Cauldron Foods has partnered with TV chef and author, Ching-He Huang MBE, to create three delicious tofu-based recipes.
Ching has also shared her top insider tips and tricks, to debunk the myth that tofu is bland and help us all prep and cook tofu like a pro
Tofu is often a go-to ingredient in vegan cooking but one that is sometimes overlooked for fear of cooking it wrong or misconceptions that it is bland. So, to give us a helping hand and set the record straight, Cauldron Foods and Ching have teamed up to give us their amazing tips, tricks and some tasty tofu dishes to get us through this month, and beyond!
A staple of Asian cuisine for hundreds of years – and for good reason too – tofu has the amazing ability to absorb flavours from the ingredients around it. It can be transformed into the tastiest of dishes across a number of spectacular cuisines, with its list of capabilities endless… You can slice, dice, coat, scramble, fry, bake or even coat it – you name it!
To showcase it’s true versatility, Ching has created three tasty tofu dishes that are packed full of flavour and unlock the true potential of this wonderful ingredient:
- Golden Tofu Singapore Noodles: This delicious noodle dish includes spiced golden tofu alongside an array of aromatic vegetables, balanced perfectly with the flavours of soy and chilli. In just 5 minutes cooking time, you will be able to easily create a takeaway style dish straight from your home
- Japanese Style Sesame Tofu: Jazz up your tofu with this spectacular crispy and nutty batter, that will transform it into succulent bites that are perfect to be served alongside a delicious soy or sweet chilli dipping sauce
- Spicy Sichuan Style Aubergine & Tofu: This recipe is full of spicy rich flavours and will bring some much-needed heat to the cold and wintery days ahead
However, the true art is in the way you prepare and cook your tofu. So, to help us avoid any kitchen disasters, here are Ching’s top tofu tips:
- Do not add oil when marinating your tofu: Adding oil to your marinade will prevent it from seeping into the tofu and ultimately acts as a barrier. A handy tip is to oil your pan instead of the tofu, if you want to achieve really flavoursome tofu
- Drain the tofu water bath and press out excess liquid: Not draining and pressing your tofu to remove excess moisture will result in you making a ‘wet stir fry’, when your dish is usually supposed to be a ‘dry-fry’ dish. Before you do anything with your tofu, press it for around 10-20 minutes by placing it in between two chopping boards lined with kitchen roll and putting something heavy on top to apply pressure
- Do not over stir your tofu dish: This is a common mistake that so many are guilty of making. Over stirring will result in your tofu breaking down, which means you will end up with a scrambled dish as opposed to lovely chunky shapes
- Store your tofu correctly: Not storing your tofu in clean water will reduce the shelf life, leading to the tofu turning bad quickly and tasting sour. Cover any leftover unprepared tofu in filtered water and pop in the fridge, as this will keep it in good shape for a few days.
Ching He Huang says: “I am so excited to be partnering with Cauldron Foods this year, to celebrate Veganuary and the wonders of tofu. I personally have been eating tofu all of my life and it is a staple in my household. However, whilst it is an ingredient that I incorporate in to so many of my dishes, I know that it often receives a mixed reception. This is why I have created some brilliant recipes using Cauldron’s Organic Tofu range, to showcase the true potential of tofu and highlight that the art really is in how you cook it!”
Cauldron’s tofu range not only tastes delicious, but also boasts impressive nutritional credentials. It is high in calcium, low in saturated fat and GMO-free. In addition to this, it is also high in protein, making it an excellent source for veggies and vegans alike. It even contains all 9 essential amino acids (they’re essential as you must get them from the diet, the body cannot make them itself). Therefore, it can be considered a complete source of protein! What’s more is that it has a low environmental impact and the soya beans used in Cauldron’s tofu range are actually organic and support zero deforestation practices.
So, for those eager to put their plant-based culinary skills to the test, why not try out one of Ching’s amazing Cauldron tofu recipes:
Tasty Tofu Dishes – GOLDEN TOFU SINGAPORE NOODLES by Ching He Huang
SERVES 3-4. PREP TIME: 20-25 MINUTES COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES
Coat the Tofu:
- 396g Cauldron Organic Tofu Block, sliced to 3cm x 1cm Strips
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 2 pinches ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 200ml rapeseed oil
Soak the Noodles:
143g (3 bricks) Vermicelli Rice Noodles, soaked in boiling water for 3 minutes, drained
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoon Tamari or low sodium light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon sushi vinegar or rice vinegar
For the Stir Fry:
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
1-inch knob freshly grated peeled root ginger
1 red medium chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
8 (125g) fresh shiitake mushrooms, rinsed, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 100g Fine French beans, washed, trimmed, sliced 1 inch on a deep angle
1 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine or veg stock
- 1 (158g) red pepper, deseeded and sliced
2 (120g) medium carrot, washed, top tailed, sliced to matchsticks
- 200g beansprouts, washed
- 3 medium spring onions, washed, top, tailed, sliced to julienne
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium light soy sauce (optional)
½–1 tsp crushed dried chilli
- 1 tablespoon Chiu Chow Chilli Oil or your favourite chill oil
- 1 red chilli, deseeded, slighted to fine strips
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Take the Tofu out of the pack, drain away the water bath and press to firm. (See Ching’s top tips on how to press). Leave the tofu to press for 10-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a jug.
