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Tofu is 90% water. The amount of water removed depends on how tofu will be used. Firmness is determined by amount of water removed from tofu. To remove water, prepare dry cloth spread on chopping board, place tofu on top of it, cover, hold together and wait for water to drain from cloth.
Always wet knife before cutting tofu. When cutting on cutting board, cut from right to left. On palm, cut tofu left to right into small pieces. Drop gently into miso soup.
1.Yakko size tofu cubes are 3-4 cubic cm. Tofu block sizes vary, divide into 6-8 cubes.
2.Sainome cut is smaller than yakko. Cut tofu this size for miso soup.
3.Arare cut is smaller than sainome cut. This method is used often in vinegar dishes.
Preparing Aburage (Deep fried Tofu Slices), removing excess oil.
Pour boiling water over aburage before using to remove excess oil. Slightly boil atsuage or ganmodoki before using. Press firmly to remove any excess water.
Preparing tofu for Inari Sushi (Stuffed Tofu Pouches)
After soaking above, cut prepared aburage in half across the shortest diameter. Open halves carefully along the cut edge from the inside. Make a purse, insert prepared sushi rice. Roll edges closed.
Preparing freeze dried tofu (koyadofu)
Freeze dried tofu is first soaked in boiling water. Stop it from floating to the top by placing a small plate or lid directly on top of the water. Soak until tofu softens completely. Rinse off excess water, if water remains a whitish color, repeat soaking process.
The spongy dried tofu we're talking about is actually dry-frozen, rather than freeze dried (a rather high-tech process where something is frozen, then flash dried under vacuum). Made traditionally, the tofu freezes at night, breaking down the structure. During the day, when it warms up and the sun comes out, the liquid runs off and it dries. This is repeated until liquid is no longer released. With a resemblance to sponge rubber, it absorbs sauces voraciously, and may be an acquired taste. Cost ranges from $3-$& for 3 to 4 ounces, which is equivalent to about 2 pounds (2-3 packages) of fresh tofu.
Snow dried tofu is an ancient (it dates back to around 1100 A.D.) method of preserving tofu similar to modern freeze drying. Begin preparation of this delicacy about a week in advance.
1 package (16 oz.) tofu
Drain and slice tofu and freeze overnight. Early in the day,
remove to refrigerator. In the evening, drain and return to freezer. Repeat several times.
Vegetarian Satay 'Mackerel'10 pieces, 2-4 servings
Very traditional sauce
TO make the mock mackerel, marinate wet beancurd sheets with salt, sugar and pepper. Layer the sheets of seaweed on top of a sheet of dry beancurd. Next, crumple all the marinated wet beancurd sheets on top. Roll it up and tie this bundle with a cotton string.
Steam the beancurd roll covered until just tender and cut into about 10 slices. Deep-fry slices in hot oil until golden brown.
To prepare the satay sauce, heat oil and stir-fry lemongrass, galangal, turmeric powder and curry paste until fragrant. Then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer over low heat.
Cut the cucumber into rounds and arrange alternately with the mackerel slices. Pour the satay sauce over the "mackerel", or serve in a bowl for dipping.
Creamy Tofu-Cashew Ricotta
This recipe and the one that follows were adapted from originals by Bryanna Clark Grogan, who has written sevral vegan cookbooks. This mixture is like the creamy full-fat ricotta used in Italy. It's smoother and creamier than American dry. Use the aseptic packaged tofu for this one recipe for texture's sake, even though it is much lower in calcium than high calcium tub tofu.
2 (12.3 oz.) boxes extra-firm SILKEN tofu, pressed and crumbled
In a food processor, mix about 3 c. of the crumbled tofu, the ground cashews, the lemon juice and salt until they are VERY smooth. Then crumble in the remaining tofu and process again. The resulting mixture should be mostly smooth,but with a little graininess-- not as smooth as cream cheese.
Scoop the tofu ricotta into a baggie or storage container and refrigerate. It firms up when chilled.
This almond ricotta has a clean, mild taste.
2 cups hot water or hot almond milk
Place the hot water or almond milk and almonds in the blender and blend until very smooth and creamy- no texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again well.
Pour the mixture into a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir constantly over medium-high heat until it thickens and comes to a bubble. Turn the heat down to medium and cook 1 minute more, stirring. Remove from heat and transfer to a cool dish.
Scrape the mixture into a container and let it come to room temperature. Beat it with a whisk or electric mixer. Cover and chill. When it is chilled and firm, mash and stir it with a fork, until it has some texture. Refrigerate.
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and beat until smooth and creamy.