Chinese Sweet and Sour Balls

If you love Tofu as much as I do and also love Chinese and sweet and sour flavours, this recipe will be a keeper. I often make this dish for my family and friends.

Tofu is a very light and low cost food with outstanding versatility and nutritional benefits. It’s an ideal choice for the health and diet conscious.

I usually make my own peanut butter and that’s what I like to use in my cooking because it’s natural and home made. It pairs beautifully with soy sauce. This recipe is from Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.

I usually love serving this dish with steamed basmati rice. It’s simple to put together and looks really rich and delicious. Your family will love this recipe.

This recipe makes around sixteen 11/2 inch balls.

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PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp soy sauce

455 grams tofu

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup green peppers, chopped

¼ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup celery, sliced

4 green onions. Sliced thin

1 tbsp oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

6 tbsp sweetener of your choice

6 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

11/2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Whip the peanut butter and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mash the tofu in a large bowl. Add the whole wheat flour, the peanut butter mixture, green peppers, mushrooms, celery and green onions. Form into sixteen 11/2 inch balls and arrange on a baking pan spread with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake 20 minutes and carefully turn them over and bake 20 minutes more. Serve on rice with Sweet and Sour Sauce.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking out all the lumps. Stir constantly until thickened.

Coffee Marinated Tofu with Caramelized Onions and Hummus

Coffee as a spice rub has been around for some time now and I wanted to try it out.

I used it on tofu with amazing results. I baked it after leaving on the marinade overnight and it tasted so good. The coffee flavour was subtle and smoky and it paired beautifully with the hummus and caramelized onions.

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I also grilled the tofu for about ten minutes after it was baked. You can use garlic powder but I prefer to use fresh garlic. I used the remaining marinade to deglaze the pan while caramelizing the onions and they smelt and tasted of coffee and spices.

This recipe is vegan and gluten free. The perfect plant based protein dish to serve with a dip. And really delicious.

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PREP: 10 minutes (not including marinating time)

COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 400 gms tofu, cut into strips
  • 2 tbsp coffee granules
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar/jaggery
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

For the hummus

  • 1 cup chickpeas, boiled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Black olives
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

For the caramelized onions

  • 3 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

For the marinade, mash the garlic by putting it through a garlic press. Crush the coffee granules in a pestle and mortar. Combine all the ingredients together and mix well. Arrange the tofu on a tray and pour the marinade over it, turning the tofu slices several times. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Arrange the tofu slices on a baking tray and drizzle a little oil over them, turning the slices to make sure that the oil is distributed evenly. Bake for 15 minutes on each side. Grill for another 10 minutes on each side so that the colour darkens.

Mix all the ingredients for the hummus except the olives and fresh coriander in a blender and blitz with a little water until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Spoon the hummus into a bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top. Arrange the olives at the side and sprinkle the fresh coriander on top.

To make the caramelized onions, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions with a pinch of salt. Saute the onions, stirring every few minutes, until they change colour and become golden in colour. Deglaze the pan with the rest of the marinade and when the onions are sticky, remove from heat.

Arrange the tofu slices, top with caramelized onions and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve with the hummus.

 

 

 

Tofu Loaf

Very quick and easy – this tofu recipe is one of my favourites. It’s healthy, vegan and tastes delicious. This recipe has been adapted from the original one by Louise Hagler.

Mashed potatoes goes very well with this dish. It’s great to have at anytime of the day. It’s also ideal for packed lunches and perfect for picnics.

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 45-50- minutes SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • 400 gms tofu, mashed
  • ¼ cup flax seed powder
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Marmite/Vegemite
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Combine all the ingredients together and press the tofu mixture into an oiled loaf pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until it becomes browned. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Garnish with ketchup and coriander. It’s also good sliced and fried for sandwiches the next day.

Sweet and Sour Tofu

My daughter found this recipe online about ten years ago and shared it with me after she tried it. I don’t even remember the website that I got it from. I made a few additions and I must say that it’s the best Sweet and Sour Tofu recipe that I have come across.

It’s a really comforting dish to have on any day at any time. It’s also a real crowd pleaser. I shallow fry the tofu because that’s a healthier way to do it. This is best served with steamed rice; I usually use Basmati rice. It’s a great combination.

