Back to School with Tofu

Well, my summer fun ends today.  Back to school.  Actually it won’t be bad; I’m taking an interesting course about mathematical physiology that, although completely unrelated to my research, seems kind of fun.  But with two blogs, classes, research, and marathon training, I’ll be mad busy.  Let’s just hope that baby doesn’t decide to come six months early!

Tofu Curry

[tofu curry photo]Very strangely, I’ve had a craving for tofu lately.  I say “strangely” because I’m not really a big fan of tofu.  If tofu were on Twitter, I wouldn’t even follow it.  And isn’t it a little early for the pregnancy cravings to start?  Perhaps a better question, aren’t they supposed to happen to the pregnant person!?

In a continuation of our Ali-like return the kitchen, Erin and I made a tofu curry recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers.  Everything we’ve made from this book has been excellent, but a lot of the recipes are time-consuming and very involved.  We found what might be the lone quick recipe in the book last night and decided to give it a try.

This was the most success I’ve ever had cooking tofu at home.  I think the secret was that I really did a good job of drying it: I cut the blocks into two thin slabs and stacked them two by two, layered lots of paper towels on the bottom, on the top, and in between.  Wasteful, but we recycle, so it’s all good.  And then I put my heaviest frying pan on top with a few plates in it to make it even heavier, and let everything sit for half an hour.  The tofu crisped up so nicely after that!

The recipe in the book is vague so the reader can jazz it up the way he or she likes.  When I first started cooking, I hated when recipes did this; now I kind of like it.  It turned out pretty well, maybe a little bland though.  Here’s my version, with some ingredients added and proportions changed.  Still wish I could make basmati rice the way they do at Indian restaurants.  Mine always comes out so sticky.  Ideas, chefs?

Ingredients (for 5-6 servings)

  • A few Tbsps peanut oil
  • 1 pint red/yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cartons extra-firm organic tofu, drained and dried as above, then cubed
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk or 2 cans lite coconut milk, depending on whether you want liquidy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • Handful of chopped mint
  • Kosher salt

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Once it’s shimmering, add the tomatoes; and quickly stir-fry them until they are crisp-tender (should only take a minute or two), sprinkling with a little salt.  Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet, add a teaspoon or two of the oil to just coat the pan, and set it over medium-high heat.  Add about half of the tofu cubes and let them cook without moving them for a few minutes.  When one side is golden or light-brown, turn the cubes so that another side is face-down.  Repeat until all (let’s be realistic, most) of the sides are golden.  Sprinkle with some salt, move to a plate, and repeat with the rest of the tofu (you’ll need to add more oil to the pan).

Add a Tbsp of oil to the now-empty pan then toss in the onions and let them lightly brown for a few minutes.  Add the coconut milk and the curry paste to the pan and whisk to combine.  Let it thicken just a bit, then add the tofu for a minute or two to warm it up.  Add soy sauce to taste, and more curry paste if you like it hot.

Finally, add the basil, mint, and tomatoes.  Serve over rice or noodles.

[tofu curry close photo]



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  1. Hey check out this book;
    It’s really funny for expecting fathers. Cravings happen to both of you!

  2. hahhahahha “If tofu were on Twitter, I wouldn’t even follow it.” Thats awesome. I’ve never made tofu…I know I know, bad veggie. With all the “tofu is good, tofu is bad” stuff out there…I’ve just avoided it. Tempeh is on my to try list.

  3. ps good luck with classes

  4. Matt i must try Tofu!!! What are your other fav ways to make it?

    Good luck with classes, i start tomorrow…meeep! 🙂

  5. That looks great! I love curry.

    Man, good luck with the balancing act this fall! I can barely keep up with one blog, one PhD program, and no babies. 😉
    .-= Daria (Summer of the CSAs)´s last blog ..Just Call Me Mother Hubbard =-.

  6. mmm i do love me a good curry! those cherry tomatoes are a great addition. i need to grab some tofu at the market soon!
    .-= dee (the apple hill adventurer)´s last blog ..Engery Snack Review: Oooatmeal! – Apple Pie =-.

  7. Have you ever tried freezing the tofu, then thawing it before cooking? It takes on a chewier texture and the water comes pouring out of it with a simple squeeze! Your tofu curry looks amazing. I’ve never made a curry recipe, although I’m an old pro at ordering it for take-out! I will try making this dish.
    .-= Veggie Runnr´s last blog ..(Non Food) Products that are Awesome =-.

  8. That looks great, I am the same type of fan of tofu, not that big. Good luck with your classes and crazy schedule!
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..Life is Almost Back to Normal =-.

  9. I would definitely follow tofu on Twitter! Big tofu AND curry fans here. A match made in heaven.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..No Rest for the Weary =-.

  10. I’m not vegetarian at all (although sometimes my boyfriend thinks I’m headed that way), and I’m definitely not a fan of tofu. I’d be a bad veggie too.

    Super busy time in your life…at least you’re not the one who is actually pregnant?? That could put a damper on the marathon training! Good luck with classes!
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Shiny, pretty, and RED! =-.

  11. If you want the perfect fluffy rice: buy a rice cooker! They’re great and really easy to use and make perfect rice.
    .-= Kyle´s last blog ..Meet the Locals =-.

  12. That tofu looks great! I definitely like mine crispy!
    .-= Nobel4Lit´s last blog ..Recoverite Review =-.

  13. this looks so good – i like curry in all forms 🙂
    .-= Holly´s last blog ..Budgets + Beginnings =-.

  14. that looks fantastic, and i’m off to check out your new blog 🙂
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Crystal Lake Triathlon 2009 =-.

  15. This looks so yummy! Thanks!
    .-= Angie´s last blog ..Productive Day Off =-.

  16. Love your site! I just found it and added it to my google reader! Also, I made your corn pancake for dinner tonight and my husband and I love it!! Thanks! And congrats to you and your wife!!
    .-= The Healthy Hostess´s last blog ..Spicy Seafood Lettuce Wraps =-.

  17. Agree with Alison! Tofu and curry = perfect combo! Not a fan of mathematical physiology though. Good luck with classes.
    .-= Mia {runs and rests}´s last blog ..Bus + TV = Running Inspiration =-.

  18. Bahaha love the Twitter comment! Regardless, the meal looks and sounds great!
    .-= Paige@ Running Around Normal´s last blog ..Sahale Snacks and Strength Training =-.

  19. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of tofu either. I think it’s due to the fact that I just don’t know how to cook it. Usually I’m impatient and don’t get out as much liquid as I probably should. 😉

    This meal, however, looks wonderful! I love the addition of tomatoes and basil—favorite herb, yum!
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Out and About =-.

  20. This looks delicious!!! I just gave tofu to Nick today (he’ll be 7 months in a couple of days). I recommend the book SUPER BABY FOODS for when your baby is ready to eat solids – healthy eating and awesome ideas 🙂 Who knew I could give my baby tofu? Love the book.
    .-= N.D.´s last blog ..Eating Clean =-.

  21. I made this one last night. Mixed in carrots and used green curry paste (which made it more sweet than spicey). So good! Thanks again for the great recipes.

  22. I use a rice cooker and before adding the rice I normally stir fry the rice in a little oil for a few minutes.. till you see the rice becoming a solid white.
    Put in the rice cooker with 1.5 cups of water for each cup of rice and do the quick rice option if you have that in your rice cooker

  23. For a perfect, non soggy Basmati rice, after boiling n straining..I usually get a cookie sheet n spread the cooked rice for about 15-20 mins. It’s time consuming… but if u overcooked the rice…. well it’s an art to be perfected

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