Tag Archives: Tofu

Oven-Baked Tofu Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

In many Asian dishes, you will find that we use a lot of fried tofu cubes. The most traditional way to make fried tofu cubes is of course by deep-frying. You can also pan-fry, but please make sure you have a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or it will end up a horrible mess of tofu sticking on your pan. Or, if you have an oven or even a toaster oven, then you can make oven-baked tofu, a.k.a. fried tofu cubes with baking!

Oven Baked Tofu

How to drain tofu properly before cooking/frying/baking

Regardless of your choice, please remember to drain your tofu as much as possible before cooking, especially if you opt for deep frying or pan-frying since more liquid means more splattering. You can buy some specialty designed tool to drain your tofu, but I usually do the following:

  1. Cut each tofu block into small cubes.
  2. Wrap each block (which now consists of many many small cubes) with a paper towel.
  3. Place wrapped tofu in between two plates, and place a heavy item (like a cast-iron skillet) on top of the top plate.
  4. After about 30 minutes, a pool of liquid will gather around the tofu. With the liquid drained from the tofu, I can now safely proceed to make fried tofu cubes.
How To Drain Tofu

How To Drain Tofu

How to bake crispy fried tofu in an oven

After we drained our tofu, we can now proceed with marinating and baking them. Here are what I do:

  1. Marinate drained tofu with soy sauce for 30 minutes. If you just want to salt your tofu, simply sprinkle with salt and proceed with the next step.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit), and line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent tofu from sticking.
  3. Lightly dust tofu with cornstarch or arrowroot starch, then arrange on the prepared tray.
  4. Bake tofu for 30 minutes, though the exact time will depend mostly on the size of your tofu cubes. The goal is to achieve crispy golden brown skin but the inside is still soft. Please toss the tofu cubes every 10 minutes so they bake evenly.

How do you use this oven-baked tofu?

The easiest and most straightforward way to enjoy these tofu cubes is as a healthy snack, or add them to your favorite salads. If you are like me, then you will want to make a big batch of fried tofu cubes and then use them in these recipes:

As you can see, you can use them in so many different ways. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make your very own batch of oven-baked tofu cubes today. 🙂

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Dubu Jorim – Braised Tofu and Ground Beef Recipe

Winter is a good time to enjoy a good spicy braising dish, and I find myself drawn to Korean dubu jorim many times this time of year. This dish is really easy and quick to prepare. Prep time is probably less than 15 minutes, and the cooking time is about the same. If you have a minimally stocked Korean seasoning in your pantry, you should be able to quickly replicate this recipe in your kitchen.

Ingredients for dubu jorim

Korean dishes tend to look extremely scary spicy, but I think it is still tolerable for most Indonesians like myself. If you are not sure you can handle the spiciness, feel free to reduce the amount of Korean chili pepper (gochugaru) used in the recipe, but don’t completely omit it. There are two types of gochugaru, coarse and fine, you can use a mix of two, of just pick either all coarse or all fine, it really doesn’t matter in this recipe. Another key ingredient is gochujang, a chili paste that is also very commonly used in many Korean dishes. If you are familiar with Japanese cuisine, then you probably know that Japanese use katsuoboshi in most of their dishes. In this respect, the Korean is very similar to Japanese, but instead of katsuoboshi, they use anchovies. The store that I frequent sells Korean anchovies in the freezer section, next to miso paste. If you cannot find this in your nearby stores, you can always place an order of Korean anchovies with Amazon. Or in a pinch, katsuoboshi is also a good substitute, though the taste of course will be slightly different. I dare hope that the rest of the ingredients should not pose a problem.

