I know what you’re thinking. Tofu! Gross! In the past few years I’ve cooked with tofu on 2 other occasions. I was successful 50% of the time. Since I’m on a kick to eat a little less meat, I bought some extra firm tofu earlier this week and decided I would try again. I was in the mood for something Greek. I had cucumbers, yogurt…all the ingredients for tzatziki sauce. Gyros would be great, I thought, but I’ve got to make the tofu taste really good. So I actually googled, “Making tofu taste good.” I found a great site (the name of which I’ve now forgotten…daily something) that had a couple of good tips.
- Drain and press the tofu for an hour before using. You can even do this and leave it overnight in the fridge if you have room.
- Marinate but don’t use oil because it will make a barrier on top of the tofu that will prevent the flavors from getting absorbed. I don’t know if this is actually true, but it sounded reasonable.
- Use cornstarch for a crispy crust. Best advice ever!
I needed to run by the store for some things and, since home is on the way to the store, I stopped to start draining the tofu. I cut about 6 slices (half a package). I had prepared a sheet pan with a towel topped with paper towels. I placed the slices of tofu on this, topped with more paper towels and another dish towel. Then I placed another sheet pan on top and put about 6 canned items (beans, soup, etc) on top to weigh it down. When I got back from the store about 45 min later, the tofu had drained out all its water.
To marinate it, I placed it in a tupperware container and squeezed half a lemon over it. I sprinkled on garlic powder, oregano and a tiny bit of cumin. I then rubbed on some Greek yogurt (nonfat) and let it sit while I put up groceries and readied other dinner items.
After about 30 minutes, I started 2 tbsp of olive oil heating over medium heat in a large pan. I poured about 1/2 cup of cornstarch on a paper plate. I took each slice of tofu and, if there was a lot of yogurt on it I scraped off the extra, dredged it in the cornstarch. I placed each piece in the pan and just left it for a while. It began to sizzle while I was readying corn and snow peas with lemon and butter. I flipped each piece when they got nice and brown.
Earlier I made some tzatziki sauce with Greek yogurt, a little sour cream, lemon juice, onion, cucumber, garlic and feta cheese. I also chopped some condiments for my gyros while the tofu cooked.