Monday, January 30, 2012

Schooled by Gigi: Ginger Tofu

I have survived exams week and finished all of my report card work. I must now tell you about my attempts at making Gigi's Ginger Tofu. Who's Gigi? No, she's not family but someone I took a cooking class from once. She is a flavourist, someone that experiments with flavours to make food taste amazing, which I will confirm that she's pretty darn good at.

So if you have already browsed the list of recipes that we sampled at the cooking class but aren't sure what to make, I would suggest starting with the ever so versatile Ginger Tofu. Growing up in a Vietnamese family means that you never have to sell me on tofu. Our house used to be filled with the smell of cooked soy beans while growing up and there is nothing that tastes quite like a block of fresh tofu with just a little soy sauce to dip it in. Not like that stuff that comes in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. That being said, the process of making your own can be quite the undertaking. So just go buy a block from the store, this recipe will make it taste amazing.

 I always forget to take pictures of it in its beautifully cubic baked form and instead only remember during its mushy paté form. As usual, remember that not everything in a recipe is set in stone. I've made this recipe twice and I still have yet to buy any shredded, dehydrated, unsweetened coconut (mostly because the name is too long for me to remember) and it still tastes superb-a-riffic. Remember that nutritional yeast can be purchased at your local health food store!

Ginger Tofu
Tofu tip: If you aren't going to use your tofu right away, take it out of the plastic container from the grocery store, rinse the tofu, put into a bowl/tupperware with some fresh water and change the water each day.

1 block of extra firm tofu, cubed
1 piece of Ginger (A piece about the size of your thumb. Leave the skin on!)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp shredded, dehydrated, unsweetened coconut
1 carrot
1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp tamari

Blitz together the ginger, yeast, sesame seeds, coconut, carrot, olive oil, sesame seed oil, apple cider vinegar and tamari in a food processor. Mix together with tofu in a bowl and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Ginger Tofu Paté-like/Wrap Filling

Blitz your ginger tofu in a food processor. Add Tahini to bring it together. The amount of tahini to add will depend on how spreadable you would like to to be. If I had to guess, I'd say I put in 1-2 tbsp. Add a bit of spicy Harissa sauce if desired. Blitz until it turns into a delicious paste.

Put in wraps with shredded cucumber and bean sprouts.

Wait, what is this spicy Harissa sauce I speak of? Only a great spicy sauce that's easy to make in seconds with ingredients that are generally found at home!

Harissa - Spicy Sauce

1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground, dry garlic
1 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
Dried Parsley
1 tbsp paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Mix and let sit to thicken.

As you can see, I treated it like a meat paté which I spread on crackers and bread. It was perfect for a little party that we had, especially with vegetarians in attendance.

the front lobe of my left side brain