Monday, April 16, 2012
Tofu Fingers: A Condiment Conveyance Device
Tofu, to many people, conjures up images of hippy-dippy crap from the 60s and 70s. I don't know why, since many people I know who get these images weren't on the planet during that time period.
It is one of those foods, in Western culture, that seems to automatically be an item of derision. Many people don't like black licorice, but people who enjoy black licorice generally aren't the butt of jokes either.
If you've been following my blog, you've probably come to the realization that I don't eat things that have or had faces (ie. I am a vegetarian who will eat eggs & dairy). In order to make sure I'm eating a healthy diet, and to keep my diet more varied, I do eat, and generally enjoy eating, tofu.
I also enjoy condiments. I love condiments. I sometimes will purposely make a food, for the express purpose of being able to eat the condiment that goes along with it (ie. I will sometimes make french fries, not because I want the fries, but because I want to have ketchup. I'm weird, I know).
So, what is a condiment-loving fiend such as myself to do when a condiment craving hits? Well, we make tofu fingers/sticks.
Here's what you need:
1 package of firm or extra-firm tofu
stuff to marinade it in (soy sauce, hoisin, worchestershire, various herbs & spices - or you can use a store bought marinade, or your favourite meat marinade. Totally your call).
For the dredge: dijon mustard, mayonaise & thyme
For the final coating: bread crumbs & grated parmesan cheese
The recipe works best, I find, if you press the tofu for a little bit first, to get some of the liquid out, but you don't have to. I often don't, because I don't feel like it at the time.
Cut the tofu into sticks. You can poke some fine holes into them with a toothpick if you want to give it extra spots to soak the marinade up, but you don't have to.
Put your tofu sticks into your marinade. You ideally want to marinate the tofu overnight in the fridge, but it works if you let it soak for at least an hour if you're short on time.
When the tofu is almost done marinating, make your dredge & bread coating. If you like a slightly sharper taste, use more dijon in your dredge. We generally use a ratio of 3 or 4 parts mayo to 1 part dijon. The bread coating should be a 1 to 1 ratio of bread crumbs to grated parmesan.
Once your tofu is done marinating, dredge and then bread it, and then bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375 F. If it looks a little soggy when it comes out, stick it back in for a few more minutes.
Then comes my favourite part. Take your favourite dipping sauce (tonight, I couldn't decide, so I had sweet & sour sauce and BBQ sauce on my sticks).
I hope you give them a shot, since they are so easy-peasy to do, even if you are generally a meatytarian as opposed to a vegetarian.