it is actually pronounced - ' Doufu' which is probably the correct pronunciation.



I hate the taste, I mean the texture...well both!


Many people do not like tofu. Anytime someone mentions it, I hear, " I can't stand tofu ! the texture, everything."

I wonder why, because I like tofu.


If one eats tofu from the package, it is terrible. If one eats tofu that is not well prepared, then it can be terrible. But, if it is well marinated and not too firm as it sometimes can be, it is wonderful, at least I think so!


I have eaten some amazing tofu that I did not even know was tofu. That was in very good authentic Chinese restaurants that you find in a big city Chinatown or in China.


But there are ways to cook it that is very nice that you can do yourself. And I think this recipe ( above ), is the perfect introduction to people who have never eaten it.



Is Tofu healthy?


With its growing popularity as a meat substitute for some reason it garnered bad press. Word was circulated that it contained the hormone estrogen which is completely untrue. I wonder where that rumour came from?


But it does contain Phyto-estrogen. Maybe that is where the confusion came from. Phyto-estrogen are plant elements that look like estrogen but are not estrogen and in fact they act to regulate the estrogen in our bodies -


So to finish this little blurb, YES, TOFU IS REALLY GOOD FOR US, so eat as much as you want.



Phytoestrogen ...


- reduces menopausal symptoms

- protects against breast cancer

- protects against prostate cancer

- lowers cholesterol

- prevents osteroporosis

For more information about wonderful;


tofu - click here &

phytoestrogen - click here




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