It's tofu.. but in a gold box! Premium tofu... count us in! Dragonfly obviously feel the need to shout from the rooftops about the quality of their new marinated tofu. We could hear them shouting, so we grabbed a pack, and made some kebabs:
Yeah, we're blogging about tofu again. Although it's an everyday essential...you've got to get the best. Cauldron (Quorn's sister brand) have sold tofu for 30 years, and have been through many a re-brand. The latest packs are sold in supermarkets alongside the company's (non-vegan) sausages. The range includes plain tofu, marinated (pieces), smoked and italian herb varieties:
Pre-marinated tofu with mild curry and sweet mango. Taifun make the world's greatest tofu, and they also won our tofu taste test. This is an unsmoked tofu, that's been marinated in lime juice, mango, curry spices, garlic and white wine vinegar. Marinated tofu has been in the shops for years, so is this more of the same?
A selection of Chinese tofu strips, semi-dried, seasoned and ready-to-eat. You can find these packs of meaty tofu strips in Chinese supermarkets. They're long life and don't need refrigeration and so are a useful cupboard standby for a quick stir-fry. The four flavours on offer are spicy, pickled chilli, hot and barbecue.
Who doesn't love tofu? No... well you're in the wrong place! For those of you still here, we have the King of Tofus for you. The company Tofu King supplies all manner of tofu to Chinese supermarkets across the UK (be careful as one of their lines has egg in the tofu). This one is a fried tofu marinated in chilli oil and sesame. It's ready to eat hot or cold. We threw it in a hot wok for a tasty stir-fry:
The Veganizer in action: fish-free but flaky, oily, meaty and delicious. If you've ever bought one of those cans of tinned yuba (soybean skins) and looked at the recipe on the back, you might have tried this before. If not, you'll also need some nori (seaweed), some lemon juice, sea salt and some egg-free mayo:
UPDATE: The step-by-step guide to making nufu is now live at plantfoods.org
Our sister site plantfoods.org will shortly have a write-up on our experiment to make nufu... tofu made from peanuts. Peanuts are a protein-rich legume, a lot like soybeans, and the results are very similar to tofu. The yield is excellent...you get a kilogram of peanut curd... four of those blocks above, from just 500g of peanuts. The curd still tastes peanutty too, so makes a tasty alternative to tofu:
Our favourite tofu producer Taifun also makes sausages, cutlets, filets and steaks, all from the finest German tofu (made from German-grown organic soya beans). The latest line to hit chiller shelves in the UK is their Tofritto brand of tofu steaks. The product comes in two flavours, Cashew & Olives and Capers & Peppers. The steaks can be eaten cold but are best pan-fried until crispy. We fried up the Cashew & Olive steak for our review:
The next time you see a recipe calling for smoked tofu, ask yourself...which sort? The British style of smoked tofu...rubbery, coarse, bitter? Or the German style, ranging from the dry and tough to the moist and ham-like. You see, there are as many types of smoked tofu as there are producers. There is no accepted norm for what you'll get when you buy some. As to the question of quality, frankly some are better than others.
You can buy German tofu in the UK, under the Taifun brand sold in wholefood stores. You'll find it stocked next to lesser offerings from UK producers. Where the German tofu is tasty though, the local tofu is coarse, and with more of a rubbery texture than the smooth cutting German stuff. UK producers often cut corners too, using liquid smoke, rather than smoking the tofu blocks in the traditional way. The liquid smoke tends to make the tofu a little bitter, rather than impart that meaty deliciousness that is so desirable.
Read on for the Vorsprung-durch-Technik approach to tofu smoking...