Experiment with Tofu

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October 25, 2010

Recipe Contest Winner:
Hors d€™oeuvre/PLATTER

Experiment with Tofu
New vegetarian option started with €˜fiddling€™

Brandon Fisher, cook at Great Hall Catering at the University of Western Ontario, says he was just trying to find some good vegetarian options for the catering menu. €œI started breaking tofu down and fiddling with it,€ he says.

€œI wanted to see if it would work well with sushi.€

Turns out it did. The Tofu Sushi holds well, is prepared in advance and is now a popular hors d€™oeuvre for wedding receptions.

That fiddling around also resulted in a recipe for Tofu Cakes€”€œlike a crab cake but with tofu€€”that Fisher serves with a spicy lemongrass sauce or with salsa.

Tofu Sushi
Yield: 5 wraps for 10-12 portions each

25 roasted seaweed wraps
3 (454 g or 16 oz) packages extra-firm tofu
2 cucumbers, cut into lengthwise strips, removing seeds
2 red peppers, julienned
2 yellow peppers, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
3 avocados, peeled and cut lengthwise
8 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 cup roasted red pepper aioli
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1 cup wasabi paste

Puree tofu and mix with cilantro, mint, red pepper aioli and sweet chili sauce. Add panko to tofu and mix until it has reached a firm texture.

Using seaweed wraps, spread a thin layer of wasabi paste over 3/4 of wrap. Place another wrap on top, spread layer of tofu mixture over 3/4 of wrap and place another wrap on top. Repeat with wasabi paste and another wrap. Finish with more tofu and place cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, carrot and avocado in the middle of the last layer.

Wet with water the unused 1/4 of the seaweed wrap and roll sushi wrap, trying to keep vegetables in the center. Wrap finished sushi tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Cut each wrap thinly into 10-12 portions.    

Golden Tofu Cakes with Pineapple Salsa & Spicy Lemongrass Aioli

Ingredients/Tofu Cakes
3 (454g or 16 oz) extra-firm tofu packs
8 cups panko bread crumbs
2 heads cauliflower
2 heads broccoli
4 vine tomatoes
1 lb parsnips
1 lb carrot (peeled)
1 lb red onion
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 cup lemon and lime juice

Method/Tofu Cakes
Mix maple syrup, sweet chili sauce, garlic, salt and pepper, and lemon and lime juice together. Roughly chop broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, parsnips and onion and mix with syrup mixture. Roast vegetables in oven at 375º until nicely browned and partially cooked. Cool vegetables, then puree with tofu. Add chopped cilantro and mix until with panko to form small cakes. Deep fry tofu cakes at 375º slightly brown, then transfer to oven and bake at 375º for roughly 10 minutes.

Ingredients/Pineapple Salsa
2 pineapples, diced
3 vine tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 red onion, small diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
jerk paste to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Method/Pineapple Salsa
Dice pineapple, tomato, green onion, red onion and cilantro. Mix ingredients with vinegar and olive oil and season with jerk paste and salt and pepper.

Ingredients/Lemongrass Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sambal olek
1/2 chopped lemongrass
1/2 cilantro
lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Method/Lemongrass Aioli
Chop lemongrass and cilantro and mix with mayonnaise, sour cream, sambal and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place tofu cakes on small Asian spoons and garnish with a small amount of aioli and pineapple salsa.

Catersource magazine
November/December 2010

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