Are you skeptical of tofu? Afraid of experiencing a bland taste and less than meaty texture? Make this easy Maple Miso Tofu dinner and I swear even the most dedicated meat lovers will become converts.
Where are you at with Tofu?
For many, I think the mention of tofu still elicits a lot of confusion, fear and skepticism. I have no doubt a lot of avid meat eaters still scoff at the whole notion.
Though even to some dedicated vegetarians, tofu can be a very intimating little ingredient to work with. I would not deny the fact that getting your tofu like you would get in a restaurant is a hard one to achieve.
If not prepared well, or to your personal texture preference, tofu can easily be a losing battle. Often times coming out too mushy, soft, crumbly, or just plain bland. Now – soft tofu has a wonderful spot in your culinary adventures as well and can be the star to your next faux “chicken salad sandwich,” or even used in smoothies and desserts. Stephi has a great post on “How to Make the Most of Tofu,” with some awesome recipe ideas that you should definitely check out.
There are many recipes that show all the wonderful ways tofu can be hidden. But what if you don’t want to hide it?! What if you want it front and centre, proudly taking the place of a good cut of meat. Holding up strong to be cut with a knife and fork and full of bold flavor?
If you are anything like me, your preference is to go for a really firm, meaty consistency. Which does not always happen, but it IS possible. When done right, tofu can even achieve a texture meaty enough to impress those die-hard meat lovers.
It comes down to the preparation.
You want to start with extra firm tofu. Though, even with its lack of moisture, you still want to make sure all of its juice (tofu juice.. .ew.. sorry) has ran dry. For that, there are these fancy things called, “tofu presses,” but if you are like me and a) are the queen of frugality and b) love a good DIY challenge, you can sooo get by on your own.
DIY tofu press. Yes that is a butternut squash in my coffee press. #itsallokay
Grab two plates, some paper towel and something real heavy to place on top (make it a fun game to get it to balance and not fall over). Sandwich your block of tofu in the middle and let gravity do its thing for a good 30 minutes or more. When it is released, it will be all ready to soak up that bold marinade you’ve gotten all ready.
As I’m sure you know, tofu doesn’t have much flavor. This can turn people away, but can also fill your culinary imagination with all sorts of excitement. This means you get to make it whatever you want!! What ingredient could be generous!?
This dish is a standard of mine that I began making years ago. I created a tangy, bold marinade using my beloved miso (#probiotics) and balanced out the tang with the sweetness of maple syrup. The marinade is thick so as to truly coat the tofu steaks and create an awesome caramelized finish on all of your vegetables.
The flavor of this dish is pretty unique. Serving it to anyone who is not familiar with miso would simply be saying, “hmmm what is that I am tasting? I can’t quite put my finger on it (but damn is it good).” The textures between the firm and meaty tofu and the soft and sweet butternut squash pair fantastically together. You really get all of your taste and texture buds tantalized in one single bowl.
So if you are a newbie to tofu, I encourage you to set aside any of those skepticisms and give it a try. You can do it I swear! And if you are an avid tofu eater, I think this recipe may offer you a new and unique way to prepare your next Meatless Monday.
Get your tofu on with this Maple Miso Tofu with Butternut Squash and Broccoli for your next… Click To Tweet
Joining Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday!
Are you a tofu fan? Do you ever make it yourself or prefer to have it in a restaurant?
Do you prefer your tofu to be hidden – as in a “faux meat” dish – or simply as it is, not pretending to be anything its not?
Any favorite preparation strategies?