Dubu Jorim - Braised Tofu and Ground Beef

Dubu Jorim – Braised Tofu and Ground Beef

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Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce Recipe

The spicy shimeji sauce in this recipe is made with a simple mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, chili sauce (you can use any of your favorite chili sauce, be it South East Asian sambal oelek, Chinese dou ban jiang, or even sriracha), water (or your favorite stock), and katakuriko (Japanese potato starch, or corn starch). Shimeji mushroom is first stir fried in a little oil with garlic, scallion, and red chilies until wilted, then pour the sauce over the vegetables and cook until thicken. Once the sauce is cooked, just pour it over a plate of fried tofu cubes and a quick meal is served.

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

Before preparing the sauce, cook your choice of protein first. Here, I use two blocks of firm tofu, each about 400 gram. I cut each block into 8 pieces, coat with some katakuriko (potato starch), and fried in a cast iron skillet until all sides are golden brown. I cut each fried tofu cube into 2 pieces, so from the 2 blocks of tofu, I ended up with 32 pieces of tofu cubes. This is not an exact rule of course, but you can follow my steps if you want. Once I have finished arranging my tofu cubes in serving plates (my plate is rather small, so I needed two plates), then I proceed with making the sauce which should take less than 5 minutes. For busy Moms (or Dads), you can save time by making lots of fried tofu first before hand, then right before a meal, reheat some tofu cubes and cook the sauce. This way, you can prepare easy and healthy meal even when you don’t have much time.

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

Fried Tofu in Spicy Shimeji Sauce

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Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce Recipe

Kyoto cuisine is famous for its delicate subtle flavor, just like this dish. Most of Kyoto dishes rely heavily on a good dashi stock, then subtly flavored with soy sauce (typically the light variety, or usukuchi 薄口醤油).

If you want to draw out the full flavor of this dish, you really must spend some time making your own dashi stock, but even if you opt for a shortcut using dashi stock granules, this is still a very delicious dish with a subtle flavor.

The next bit of culinary term is ankake sauce (餡かけ ソース ), which simply means dishes covered in a thick starchy sauce.

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

This dish is super easy and super fast to make. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, including all the prep work and cooking time!

The key is to start by boiling your broth, then while waiting for the broth to boil, prep the tofu, shimeji, scallions, and make the katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) slurry.

The rest of the steps are easy, just add tofu and shimeji into the broth, simmer for 5 minutes, then heat up and add the katakuriko slurry to thicken the sauce, and its done. Just scoop it into a serving bowl(s) and garnish with scallions.

If you cook this dish in a nabe (Japanese clay pot), you can serve it directly from the nabe. Easy, delicious, and healthy.

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

Kyoto Style Tofu and Shimeji in Ankake Sauce

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Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce Recipe

You want to know what’s the most time consuming this in this tofu dish? It’s frying the tofu actually, so if you can buy already fried tofu cubes from your nearby grocery, or better yet, if you live in Indonesia, and your street food seller is selling fried tofu, go grab some to make this tofu in spicy soy bean sauce in under 15 minutes!

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

If, like me, you prefer to prepare your own fried tofu cubes, you can still go about it the easy way by making a big batch of “fried” tofu with your oven. Alternatively, the old fashion way of deep frying tofu cubes will always work, though a bit much of work in my opinion. Or, if oven is out of the question, and you are not up to deep frying, you can always pan fry your tofu. In this recipe, I am going to show you how to pan fry your tofu cubes, but you can use whichever method you want, just make sure you have some fried tofu cubes to prepare this dish.

Orek Tahu Tauco - Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Two other key ingredients in this dish is tauco (salted soy bean) and kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce). Most Asian grocery should carry these items, but you can also buy them from Amazon, but be warned that the online price is almost always more expensive. For tauco, I like the one from Yeo’s, but you can use other brand too. For kecap manis, my favorite is the one from Bango, but the one from ABC is also pretty good. Once you have everything ready, let’s go to the recipe.

Orek Tahu Tauco - Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

Orek Tahu Tauco – Tofu in Spicy Soy Bean Sauce

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Almond Tofu Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

One of my readers ask me about how to make almond tofu that is ever present in Chinese buffet in United States. Well, the easiest way would be to buy almond tofu mix, but that feels a bit like cheating, but it works if you want to go the simplest route.

