Tag Archives: tofu

Recipe: Chilli Tofu


Chilli Tofu

This is based on the recipe of Chilli Panner from
Meera Sodha’s Made in India: Cooked in Britain book. The recipe is delicious but it had one great failing as far as I’m concerned – there wasn’t enough of it. Meera’s dish is a snack, I wanted something to use as part of a main course, so I have added more tomatoes to carry the wonderful flavour on for a little longer.

You need to try this recipe. It has bags of flavour and cooks in less than 20 minutes (apart from pressing the tofu). And, considering the amount of garlic in it, it might be my new favourite way of dealing with a snuffly cold!

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400g tofu, drained & pressed, cut into 2cm cubes
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1.5 tsp cumin powder
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Lemon wedges, to serve

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and add the tofu. Fry the tofu until lightly browned on all sides. You may need to do this in a couple of batches.
Add all the tofu back into the pan and stir in the garlic, cumin and chilli.
Saute on a low heat for a couple of minutes, then add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes.
Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced a little.
Season with salt & pepper.
Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Serves 4

Recipe: Kisir with Tofu


I found this bulgar wheat salad in a Slimming World Recipe book. Although it was very tasty and satisfying I didn’t hold out much hope for its authenticity. I did some investigating and found that it’s pretty much what you would expect from a traditional kisir. Naturally that’s not enough for me so I added some tofu to it to up the protein content.

Give this one a go. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great mid-week supper meal.

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1 onion, chopped
100g tofu, drained and cut into small cubes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tomatoes, finally chopped
100ml vegetable stock, boiling
150g bulgar wheat
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 spring onions, chopped
2 bottled roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
60g pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped

Add a little oil to a small frying pan and put in the onions and tofu. Fry gently until the onions are softened.
Add the tomato puree and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and the bulgar wheat.
Turn the heat up until the stock is boiling.
Add the lemon juice, spring onions, red peppers, chilli powder, garlic and cumin.
Remove from the heat, stir well, cover and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes.
Once the bulgar wheat has absorbed the stock and plumped up, stir well.
Season with salt and pepper.
Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and mint.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2

Greek Salad with Marinated Tofu


Greek salad is one of my favourite light dishes. It’s simplicity, of course, is dependent on great quality ingredients and one of the benefits of making it yourself is that you can make sure they are up to standard. Alongside the vegetable and olives, is the feta cheese, it’s salty creaminess offset the sweetness of the tomatoes and the crunch of the cucumber. Of course, if you’re keeping away from dairy you have to find a substitute.

I thought of tofu, marinaded and then griddled to take the place of the feta and it has worked well beyond my expectations. It is, I think, down to the amount of salt I use in the marinade. 1/2 tsp is a lot, but most of it stays in the marinade and feta is salty. As ever with marinades, the more time you can leave your ingredients in them, the better. For this dish I’d leave it at least a couple of hours, so if you’re making it for lunch, I’d start things straight after breakfast.

Don’t try and pretty this salad up. It should be made by Greek grandmothers, cutting the vegetables straight into the dish without benefit of chopping boards, so keep things chunky.

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For the tofu and marinade
200g tofu, drained and pressed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

For the salad
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1/2 onion, sliced
wine vinegar
12 black olives
olive oil
dried oregano

Slice the tofu in half, widthways and put in a sealable plastic bag.
Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the tofu in the bag.
Seal or tie the bag and leave in a cool place to marinade for a couple of hours.
About half an hour before you want to prepare the salad, put the onion slices in a small bowl and pour over a splash of vinegar, set aside. This will soften the flavour of the raw onion.
When you’re ready to prepare the salad, put a griddle or frying pan on high heat and leave to get hot.
Chop the tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized chunks.
Put in a serving bowl and scatter over the olives and drained onion slices.
When the griddle is hot, take the tofu out of the marinade and put on the griddle to sear.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook for five minutes or so, turning the tofu over so that it colours on both sides.
When cooked, remove from the pan and cut into chunks.
Scatter the tofu on the salad.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano.

Serves 2 as a light lunch with some crusty bread to mop up the juices

Recipe: Tofu Chasseur


if you were on the Bakerloo Line one morning a few weeks ago and noticed a woman staring at you, if that woman was me, you needn’t have worried. I wasn’t staring at anyone. I was picturing a vision in my head and that vision was: Tofu Chasseur. I don’t know where the inspiration came from, but it arrived on the Bakerloo Line.

I’m not a huge fan of classic French cooking. A lot of it seems to consist of taking ordinary ingredients and adding butter and/or cream until they taste good. Chasseur sauce is the exception. There is no cream involved and you can swap out the butter for oil to make it vegan. The sauce is full-flavoured and great for a dinner party as you can make it in advance and reheat and the flavour will probably only improve.

I like this way of cooking tofu as well. I don’t often cook the kind of food that needs a direct replacement for a slab of meat, but this works very well. The garlic oil adds flavour and the frying means that you actually have something to cut into and its quite satisfying.

I’ll be making this again. And I’ll be looking for other French sauces I can adapt.

