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Started by Catspyjamas17 on Oct 16, 2019 11:57:43 AM
The Vegan Thread

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian or just trying to cut down on meat and dairy, trying to life a healthier and/or more environmentally friendly lifestyle this is a place to try, and discuss, new foods and recipes.

KizzyK - 12 Jul 2020 23:40:27 (#441 of 530)

Made a nice tofu based vegan dish tonight, quite pleased as I have never been impressed with the tofu I have been served in restaurants (pre covid) and avoid it like the plague generally as a result.

nemo75 - 13 Jul 2020 08:34:28 (#442 of 530)

What did you make, Kizz?

Catspyjamas17 - 13 Jul 2020 08:59:02 (#443 of 530)

I'm really enjoying extra firm silken tofu, the brand is Morianga, Mori-nu. Had to get it online but it is nicer (IMO) than the standard firm tofu supermarkets usually stock. Bought it in bulk but it can be kept in the cupboard until you open the pack.

nemo75 - 13 Jul 2020 09:02:39 (#444 of 530)

Packets of deep fried tofu make a quick meal very easily.

KizzyK - 13 Jul 2020 09:19:40 (#445 of 530)

I cut it into small chunks and crisped it up, then chucked in a miso and rice wine paste to glaze and caramelise it, then black sesame seeds sprinkled over. On top of a bed of spring veg, edamame beans, ginger and garlic and soy. V quick recipe but tasty.

KizzyK - 13 Jul 2020 09:20:26 (#446 of 530)

I don't like the texture of tofu in my mouth normally but crisped up it was OK.

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 10:23:28 (#447 of 530)

Clear Spring does a very nice soft silken tofu, which is organic and hence no GM soya beans. Sainsburys stock it.

I love Mapoa tofu, with or without meat, and it should be made with soft silken tofu. Fuschia Dunlop's is good, but the picture shows her tofu is probably not the soft kind.

This also looks good, but I don't think it's necessary to soak tofu in salt water - I've never heard of it before

I just fry up chilli, yellow bean paste or finely chopped salted black beans, or use a chilli bean paste, (depending on what I've got available), spring onions, sliced/chopped mushrooms, maybe a little finely chopped carrot/celery to add texture if not using minced pork/chicken, dash of shaoshin wine, soya sauce, then add the whole block of silken tofu and cut it up roughly with the spatula. Stir and simmer for a minute or so, thicken with a little cornstarch. Dish up, and drizzle with toasted sesame oil and garnish with corriander.

It's very versatile and you can basically do what you like. I sometimes add a small handful of frozen petit pois to add colour and texture.

I like the slippery softness of silken tofu rather than the firm one which is difficult to infuse flavour. A lot of Mapoa tofu recipes tell you to cut the tofu into cubes (too large from the pics), take great care to not stir too much and avoid breaking it, which is nonsense to me. This is a dish that's meant to be soft and not firm to hold any shape. The texture is in the finely chopped veges/meat.

Catspyjamas17 - 13 Jul 2020 10:28:53 (#448 of 530)

Sounds lovely, wibble.

FGBFGB - 13 Jul 2020 10:44:24 (#449 of 530)

I use Ken Hom's mapo recipe from 'The Taste of China', organised using Asda vegan mince. Unfortunately that is one of the lines Asda has suspended for the duration, heaven knows why, so no mapo for four months. TVP wouldn't work, it tends to turn to sludge.

LardyStuffer - 13 Jul 2020 11:00:45 (#450 of 530)

There are loads of other vegan minces out there though

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 11:21:40 (#451 of 530)

A protein mince isn't essential in mapo tofu, imo. Just use lots of finely chopped mushrooms and vegetables, and it'll give the texture.

One traditional ingredient for mapo tofu is Zha Cai, which is a preserved vegetable, not sure if it's root or maybe something like kohlrabi. It's preserved with chilli and very flavourful.

FGBFGB - 13 Jul 2020 12:09:10 (#452 of 530)

Will those clay pots of Tianjin preserved veg do the trick?

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 12:24:35 (#453 of 530)

Not really, as it's a different flavour.

The point is when it's finely chopped it gives texture and umami, so if you are willing to try a different flavour you can always try, especially if you like Tianjin preserved veg. What you can do is to soak the Tianjin thing in water and then wring it out, to reduce its potency, if it's a strongly flavoured one that you've got. All these preserved vegs vary from brand to brand in terms of intensity.

The flavour of Zha Cai is rather more similar to capers (not in vinegar obviously) with chilli powder infused into it. It's a Sichuan thing, hence very suitable for Mapo tofu. Come to think of it I reckon chopped capers not in vinegar would work, just add more chilli. Better than the Tianjin one anyway.

They all add umami, which tofu always needs.

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 12:31:14 (#454 of 530)

If you alreay have Tianjin preserved veg, there's a load of recipes for it with tofu:

Tofu is a blank canvass to which you can do anything you like...

FGBFGB - 13 Jul 2020 12:59:51 (#455 of 530)

Thanks for the link, wibble.

KizzyK - 13 Jul 2020 14:16:37 (#456 of 530)

Silken tofu is definitely the kind I like least.

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 14:40:16 (#457 of 530)

Lots of people use firm tofu for the Mapo dish. It is indeed a matter of personal taste.

If you stew it a bit longer the tofu dehydrates and form lots of holes which absorb flavour better. The texture changes to even less slippery.

FGBFGB - 13 Jul 2020 14:46:05 (#458 of 530)

We use middling tofu, which confusingly describes itself as 'silken tofu firm' on the packet. We use this because it's what they sell at Asda at the corner of our street.

MontyPeculiar - 13 Jul 2020 14:51:13 (#459 of 530)

We use the Cauldron tofu block and press it in a tea towel under some heavy books to dry it out first.

WibbleAgain - 13 Jul 2020 16:52:45 (#460 of 530)

For those of you who want more texture from tofu, you may want to try this:

They now even make it in knots, which I've not tried:

It's good in stews.

It's made by scrunching sheet tofu into sticks and then dried, and you can get it in sheet form too:

The price is insane on Amazon. If you ever go to a Chinese supermarket it's a fraction the price.

Sheet tofu is used in making "mock goose/duck", which is an oblong roll of cooked sliced vegetables wrapped in sheet tofu, steamed, cooled and then pan fried and brushed with a reddish glaze (if you can be bothered), so it looks almost sort of vaguely like roasted goose:

It's a lot of faff but looks elegant in a vegetarian banquet.

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