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September 2, 2014

Tofurky

Okay, so I don’t actually have any Tofurky in the apartment. I just think it’s a really fun word.

But like Tofurky, I do have some tofu hangin’ around…and I cooked it this weekend! I’ve always been curious to try tofu, and I’ve had it prepared for me in salads and stir fry and other wonderful dishes (Vegetarian Pad Thai from Bangkok Gardens #mmmm). But preparing it yourself is a whole other ballgame.

I mostly stuck to this guide from my favorite vegan blog, ilovevegan.com. (Which was originally a Tumblr blog, and still is, under garden-of-vegan, which was how I found them.)

#Artsy picture of my tofu before I opened the packaging. This sink smells awful.

#Artsy picture of my tofu before I opened the packaging. This sink smells awful.

So, following instructions, I pressed my extra firm tofu first (after draining it from the package), using some heavy books, paper towels, a timer, and 30 minutes on each side. See that advertising book, Mom? It’s getting some good use (I do actually read it, I promise. But it was the perfect weight…)

I prefer extra firm tofu to anything squishier because it has the same consistency to me when cooked as regular meat. Does that make sense? I hope so. Either way, this was the cheapest brand at our local organic market, Lucky’s.

Using two of my advertising books to press the tofu. (Sorry mom.)

Using two of my advertising books to press the tofu. (Sorry Mom.)

Then I cut the tofu into cute little triangles and set about to sautéing them in a large pan/skillet. The instructions say this only takes around 4 minutes. I must have done this incorrectly then because it took me around 30 minutes? Granted, I have a problem with putting too much oil in the pan (I used olive oil in place or veggie or canola oil), so that may have had an effect on the timing. Either way, eventually you’ll get nicely browned tofu on both sides, but the trick here is that you’re not done when the tofu is nice and crispy and brown (a process that, in and of itself, I am still trying to perfect).

Cute little squares of tofu, ready for browning.

Cute little squares of tofu, ready for browning.

Next you have to season it. I followed the blog’s instructions, which were back to being amazing, because after a few splashes of soy sauce into the pan, everything came together. All in all, it was a long time to press and cook tofu, but I enjoyed it because it was an adventure, and I have enough for a few salads this week. I also left some triangles unseasoned, not because I didn’t have enough room in the pan (okay, maybe) but because I can now experiment with marinades and other fun stuff.

I mixed my tofu with some rice and steamed broccoli, (protein + carb + veg has become my staple recipe for college) and it was wonderful. I’d eat it all the time (but I won’t, Mom, so relax).

So…tofurky, anyone?

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