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400g firm tofu
6 closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
250ml white wine
75ml brandy
250ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp chopped tomatoes (from tin)
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup
garlic infused olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Half an hour before you’re ready to start cooking, wrap the tofu in kitchen towels and press under weights to remove the excess moisture.
Heat some oil in a medium saucepan and add the mushrooms and shallots.
Sweat for about five minutes until the mushrooms are browned slightly and the shallots are tender.
Add the thyme, white wine and brandy.
Simmer until reduced by a half to two thirds.
Add the stock, tomatoes, mushroom ketchup and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced by half.
Remove from the heat.
Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with the garlic olive oil and put on a medium heat.
Unwrap the tofu and slice into 4 ‘steaks’.
When the oil is at temperature put the tofu steaks in the pan.
Fry until the bottom sides are golden brown.
Turn the tofu steaks over and repeat on the other side.
When cooked, drain any excess oil from the frying pan and pour the sauce over the tofu steaks.
Let it simmer and reduce for a minute or two.
Serve with the remaining chopped thyme sprinkled over.

Serves 4 with vegetables.

Recipe: Lemon and Coriander Noodle Soup


This is a simple, fragrant soup with sour and hot notes. it makes a lightening-quick, great tasting, lunch or supper. You can add more vegetables to this if you want, but I’ve kept it simple with only the flavour of lemon, coriander and chilli.

I have assumed you’ll be using the type of noodles that come already portioned in nests or bundles of noodles. If you don’t have that type of noodle, you’ll need about 80g per person.

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2 portions noodles (about 80g each)
500ml vegetable stock
1/2 chilli, chopped
25g fresh coriander, chopped
100g tofu, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
Sesame oil

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions.
Drain into a colander and cool under a running cold tap.
Set aside.
Heat the vegetable stock in a saucepan.
When it is simmering add the chilli, coriander, tofu and the lemon juice.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Season with salt.
Divide the noodles into two serving bowls.
Pour the soup over the noodles.
Serve with a little sesame oil drizzled over the top.

Serves 2 for lunch

Recipe: Tofu and Brussels Sprouts with Teriyaki Sauce


I had an American vegetarian friend once, who, on a visit to the UK, was surprised to be offered stir-fried brussels sprouts at a restaurant. It’s a little unusual, but not completely off the wall, sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, after all and stand up to stir frying very well.

I’ve given two recipes for teriyaki sauce here. The authentic version with sake and mirin and the inauthentic version with sherry and sugar. Mirin and sake should be found in most medium-large supermarkets and do taste better, but the sherry version still beats the ready-made stuff.

The combination of sweet, caramelised sauce and slightly bitter greens works well. It would also work well with stronger greens like kale or spring greens. I usually make twice the quantity of teriyaki sauce because I find it addictive and have to save some for another recipe the next day.

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For the Teriyaki sauce:
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar

4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dry sherry
2 tbsp sugar

For the rest:
200g tofu, cubed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
350g brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered (depending on size)
1 spring onion, chopped

First make the teriyaki sauce by putting all the ingredients into a small saucepan.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes until it is reduced and syrupy.
Set aside.
Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Add the cubed tofu and fry over a medium to high heat until the tofu has browned a little on all sides.
Take out of the pan and keep to one side.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the garlic, ginger and brussels sprouts.
Fry until the sprouts start to take on a little colour.
Reduce the heat to medium and add water until the sprouts are just covered.
Simmer vigorously for 4-5 minutes until the sprouts are just tender and the water has all but disappeared.
Add the tofu back to the pan and turn off the heat.
Pour over the teriyaki sauce and stir until everything is nicely coated.
Serve over rice or noodles garnished with the spring onions.

Serves 2

Recipe: Scrambled tofu


You can sub-title this post ‘Sharon’s adventures with tofu.’ After 30-coughcoughcough years as a vegetarian, I have finally experimented with the stuff. I’ve never missed meat taste or texture, hence why I don’t go out of my way to buy or eat soya mince, quorn and tofu. I occasionally buy vegetarian sausages, but that’s about as far as it goes. I’m definitely not into recreating meat/fish/eggs dishes with vegan or vegetarian alternatives.

Anth, though, is on a mission to do something about my appallingly low protein intake, given I no longer eat cheese. So a few days staying with her gave me some ideas to try.

I blame an unfortunate encounter with silken tofu (not my doing, m’lud) for my mistrust of the stuff. So I made sure I bought the firm stuff, with smoked flavour to see if that made any difference. And I drained it properly and also wrapped it in kitchen roll. I didn’t dump the family bible on top of it – on the grounds I don’t have one of those anyway!

Tofu does fine in Anth’s delicious Singapore noodles recipe, which I had for Saturday tea. And then I tried scrambled tofu for a Sunday brunch recipe. I poked around online for some inspiration, didn’t much like the look of any of them, so came up with something myself that was edible. Seeing as I have never liked eggs, I wasn’t going to pile it on toast, smothered with tomato ketchup. I did have some potatoes left over from during the week, so fried those and served them with the scrambled tofu.

And … It was OK. But I can’t get past that slimy texture. No matter how crispy the outside is, the middle is still meh. I added some other vegetables from the bottom of the fridge, plus a touch of nutritional yeast, which all the recipes online seemed to include. I couldn’t taste it, to be honest. If you like tofu, you’ll no doubt like this. I can report that the fried potatoes were very nice!


Ingredients (serves one)

Half an onion

Firm tofu (I used two of the marked sections)

Quarter of a red pepper, diced

Six mushrooms, halved or quartered

1tsp of turmeric

1 tbsp of nutritional yeast

Sea salt

Black pepper

Fresh herbs

Gently fry the onion for a couple of minutes, then crumble in the tofu. Add the red pepper and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, turmeric and nutritional yeast and cook for another minute or so. Some of the online recipes included soy sauce, but I’m not hugely struck on that. Season and serve. If you’ve got fresh parsley, add that on top. I had coriander, which was perfect. I’m sure the dish would work fine on wholemeal or sourdough toast. Or turn it into brunch like I did with fried potatoes.