veganomicon: chile cornmeal-crusted tofu

Published May 20, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

sorry for the long delay between recipes! working again has it’s problems, like sleep schedule wackiness, and a lot of times i just want to crash when i come home. in fact, i’m writing this to you after taking a nice long nap.

today at work one of my co-workers, michele, asked me for a tofu recipe. i have not really made the jump into the world of tofu, so i directed her to the fauxy tuna tempeh recipe. (i’ve pretty much limited my tofu use to making fake ricotta since making one lack luster dish back in january.) so sitting down now to cook, i pulled out my new tome, the veganomicon. one of the authors,  isa moskowitz is an unabashed lover of the bean curd. this will be the first recipe i try from it, chile cornmeal-crusted tofu, pg. 125, served with simply sautéed kale.

Draining & pressing tofu:
first things first, you need to drain & press an extra-firm block of tofu. i went back to her first book, vegan with a vengeance, to brush up on the specifics.

i put several paper towels into a colander, and covered with more paper towels, and put a heavy object (i used a cast iron pot) on top. you should leave it for 30 minutes each side.

isa says if you wanna do a quick press you can slice it into 4 slices width wise, and press gently between your hands.

the recipe:
while the tofu is pressing, get all your other ingredients ready. the technique here involves cutting tofu into 8 pieces width wise, and then diagonally,  dipping tofu triangles into soy milk and cornstarch, and then dredging in cornmeal, spices, lime zest and salt, before pan frying in a 1/4″ of oil. (i added some mesquite grill seasoning to the mixture too!) there are also baking instructions.

Sautéed kale:
2 tbsp. olive oil, or a good coating with the mister
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
bunch of kale, rinsed and ripped into smaller pieces
salt & fresh ground pepper

Heat olive oil to medium in a large skillet. Add garlic, and saute for about a minute. Stir in  wet kale until coated, and stir for a few minutes until it wilts, or until bitterness has subsided. Salt & pepper to taste.


well, the crunchy outside was really yummy. the inside still tasted like [bland] plain tofu, but the texture was nice. some marinara poured on top made it good & reminiscent of mozzarella sticks. : ) personally, i would have preferred the tofu be marinated, and when i make it in the future, (which i will, because the coating is yum) i’ll have to think about with what.

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