Ingredients for Almond Tofu

If this happen to be your favorite dessert and you want to have this often, it is a good idea to invest in buying a packet (it comes in box/jar/plastic bag) of Chinese almond milk powder, and either agar-agar powder or gelatin powder, this way, you can make it often and cheaply too.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

For vegan/vegetarian, stick with agar-agar powder. Chinese almond powder is not made from almond nuts, but from apricot kernels, which is confusingly often translated to almond. So be extra careful when you buy your almond milk powder. If you use almond nut powder (or fresh almond milk), you will still get your dessert, but it will be the wrong one. I haven’t been able to locate an online source to get Chinese almond powder, and I always buy this from brick and mortar Asian grocery. In my experience, they are usually located in the milk/tea/coffee aisle. I have a photo of Chinese almond milk that I use for this recipe for reference.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

The recipe is really straightforward, but you do need to read the instructions that come with your particular almond milk and agar-agar/gelatin powder. My agar-agar powder asks for one packet mix with 800 ml water, while the almond milk requires one packet mix with one cup of hot water. So, I go with 3 packets of Chinese almond milk powder, 1 packet of agar-agar powder, and 750 ml water. I boil the three ingredients together in a sauce pot, whisking frequently to mix everything up. I cook for another 2 minutes once it reaches a boiling point, then I simply pour into rice bowls. You can also just pour into a baking tray if you want and cut into cubes once set.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

Next is simple. Let the milk and agar mixture chill in the fridge until set, about 1-2 hours. You can serve it from bowl, or you can cut it into cubes like the one in restaurant. Typically, almond tofu is served with a can of fruit cocktail. But I actually prefer to just cut up some fresh fruits, like berries or stone fruits (peaches/nectarines), and some maple syrup. Simple is best.

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Tahu Goreng Sambal Sereh – Fried Tofu with Spicy Lemongrass Relish Recipe

Our family is tofu lovers, so our tofu recipes have been growing nicely over the years. If you need a new tofu recipe, do give this tahu goreng sambal sereh – fried tofu with spicy lemongrass relish a try.

If you can buy freshly fried tofu cubes in side street or supermarket, the only thing you need to do is to prepare the spicy relish.

Tahu Goreng Sambal Sereh – Fried Tofu with Spicy Lemongrass Relish

Fried Tofu Cubes

If you need to prepare fried tofu cubes on your own, the most important thing to remember is to properly drain as much liquid as possible from the tofu.

Since this is a super important step, you can even buy tofu presser to do this step for you.

But, I usually just wrap firm tofu with paper towel, sandwich between two plates and place my heavy cast iron skillet on top.

I recommend letting the tofu drain for at least 30 minutes, though I usually leave them for one hour.

Once it is drained, simply cut the tofu into cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, coat with flour, and pan fry until golden brown.

Tahu Goreng Sambal Sereh - Fried Tofu with Spicy Lemongrass Relish

Tahu Goreng Sambal Sereh – Fried Tofu with Spicy Lemongrass Relish

Spicy Lemongrass Relish

This spicy relish is simple to make as long as you have the ingredients. The spices include lemongrass, shallot, garlic, red Thai bird eye chilies, and for the seasoning, salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté thinly sliced lemongrass, shallot, chilies, and minced garlic.

Once it is fragrant, season with salt and pepper. Arrange fried tofu cubes in a plate and top with the spicy lemongrass relish.

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Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs Recipe

If you are like me, there can never be enough recipes for meatballs. So today I share with you this super easy hijiki tofu chicken meatballs, with easy teriyaki sauce for glaze.

I love Japanese meatballs since most incorporate tofu with the meat, and making the meatballs (and burgers too) incredibly soft.

If you have toddler, or conversely elderly, that benefits from easily chewable food, you must give this meatballs recipe a try.

Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs

Hijiki seaweed for the meatballs

You will need hijiki seaweed to make this meatballs.

