One of the things I love best about cooking from scratch is that the most amazingly-delicious meals can be created from a few simple ingredients. I give you this silken tofu with chilli, coriander and sesame dressing as an example.
Another of the recipe gems that I originally 'discovered' via the band of chefs who came to give classes at the cooking school (which I co-owned from 1997-2006), this would have to be among my favourite tofu dishes. Food writer and stylist, Brigid Treloar (who has, incidentally, written a book on the topic), best describes tofu as 'the wobbly white stuff made from soybeans, prepared from a process similar to cheese or yoghurt making'.
Reading that and having just learned the joys of making yoghurt and soft cheese, I'm now thinking what fun it would be to try making tofu at home! A quick look at Google and I found some two million results, including this one on Radio National's First Bite page. Sounds simple enough, seems I just need to source some nigari (magnesium chloride). But now let's put that on the back burner for the moment and we'll come back to again another time.
Silken tofu isn't pressed like other tofu varieties, and it sets without producing whey. As indicated by the name, it is especially soft and should be handled with care. That said, it is quite suitable for pan frying and grilling, and can also be scrambled or pureed.
There are so many uses and recipes for silken tofu, but in this one the delicate texture is the star of the dish, with the flavoursome dressing only adding to its appeal. This is my adaptation of a recipe by Lulu Grimes in food cook eat. Enjoy.
SILKEN TOFU WITH CHILLI, CORIANDER AND SESAME DRESSING
300g silken tofu
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 young spring onion stalk (the tender green part inside), sliced diagonally
1 tiny bird's eye chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons tamari (GF) or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, to finish (optional)
steamed rice to serve (optional)
Remove the lid from the tofu packet and carefully drain out the liquid. Unmould the tofu onto a small chopping board and cut it into bite-sized cubes. Now gently lift the cubes with the blade of the knife and arrange them on a heat proof serving plate.
Combine the peanut oil and sesame oil in a small pan and heat them gently, then pour over the tofu. Working quickly, sprinkle with the sweet chilli and soy or tamari sauces over the tofu. Scatter the sliced spring onion, chilli and coriander leaves over the top. Finish with sesame seeds if using and serve immediately. Serves one (or two with a side of steamed rice).
Tell me dear fellow cooks, do you enjoy wibbly wobbly foods, such as tofu? And have you ever made tofu from scratch?
Thank you for taking the time to pop in a leave a comment. I do so appreciate hearing from you. Ü
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.