The original recipe uses vegetable stock but I use an instant tomato soup mix; it tastes absolutely delicious. Green pepper is also a good option instead of red pepper.

The fresh herbs and vegetables blend with the tofu and soy to come together into one delicious and harmonious dish. You can easily double this recipe – it works really well.

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PREP: 20 minutes  COOK TIME: 40 minutes  SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • 400 grams tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
  • 3/4th cup cornflour
  • 6 spring onions, chopped finely with the green stems (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 green chillis, chopped finely
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato instant soup mix (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Oil for frying

To serve

  • Steamed broccoli (optional)
  • Steamed rice

Mix the egg substitute with water. If using egg, dip the tofu in either of these and coat. Sprinkle the cornflour on it and toss to coat thoroughly. Heat the oil and fry the tofu cubes on both sides until they are golden. Set aside.

Make the soup according to the directions on the pack.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil, add the onions with the chopped green stems, ginger, garlic and green chillis. Cook for a few minutes and add the red pepper. Add the soy sauce, soup, vinegar and sugar.

Mix the 1 tbsp cornflour with 2 tbsp water and add. Add the fried tofu and mix well. Cook for a few minutes. Garnish with the reserved green stems.

Serve hot with the steamed broccoli and rice.

 

 

 

 

Purple Cabbage and Tofu with Noodles

I bought some purple cabbage recently and I was looking up some recipes online and found this interesting dish from https://www.vibrantplate.com/purple-cabbage-chicken-lo-mein/.

Being a vegetarian, I decided to substitute tofu instead and also made a few changes. I marinated the tofu with some spices, because in my experience the tofu soaks up the spices and creates a subtle yet interesting flavour.

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This recipe is so delicious and just takes about 15 minutes. Purple cabbage with veggies, tofu and nuts! Couldn’t be healthier and tastier than that! Just toss in the ingredients and stir-fry.

 

It’s perfect for lunch/dinner.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 6 small spring onion, sliced thinly 
  • Green stems of spring onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 150 grams hakka noodles
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200 grams tofu, cubed
  • Salt and Pepper as needed

Toasted Nuts

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts, chopped

Instructions

Marinate the tofu with the ginger, garlic, red chili flakes, soy sauce, and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes or longer if you prefer it.

Heat a pan to medium, then add the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Toast until golden brown, stirring regularly. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large wok, add about 2 tbsp sesame oil and add the marinated tofu. Stir-fry until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat about 2 tbsp sesame oil in the same wok. Add the green chilies, sliced spring onions with the chopped green stems and carrots to the pan. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are tender and add the cooked noodles, shredded purple cabbage and tofu. Mix together and stir-fry for a few minutes more. Add more soy sauce if needed. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve hot sprinkled with the toasted nuts.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Being a vegetarian, it’s always a challenge to re-invent a meat-based dish. I used tofu to substitute the meat balls and the spices were just perfect. That’s what I like about tofu – it just soaks up the spices like a sponge. And so easy to make. This dish was a great project for a rainy afternoon.

The spaghetti sauce is one I make all the time. It has some red chilli powder in it for some extra flavour and zing. The brown sugar balances it out evenly. If you like, you can blitz the sauce in a food processor to get a smooth texture.

Recipe:

For the tofu balls:

450 grams tofu, mashed

1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon garlic paste

1/4 cup onions, chopped finely

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

4 cups tomato puree

1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped finely

2 tablespoons tomato ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Salt to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Mix together all the ingredients for the tofu balls except the olive oil and marinate for 30 minutes.

Spread a baking sheet with the olive oil. Form the tofu mixture into 16 balls and arrange them on the tray. Bake about 30 minutes turning the balls after 15 minutes until they are browned and set.

To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, pepper, carrots and celery. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes and then add the red chilli powder. Mix in the tomato puree and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the ketchup, salt, brown sugar and the fresh coriander.

Boil some egg noodles until they are al dente and drain. To serve, heap the noodles on a serving plate and spoon some tomato sauce over it. Place the tofu balls on top. Enjoy.