We've finally got through those four blocks of nufu and here's what we made. Just like tofu, nufu is pretty versatile, but here's what you should know, if you're going to make it. Firstly, it tastes of peanuts.. this sounds obvious but it's a contrast with tofu which is pretty bland. It's also quite crumbly and delicate, a little like lopino (lupin tofu) if you've ever tried that. Lastly, it's also quite astringent and a little bitter, which probably comes from the double coagulators we used (nigari and gypsum). The bitterness can be offset with a touch of sugar and a pinch of salt.
UPDATE: The step-by-step guide to making nufu is now live at plantfoods.org
1. Crispy tofu strips.
Brush strips of nufu with soy sauce and a little oil, then put under a hot grill (broiler) until crispy on both sides.The results are really good... crispy on the outside, melt-in-the mouth in the middle, all with a taste of toasted peanuts. We threw them in a stir-fry but you could sit and eat your way through a bowl of these with no trouble.
2. Nufu Cheesecake
Dairy-free cheesecake normally relies on soy of some kind, such as tofu. If you want to avoid soya but are fine with peanuts, then nufu cheesecake is for you. Given the nutty flavour of the nufu, we made a baked amaretto cheesecake (almond liqueur). Whizz up a block and a half of nufu, with icing sugar for sweetness, melted coconut oil for smoothness, arrowroot to thicken, and vanilla and amaretto to flavour. Add to a biscuit (graham cracker) base and bake covered for 40 minutes at 180C / 355F, uncovering for the last 10 minutes.
3. Nufu white sauce
Just like silken tofu can be used for sauces, nufu blends up pretty smoothly, and you can use it as a high protein alternative to béchamel sauce. Flavour the sauce with yeshi (nutritional yeast), nutmeg, salt, pepper and a little sugar. Add a little oil to make the sauce creamy and add a little arrowroot to thicken. We used ours as a pasta sauce for tagliatelle.
4. Freeze-baked nufu
Just like with tofu, you can freeze nufu to change the texture. Once thawed it will be chewier and a little more spongey, and you'll also be able to squeeze out a whole lot more water. Removing the water allows the nufu to soak up marinades into the little sponge holes. We cubed ours then marinaded it in red wine, pimenton, soy sauce and sugar. We then baked it in a low oven to crisp up. The nufu did lose a little of its chewy texture once baked, so this wasn't entirely successful, but it sure carries a lot of flavour.
Make your own nufu
Nufu used to be available to buy in the US, but it looks like that option is now gone. If you want to try it, you're going to have to make your own. It's pretty easy, if you've ever made tofu that is, but it does take a whole morning's work. The full instructions for making nufu are on our sister site plantfoods.org
We'll leave you with something that didn't work. Wondering what to do with the peanut okara (the fibrous residue from making nufu), we thought we'd just boil it up in a tight muslin bag, to make an okara loaf. It swelled and set ok after a good two hour boil, but was just too fibrous and too bitter to want to do anything with it once we'd got it. One for the compost.
|Peanut Okara loaf....one not to try at home.|