A Word of Advice
It's time for the Western cook to finally admit something: Western cuisine has badly handled tofu.
Yes, it's true that tofu contains the same amount of protein as meat. But that doesn't mean a cook can use tofu the same way as meat. You can't, for example, substitute cubed tofu for cubed beef in a stew.
Nope, there's only one way to use tofu -- and that's in the recipes of the region where tofu originated: China and Japan.
A Sample Recipe - Tofu, Mushroom and Avocado stir-fry
You will need:
- 1 inch-long piece of fresh Ginger roughly chopped (why grate?)
- 8 big or 12 small button mushrooms, cut into wedges
- 1 green pepper, sliced thin
- 6 to 8oz (170 - 200g) firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Generous splash of Soy sauce (Kikkoman, preferably, or light soy sauce)
- One Avocado, cubed
- At least 6 spring onions 1, cut into inch-long pieces
- Set your burner on high and heat up a wok or heavy frying pan.
- Add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (peanut is recommended, but corn or canola oil will do as well). After a few minutes, touch a bamboo chopstick to the oil; if it bubbles, it's ready.
- Stir-fry ginger for 30 seconds.
- Add mushrooms and green pepper. Stir-fry until mushrooms are coated in oil and starting to wilt. Continue to stir.
- Add cubed tofu – stir to coat in oil then immediately throw in a generous splash of soy sauce (enough to colour all the tofu cubes).
Cook for a minute.
- Add avocado cubes, stirring them in gently so they don’t get squashed. Let it stay long enough to get some heat – perhaps 30 seconds - remember that pan is hot.
- Add spring onions, stir once to distribute evenly, then take off the heat, pour into a large dish and serve immediately.
The whole thing should only take about five minutes to cook.
Serve as part of a Chinese meal. Serves 2 generously, and up to 4 as part of a selection of dishes.