Tiptoe through the tofu

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.