You never forget your first one Tofu scrambled eggs. I was in college and it was my first meal in the student-run co-op where I would eat all year round. It was steaming kale and mashed tofu dripped with Braggs Liquid Aminos and served straight from the bathtub-sized wok it was cooked in. It was moist, salty, and vaguely nutritious. This tofu deserved better and I immediately decided to become a cook in the cooperative so that I never had to eat anything like this again.
Tofu is one of my favorite foods now – I love it crispy Tofu and indulge in the texture of silk. And when I’m short on time (especially when lunch is coming) I turn to the Box grater Method: I squeeze the excess water out of a block of firm or extra firm tofus (with my hands like I’m the Hulk or something!) And crush the whole thing on the big holes of a box grater. This breaks the tofu into coarse pieces, which after cooking take on the texture of minced meat and soak up the taste slightly. I used this trick vegetarian burgersBefore incorporating the tofu into the mixture, cook the tofu to remove moisture and give it strength and bounce to mimic ground beef. I also use this approach for dumpling fillings that combine raw pressed tofu with chopped green onions, ginger, and garlic.
My Soy and spring onion tofu bowl uses this technique for lightning-fast tofu without preparation, which does not save on taste. It is inspired by the chef Tadashi OnoVersion of Soboro beefwhere he takes special care to cut the meat into as small pieces as possible so that each is completely covered with soy, sake and mirin. Here I use the box grater for the same purpose.
Then I cook the shredded tofu in oil mixed with garlic, sesame seeds, and chili flakes until it has the texture of ground beef – micro-crumbs that are firm and crispy, with tons of surface area to absorb spices. Once the moisture has boiled out of the tofu and the taste of garlic, sesame and chilli is deepened, there is a selection of pantry staples: soy sauce, butter, spring onions and a hint of mirin or maple syrup. The result is a versatile rice bowl topper or even taco filling in an astonishingly short time, the flavor of which sticks to every nubbin. I wish I had found this out in school, but I think there are some things they just won’t teach you in college.
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Rub your tofu on a box grater (it works!) And the rest of that satisfying bowl is just minutes away.
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