Tag Archives: tofu

Red Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

NOTE:  Add some protein!  While the squash is boiling, cut some pressed, extra firm tofu into small cubes and brown it in coconut oil in a frying pan.  Add to the soup bowls before ladling the soup in.

serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow cooking onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups uncooked butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk, not “light”
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add coconut oil. Once it’s melted, add onions and garlic with a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ginger and curry paste and stir until incorporated. Cook the curry and onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the squash.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until squash is soft.
  4. Turn off heat and either purée the pot contents with a hand blender, or transfer to a countertop blender and carefully blend until smooth.  Once puréed, bring pot of soup up to a gentle simmer and add the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir.  Cook for about ten minutes, until thoroughly warmed.  Add the cilantro, and stir thoroughly.  Check for seasonings, and serve.

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Tofu with Spicy Sesame Sauce

We’ve decided that we prefer this method of frying tofu to the General Tso version, but the sauce for the General Tso Version is better!

For the sauce:

  • ⅓ cup liquid honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes (use less if you like things less spicy)

For the tofu:

  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed*
  • ¼ cup cornstarch with a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

 For tossing with the sauce and tofu:

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted if you have the time
  • 4 green onions, minced

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Simmer the sauce on low while you prepare the tofu.

Making sure that the pressed tofu has been thoroughly dried, cut it into ¾” to 1” cubes, and place them onto a large plate; we slice the entire block in half “sideways”, and then cut each shallow block into smaller pieces (we end up with 24 pieces).  Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the tofu, and toss the cubes and cornstarch gently with your fingers until the cubes are completely coated.

Heat half an inch of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan until just smoking.  Gently put the tofu cubes into the hot oil  and fry them on all sides until light golden. Carefully lift the tofu from the oil and set on paper towels to drain.  You may need to do it in batches, however, our 12” frying pan is large enough to hold an entire block’s worth of tofu.

When all of the tofu has been fried, place the cubes in a large bowl. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour half of it over the tofu, tossing to coat. Sprinkle in the sesame seeds and green onions, and toss gently to coat evenly.

Serve immediately, with remaining sauce on the side for dipping or pouring over the tofu.

*To press tofu:  wrap the block of tofu in several layers of paper towels and set it on a flat plate. Place another plate on top of the tofu, and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a can of tomato juice. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, or longer, if you have more time.

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General Tso Tofu (Stephanie Kepman’s version)

This is SO good!

  • 1 package (350 g) extra firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ginger root, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) garlic, minced
  • 1 Thai chili, finely chopped with seeds (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons (25 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mirin
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chili paste
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup cornstarch with a good pinch of salt and pepper
        • This is the original method for “breading” the tofu, which we don’t like:
          • 1 egg
          • 1/2 cup (125 ml) cornstarch
  1. Drain tofu; wrap in clean kitchen towel or paper towel for at least 15 minutes, gently pressing down occasionally to absorb excess moisture (see this method for better pressed tofu)
  2. In small bowl, mix 1 tbsp (15 ml) cornstarch with 1 tbsp (15 ml) water to form paste.
  3. In small saucepan, heat 1 tsp (5 ml) oil over medium heat. Cook, onions, ginger, garlic and chili (if using) for 1 minute, stirring often. Add broth, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, mirin, chili paste and cornstarch paste. Bring to boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat; set aside.
  4. In wok or medium saucepan, heat 2 cups (500 ml) oil over medium-high heat.
  5. Cut tofu into ¾-inch (2 cm) cubes; place back on kitchen towel to absorb more moisture.
  6. Making sure that the pressed tofu has been thoroughly dried place the cubes onto a large plate.    Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the tofu, and toss gently with your fingers until the cubes are completely coated.
    • (In small bowl, whisk egg. Place ½ cup (125 ml) cornstarch in another small bowl. Dip tofu cubes in egg, letting excess drip off. Lightly toss in cornstarch.)
  7. Add coated tofu to wok; cook, turning often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tofu to bowl; drizzle sauce over top.

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Chicken Stir-fry

Chicken Stir-fry

Serve on top of — or tossed with — your favourite Chinese noodles.  This can also work well with a block of extra firm tofu, instead of chicken.

Sauce*:

  • 2 Tbsp water (we usually add ½ cup or more of water to this and toss the whole recipe with our noodles)
  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce or Plum Sauce (made with plums, not pumpkin or “something else”)
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp (or more) hot chilli paste
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a fork
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lb/454g boneless, skinless organic chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ to 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • ½ medium green pepper, largely diced
  • ½ medium red pepper, largely diced
  • 1-5 fresh small red chillies, OR 1-2 finely chopped jalapeño chillies
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Handful of dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Sauce: stir first 5 ingredients into a small cup or bowl until smooth. Set aside.

Chicken #1: Stir second amount of soy sauce into second amount of cornstarch in medium bowl until smooth. Add sesame oil, egg white, and garlic and whisk until smooth. Add chicken and toss until chicken is very well coated.

Veggies: Heat wok or frying pan until hot. Add cooking oil. Add garlic, ginger and carrot. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add green and red peppers, and chillies. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until peppers are tender-crisp. Transfer to a bowl.

Chicken #2: Add second amount of cooking oil (1Tbsp) to hot wok. Add all of chicken mixture that is in the bowl. Stir immediately to break up chicken pieces. Stir-fry on medium-high for about 3 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Pour in sauce, and stir until boiling and thickened. Add pepper mixture, green onions, and peanuts. Heat and stir until peppers and onions are coated, and mixture is heated through.

Garnish with more peanuts, if desired.

Makes 4 cups.

*Note: double up on the sauce ingredients if you like lots of sauce with your noodles, or just add the extra water as noted!

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Grilled Tofu Peanut Salad

Grilled Tofu Peanut Salad

Grilled Tofu Peanut Salad

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce (optional, but it’s better with!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper (of each, divided)
  • 1 package (454g/1 lb) firm tofu
  • 8 cups torn leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts

~ In bowl, whisk peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, hot water, honey, soy sauce, Sriracha sauce,  and half each of the salt and pepper

~ Cut tofu horizontally into 4 slices. Pat dry. Brush with oil; sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until marked, 10 minutes. Cut each grilled slab into bite sized pieces.

~ Arrange lettuce on 4 plates. Top each with tofu, carrots, then bean sprouts. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.

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