I am often asked: what is tofu, and how is it used?
Tofu is a bland looking and bland tasting hunk of soy cheese that nobody should consider a pantry staple unless you’re vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant. But let’s reconsider for a moment. Tofu is actually a magical ingredient that is a shape shifter, a rich protein, a product of coagulated soy milk that can embrace any sauce or flavor, sweet or savory, a vehicle for endless creations… Here is a surprisingly simple appetizer that makes everyone smile before they fall in love with tofu.
- 1 package of firm tofu
- 1 handful of bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
- Coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup of roughly chopped peanuts
- Soy sauce mixed with a little brown sugar for serving
- Place tofu on a few paper towels to air-dry for a couple hours so that the moisture doesn’t make the oil splatter.
- Quickly blanche the bean sprouts in boiling water in order to keep their white color. Drain and combine with carrots, cilantro, and peanuts.
- Cut tofu carefully into 6 rectangles and deep fry on all sides.
- Cut the cubes in half and scoop out a small amount of the soft middle.
- Stuff the halves with the bean sprout mixture.
- Serve with slightly sweetened soy sauce and you will have a fun appetizer for your vegetarian and vegan friends.