FOOD MATTERS

Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

Homemade Tofu and a somewhat "Mapo Tofu" - Velveteers July 2010

Tofu and Beef Curry served

This month is an exciting one for the Velveteers. We have a couple of new wonderful bloggers joining our group and partaking in the challenges. A warm welcome to everyone new and if you are curious as to who, it's at the end of the post.

This month's challenge was cause of some excitement for me. The theme was to make tofu from scratch, flavored or plain; firm or squiggly, and then use the same in a sweet or savory dish. Quite frankly, I am a picky tofu eater. It really depends on the dish. Mapo Tofu is my favorite tofu (?) dish and I have recently had good experiences with dessert tofu. I was hoping homemade tofu would be of a higher quality than store bought. And, fortunately it is!!!

When I first thought about the challenge, I was dreading the process, which, I took to be tedious at least. However, a quick google cured me of my fears! The process needs some time planning and dedication from start to end but most of it is just idle time. The actual tofu making doesn't take much longer than making paneer or ricotta at home!

homemade tofu

The process of making tofu starts with dehydrated soybeans. I grew up very familiar with these beans as my mom made many a vegetable dish with them and I love the taste of cooked soybeans (I'll share my recipe sometime..). So, I always have a supply of it at home, which, worked provident for this challenge :).

So, just a tad bit of planning and I had fresh tofu Friday night, ready for my Saturday lunch of "Mapu Tofu". The quotes because while the intention was there, the ingredients weren't. So, I substituted for quite a few generously with my creativity and the result although very tasty wasn't in proximity to the desired dish. LOL.

Nevertheless, it was a sumptuous lunch and I share with you, here, my version of what is best described as Tofu and Beef Curry! :)

Rice and Mapo Tofu

Verdict: As I said before, making tofu at home is definitely worth the effort as it tastes much better and ofcourse is free of preservatives etc. The soy milk had a slight grassy taste which did translate into the actual tofu but cooking it in a sauce loses much of the beany-y taste. Also, I used lime juice as a coagulant, so there was tad bit of acidity which can be neutralised but adding a bit of sugar.




Homemade Tofu

I followed the recipe from here, with absolutely no deviations aside from using lime juice instead nigari as a coagulant. I started with 170 grams of dehydrated soybeans and ended up with about 3/4 cup of tofu.


Tofu and Beef Curry

** NOTE: I didn't use exact measures here. So I am guesstimating after the fact on quantities. Please feel free to adjust to preference. **

3/4 cup Homemade tofu (from above)
1/4 lb ground beef
3 T spicy bean paste (recipe below)
3 stems scallions (white and green portions), diced
2 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
2 tsp red curry paste
2 T plum sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 cups water + 2 T water
2 tsp corn starch
scallions for garnish
sesame oil for garnish
salt and oil as needed

Mince together the scallions, garlic and ginger to a smooth paste. For some reason, I decided to do this using a mortar and pestle (yes yes.. insanity strikes) but I see no issue in going the way of the food processor. Saute this mixture in oil until the aromas are released and then add in the bean paste and red curry paste and saute to cook.

Some oil will release when the mixture is cooked. At this point add the meat and cook. Do not add salt as you will be adding soy sauce shortly. Meanwhile, mix together the plum sauce, soy sauce and two cups of water. When the meat is almost cooked, add this mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Gently toss in the tofu and on low, cook until the tofu is warmed through. Mix the corn starch in 2 tablespoons of water and add to the mixture. Continue cooking until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat, garnish with scallions and serve with sticky rice.


Spicy Bean Paste

3 T okara (the leftover from the tofu making)
3 dried red chillies soaked in vinegar

Adding as little water as possible, grind the okara and chillies to a smooth paste.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Velveteers was started by Aparna, Asha, Alessio and Pam, who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment or drop me a line at asha@forkspoonnknife.com.

Do, check out what the other Velveteers have created:

Alessio - Recipe Taster
Aparna -
My Diverse Kitchen
Pam - The Cooking Ninja
Ken - Hungry Rabbit
Jaya -
Desi Soccer Mom

14 comments:

  1. That is utterly wonderful. I have been so tempted to make my own tofu. Thank you so so much for making doing this. What a great challenge. I would love to particpate.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful pics and beautiful tofu dish. Yes making tofu is incredibly easy is unbelievable. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed this challenge as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can see you've done well here. You like tofu better now?
    I'm still in the process and should have my post up by tomorrow latest. Hope I like my tofu. :)

    Love that turtle, btw. Have one too, but different.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You MADE tofu? I'm seriously impressed. You have a very lucky husband!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm intrigued that you used lime juice as a coagulant. I'm going to have to try this sometime. The mapo tofu recipe looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Making your own tofu? Now that is very impressive. I don't quite like tofu, I'll never venture into the tofu making territory - ever.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I make my own soy milk and use the left over Okara, but I've been wondering about homemade tofu. Thanks for the link I'll be checking it out. Your curry looks delicious, good job!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a very cool post to share. Making tofu is not something that immediately comes to mind, but you're right about preservatives. It'd be worth a try one day!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love all the Velveteers dishes! you guys really rock!

    ReplyDelete
  10. wow you truly went all out to make this delicous tofu! awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. As always, lovely pics and the recipe sounds delicious. Do you have a suggestion for sunstituting beef? I don't really cook with meat much. But I would love to make something that looks as appetizing as you have in your clicks.

    Also, thank you for letting me be a part of the Velveteers. I am looking forward to the next challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My family LOVES MaPo tofu. I did try making tofu many years ago but it turned out pretty squidgey...maybe I'll have to try it again:) Yours looks yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You've definitely demystified tofu for me Asha - I'm so impressed you made it from scratch! I do enjoy mapo tofu - now I'm more confident to actually make it myself. Thanks! Sorry to have missed this month's Velveteers - I'll make it next month.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Have never even thought of making my own tofu - am intrigued...

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my space. Love to hear your thoughts.