You can’t be a vegetarian for long without eating tofu, especially if you are trying to get lots of protein for training. And while I’m not a total vegetarian because I still eat fish, I’d like to make true vegetarian meals often so that you non-fish eaters out there will get something out of this blog. So with that, I give you red cooked tofu from Fine Cooking. You’ve probably noticed that I do a lot of Fine Cooking recipes. One reason is that most of them are online, so I can link to them instead of typing the whole recipe. But more importantly, they are always really good. Without exaggeration, I think our success rate with them might be 100 percent. Some of them are complicated, but they have a new section called “Make it Tonight” with meals that generally take less than half an hour to make.
I have never really liked tofu, probably because of the spongy texture and lack of flavor. But with this recipe, the tofu really takes on the flavor of the Chinese sauce. So at least the little sponges taste like something. And I like extra-firm tofu because it’s not so spongy and doesn’t break up when you cook it.
A lot of times when I try to get my asian on, I’m disappointed because the result tastes like bland vegetables with soy sauce on them. But this meal is different; the soy sauce really gets integrated into the stew and it combines with the fresh ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, and some vegetables to make a really nice sauce.
I used homemade organic vegetable broth that my sister made and froze for me, but if you don’t have such a sister, just get it premade from the store. But make sure it doesn’t have a lot of unnatural ingredients and sodium. Also we used brown rice and you should too. It is to white rice what whole-wheat bread is to white bread. Another thing to note is that the recipe calls for fresh ginger. Do not substitute ground; it’s really considered a different cooking spice and has different uses than fresh. Another ginger tip: Most of the flavor of fresh ginger resides near the skin, so be careful to remove only a thin layer when you peel it. Using a spoon to peel it ensures that you won’t take off more than necessary. Finally, if you buy more than you need for this one meal, store the rest in the freezer.
Here’s how it looks when you’re done:
This meal is pretty good; in fact this is the second time I’ve made it. And it’s really easy to make. But the fact remains: no matter how much you polish a turd, it’s still a turd. And that turd, in this case, is tofu. So if you like tofu, then definitely make this meal; it’s by far the best way I’ve ever made it. If you’ve never had tofu or haven’t had it in a while, this is a pretty good way of trying it. And I will say that tofu is growing on me and I’m willing to continue to experiment with other ways of preparing it since it’s such a good protein source. Overall, Erin and I give this meal 3 small cows out of 5.