If your supermarket stocks konbu and nori, you should be able to find hijiki right around the same spot.

Otherwise, you can also buy hijiki from Amazon.

There is nothing fuzzy to make the meatballs, just mix everything together, then fry until golden brown.

You can, if you want, serve the meatball as is, but the easy teriyaki sauce is not complicated at all and all kiddies (and adults too) love anything teriyaki.

Ingredients for Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients for Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs

Easy Teriyaki Sauce

When the meatballs are cooking, you can start making the teriyaki sauce.

Simply mix together two tablespoons each of sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

Once the meatballs are cooked, pour the sauce into the pan. Toss the meatballs gently to coat with the sauce, and once the sauce is thick, turn off the heat and the dish is done!

Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs

Hijiki Tofu Chicken Meatballs

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Tahu Tumis Kemangi – Tofu & Basil Stir Fry Recipe

Whenever I buy tofu, I love turning a couple of blocks at once into fried tofu cubes. They are so handy to quickly whip up a batch of satisfying meal, such as this tahu tumis kemangi – tofu & basil stir fry. I also like to add them to my salad 🙂

Tahu Tumis Kemangi – Tofu & Basil Stir Fry

Thai basil

You can generally find Thai basil (Indonesian: daun kemangi) in most Asian groceries. You may think that Italian basil is a good substitute, but it actually is not. Asian dishes never use Italian basil. If you must substitute, it is preferable to use the same amount of cilantro. Yes, the dish will taste different, but I think cilantro matches better with the rest of the ingredients compared to Italian basil.

Tahu Tumis Kemangi - Tofu & Basil Stir Fry

Tahu Tumis Kemangi – Tofu & Basil Stir Fry

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Mun Tahu – Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken Recipe

Mun tahu is a classic Chinese Indonesian braised silken tofu dish, with ground chicken/pork/beef (or roughly chopped shrimp), drenched in thick savory garlic ginger sauce. This dish is what I make when I need to prepare something quick and I don’t want a lot of fuss, because I can be very happy with a bowl of rice and mun tahu. If you love tofu, you are going to love this dish. Or if you don’t love tofu, maybe this can be the dish to convince you otherwise.

Mun Tahu – Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

A Chinese Indonesian Tofu Dish

Mun tahu literally means braised tofu, originally a Hakka Chinese dish, but is now widely enjoyed by many Indonesian. You can still order mun tahu from many old established Chinese restaurants in Jakarta.

Ground chicken and chopped shrimps are probably the two most popular choice of meat to go with mun tahu, though you can also order them with ground pork or ground beef.

I think of mun tahu as the non spicy version of mapo tofu. In fact, I would argue most Indonesians are more familiar with mun tahu compared to mapo tofu.

Mun Tahu - Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

Mun Tahu – Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

A bowl of silky tofu goodness

The star of mun tahu is definitely the tofu. Try to stick to silken variety if you can. It is now very easy to find tofu in my neighborhood groceries, though the grocery nearest to my house for some reason only stock extra firm variety.

For silken tofu, I am still forced to make a special trip to Asian market. But I found out that Amazon now carries Mori-Nu tofu, and the silken tofu from Mori-Nu is a no brainer for this dish.

If you prepare a lot of tofu dishes like me, you may also want to grab the firm tofu and extra firm tofu.

Not having to stash my tofu in refrigerator is such a revelation, since I am definitely that lady who fills her shopping cart with a dozen blocks of tofu in one trip, and later have to sacrifice half a shelf in the fridge just for tofu.

Mun Tahu - Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

Mun Tahu – Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

The next little secret to make a great mun tahu lies in the stock. It is true you can make an okay mun tahu with water, but if you use chicken stock, or even Japanese dashi stock if that’s what you have, you are going to have an amazing mun tahu.

I would say that even if all you have in your kitchen is some stock granules instead of the real deal, you should still go for it. Only in last resort should one prepare mun tahu with water.

Mun Tahu - Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

Mun Tahu – Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken

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