Many people don’t know what to do with a block of tofu. Let alone how you prepare tofu like a chef. I will discuss several preparation methods; this time an easy recipe for tofu in sweet and savoury teriyaki sauce. Typical of this tofu is the “meaty” texture.
How to prepare tofu like a chef
This question is answered with a counter question: what texture of your tofu do you like?
For me, tofu on my menu is just as normal as eating meat. And not, as it sometimes seems, diets from parallel carnivores – and vegan universes.
I love both soft, slithery (silken) tofu and meaty tofu. And for spongy and airy tofu bags that are completely filled with sucked up fat and gravy of a stew, you can wake me up at night.
As a chef, I experimented a lot with tofu preparations to find out how guests react to the different textures.
Most popular texture for tofu? Meaty and firm! Not surprisingly, in the West, tofu is actually only eaten as a meat substitute.
“So the next question is: how do you prepare meaty tofu like a chef?”
This is what you have to do to prepare the meaty tofu
- First of all, freeze the tofu. Tofu is porous and filled with moisture. When it has thawed, you can easily squeeze out the moisture. This only works with firm tofu, so don’t buy a soft (silken) tofu.
- Pluck the tofu into small pieces so that it gets more surface. This makes the tofu absorb more sauce and more sauce = more taste!
- Cornstarch makes the tofu become even drier and therefore has an even firmer texture after baking.
- Bake the tofu until crispy. Then fry the sauce for a minute (in this case a Japanese teriyaki sauce) and you’re done!
And don’t you think the irregularly shaped tofu looks like chicken? Also the bite is comparable. This can persuade carnivores to eat tofu!
How to make the teriyaki sauce for the tofu
In Japanese, Teriyaki refers to a method of preparation: grilling (or frying in the pan) with a glaze (the glossy sauce). But most people think of teriyaki as sweet and savoury. I do that here too.
This sauce consists of 4 ingredients:
- Japanese (gluten-free) soy sauce
- Mirin (fermented rice wine with 14% alcohol)
In principle the ratio is 2:2:2:1. Boil these ingredients into a slightly thick syrup and add to the fried tofu. I also added some grated ginger to this recipe.
Sake and Japanese soy sauce can easily be found in an Asian food shop. A traditionally fermented mirin without all sorts of unnecessary additives and with enough alcohol is another thing. The ingredients list of my mirin: rice, malted rice, sugar and 14% alcohol. Most other mirins that are for sale have a maximum of 0.9% alcohol and corn flour as the main ingredient.
If you can’t find a good mirin, leave it out. In that case use equal parts of Japanese soy sauce, sake and sugar.
Tip: You can make a larger amount of sauce and keep it in the fridge. The sauce can be kept for at least 2-3 weeks. Do not add ginger so that you can also use the sauce in recipes where a ginger flavour is not desired.
Not authentic but healthy and nutritious: serve with cooked quinoa. Boil 1 part well-rinsed quinoa with 2 parts water and a pinch of salt. After cooking, stir in 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil and chopped spring onion.
Also make spinach with sesame to complete your easy vegan meal.
Do you like the soft silk tofu? Then try my recipe for silken tofu with oyster mushrooms.Print
How to prepare meaty tofu teriyaki
Many people don’t know what to do with a block of tofu. Let alone how to prepare tofu like a chef. I will discuss several preparation methods; this time an easy recipe for meaty tofu in sweet and savoury teriyaki sauce.
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Vegan, Hoofdgerecht
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 325 g drained tofu, frozen and thawed 1
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2–3 tbsp cornflour or tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp Japanese (gluten-free) soy sauce 2
- 2 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp mirin, optional 3
- 1 tbsp white or light brown sugar, or 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp water if you omit the mirin
- 2 tbsp oil
- 5 gr grated ginger, optional
- 2 spring onion (only the white), in rings
- 2 spring onion (only the green), in rings
- Sesame seeds
- Squeeze and pat the tofu as dry as possible with a clean tea towel. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks. You will also have crumbles of tofu, which will be the tastiest! Sprinkle ¼ tsp of salt over the tofu. Place all tofu (including the crumbs) on a plate.
- Sprinkle the cornflour or tapioca flour over the tofu. Make sure all the cubes of tofu are covered by the cornflour but not too thick. Set aside. Part of the cornflour will be absorbed by the tofu.
- Put the sake, soy sauce, sugar, mirin and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. After cooling, the sauce will have become thicker.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Bake the tofu (including the small crumbs) on medium heat in a few minutes until crispy on all sides.
- Fry the white parts of the spring onions for a minute. Add the sauce to the tofu and stir well. Bake until there is no more sauce in the pan. Turn off the heat source. Garnish with (green) spring onion rings and roasted sesame seeds.
- Serve with rice or quinoa and spinach with sesame.
- Use medium or strong tofu. Soft tofu is not suitable.
- Preferably use Japanese soy sauce, for example from Kikkoman. Chinese and Thai soy sauces, for example, taste very different. Replace soy sauce with gluten-free soy sauce for a gluten-free dish.
- Mirin: if you cannot find a traditionally fermented mirin with 14% alcohol then leave it out.
Keywords: Tofu, Vegan. Easy, Dinner, Teriyaki, meaty texture