Fried Tofu with Marjoram Pesto

Tofu is SO good. Not only is it such an adaptable food, but absorbs so many flavors and has so many different textures. It’s one of my favorite foods and I love to eat it fried. I’ve noticed that those who claim to dislike tofu just haven’t had it prepared in the right way yet. If you’re new to tofu, start here. If you’re an experienced tofu lover, give this a shot too. Be sure to invest in a marble mortar. You can buy them at most kitchen stores or online. It will enable you to make a small amount of crushed herbs and pesto very quickly and retains the natural flavors. Now, for the soy skeptics out there, shall we talk about soy?

Soy has unfairly gotten a bad hype. It is a great alternative to animal products and is not unhealthy. It is made much like cheese, by curdling fermented soy milk, then pressing and cooling it. There is ample protein in tofu, low in fat and carbohydrates, contains all eight essential amino acids, iron, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, calcium, B1, and magnesium. The phytoestrogens in soy, called isoflavones, can help balance women’s hormones and reduce the risk of breast cancer. And, no, they won’t give men breasts. Tofu has been a staple food in Asia for thousands of years among some of the healthiest and longest living populations. Don’t be afraid to load up on this bean, go for the non gmo and organic. You may find fermented soy products are easier on your digestion if that’s a problem, i.e. tempeh and tofu. This stuff is available most everywhere, cheap, and filling.

My preference is to freeze a block of the firm tofu before hand, while still in the unopened package. Then when I know I want to use it I let it thaw in the sink all day until it’s completely melted. I take it out of the package and drain the excess water by pressing it between my hands like a sponge. The consistency changes to being thick and meaty, great to break up in chili’s, make a tofu scramble, or cut in blocks and fry, or however else you like to prepare it.

Fried Tofu with Marjoram pesto

Yields: 1-2 people

  • 1 block of firm tofu, (kept in freezer before hand, then removed, thawed, and hand pressed to remove the excess water)
  • 1/2-1 cup tapioca flour
  • oil for frying (1/2 cup)
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • paprika and cayenne
  • Marjoram Pesto
  • 1-2 handfuls of fresh marjoram, use leaves not stems
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove grated garlic

Put the tofu in the freezer until the day or night before of use. Let it thaw in the sink, open the package and let the liquid drain. Next, press the tofu in between your hands in prayer like style and squeeze the excess water out. Don't squeeze so much that you break the block, just a firm squeeze. Do that on both sides.

Get a frying pan going on medium to high heat with 1 inch of oil. Chop the tofu block in half and then slice squares. Get the tapioca flour ready in a bowl and add the spices to it. Roll each piece of tofu in the flour coating it evenly and thick and place it in the oil once it is hot enough. The oil will start popping and bubbling when it is ready to add the floured tofu. Flip each side until it fries golden. Let them cool on paper towels or paper bags to absorb the extra oil from frying, and sprinkle more spice on top.

In a mortar add the marjoram leaves and grated garlic and press it with the marble stick until it is broken up and the juices are coming out. Slowly add the olive oil and vinegar and keep pressing, make sure all the herb is getting ground up. If you don't have a mortar that use a blender and add a half an avocado and if you need to fill the blender bucket. Pour this over the tofu squares.

  • Total time: 20 minutes
Marjoram Pesto
Marjoram Pesto 1
Fried Tofu With Marjoram Pesto 2
Fried Tofu With Marjoram Pesto 3

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