I’m trying to learn to love tofu. People tell me all the time that it doesn’t have any taste, that it absorbs the flavor of whatever you put on it. But I think it does have a taste, and it’s sort of weedy-beany. I also am turned off by the spongy texture and the way it sort of shreds.
I’m attempting to embrace the curd as part of a plan to work more vegetarian meals into the home eats. No, I have no plans to give up burgers, soft-shell crabs or deep-fried turkey. This is a guilt-lessening strategy. Complicating matters is The Hub. His dairy allergy means that I can’t add cheese as a protein option, and he dislikes most beans. That leaves eggs and tofu.
The cause was helped considerably when I discovered packages of super-firm tofu already cut up into cubes – just drain and toss in. For stir-frys, I have marinated the cubes in a combination of soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic. This time, I added them right out of the package to a vegetable curry. Making curry easy and quick depends on finding good spice blends which add flavor without a lot of work. I used a blend called Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry that I got at Savory Spice Shop. It contains sugar, lemongrass, coriander and other spices.
Veg Curry with Tofu
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried aleppo pepper (optional, makes it hotter)
6 cups assorted chopped vegetables (I used peeled sweet potatoes, sliced bell pepper and zucchini)
1 (15-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 package extra-firm tofu cubes
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
3 heaping teaspoons Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until it’s golden. Add the garlic, ginger and aleppo pepper, cook briefly. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, tofu, coconut milk and 1 can of water or a bit more to make a not-too-thick consistency. Stir in the curry, turmeric and salt. Partially cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve over rice.