- Return to your tofu and slice in to equal 1cm x 3cm strips. Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. In a small bowl, mix the turmeric with the cornflour and dust it generously all over the tofu.
- Pour 200ml of rapeseed oil in a shallow pan, heat to 180 degrees (or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds). Gently add the tofu pieces in. If your pan is large enough you can add it all in and shallow fry for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Carefully remove and drain on kitchen paper. Some pieces may stick together but don’t worry.
- Place the noodles in boiled water and soak them for 3 minutes until the water turns opaque white. Drain and rinse the noodles well.
- Heat a wok over med-high heat until slightly smoking. Add the rapeseed oil (you can use the ‘golden oil’ from frying the tofu) before adding the ginger, chillies and stir for 1 second. Quickly add in the shitake mushrooms and turmeric and give it another quick stir for a second. Add the French beans and then follow with the Shaohsing rice wine or veg stock. After a few stirs, add the red pepper, carrots and toss well again.
- Add in the soaked rice noodles and pour in the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minute and continue to gently toss and stir to mix all the ingredients, making sure any liquid has evaporated in the wok and the noodles have softened, but still have a bite.
- Add the golden tofu pieces back into the wok and follow with beansprouts and spring onions. Season with toasted sesame oil and sprinkle over the dried chilli flakes. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste with extra tamari or soy if preferred.
- Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with fresh coriander and chillies. Serve with the Chilli Oil and eat immediately.
Recipe Tips from the Chef:
How to remove excess moisture from your tofu:
Drain off the water bath and press your tofu for 10-20 mins by placing it in-between two chopping board lined with kitchen roll and put something heavy on top, to apply pressure.
How to cut your tofu in to equal sizes:
To slice the Tofu in to equal 1cm x 3cm strips, place the block so it’s sideways on the chopping board. With a clean sharp knife, slice the block in to 1cm slices from top to bottom (you should get around 9 slices here). Then gently move the whole block as one piece so that the shortest side of the block is now sideways on the block. Again, slice in to 1cm slices (this time you should get around 7 slices).
How and why to make sure your noodles are al dente to begin with:
When you soak your noodles in boiled water, do not let leave them for longer than around 3 minutes. Once the water has turned opaque white, drain and rinse well as you don’t want the noodles completely overcooked. They need be al dente and will soften when you come to stir fry them.
Tasty Tofu Dishes – JAPANESE STYLE SESAME TOFU by Ching He Huang
SERVES 2-4 TO SHARE PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES
- 396g Cauldron Organic Tofu Block firm tofu, cut in to 4cm x 4cm large cubes
- 200g glutinous rice flour
- 40g black sesame seeds
- 80g white sesame seeds
- 250ml sunflower oil
For the dipping sauce
- 8 tablespoon Tamari or low sodium light soy sauce
- 4 tablespoon Japanese Mirin
- 1 teaspoon white caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon daikon radish, peeled and grated (optional)
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
For the garnish
2 Spring onions, washed, top, tailed, sliced on a deep angle
- Take the Tofu out of the pack, drain away all the water. Take a clean tea towel or paper towel and press the tofu gently to remove any excess moisture. Slice the Tofu into 4cm X 4cm large cubes.
- Mix the sesame seeds together on a plate. Set side.
- Mix 150g of glutinous rice flour with enough water to form a thin batter. Set aside.
- Dip each piece of tofu in the remaining 50gram of glutinous rice flour.
- Then dip these coated tofu cubes in the thin batter and then coat them in the sesame seeds mix, making sure it’s coated on all sides. Continue until all have been coated.
- Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Heat the oil to 180 degrees. Shallow fry the tofu in batches in necessary, turning them over to ensure they are golden on all sides. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. (You may lose some sesame seeds in the oil but do not worry, you can drain the oil, and use it as infused toasted sesame oil).
- Mix together the dipping sauce ingredients (add the grated daikon radish if using, it gives a pungent aroma).
- Serve the tofu with the dipping sauce on the side
Tasty Tofu Dishes – SPICY SICHUAN STYLE AUBERGINE & TOFU by Ching He Huang
SERVES 2. PREP TIME: 10 minutes. COOK TIME: 9-10 minutes
- 396g Cauldron Organic Tofu Block, cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1 large aubergine, cut into 1.5-inch baton
- Small jug of filtered water
- 500ml hot vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
- 2 tablespoon Tamari or low sodium light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black rice vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 2 small spring onions, washed, top tailed, sliced thinly on an angle
- Cooked Jasmine rice, to serve
- Take the Tofu out of the pack, drain away all the water. Take a clean tea towel or paper towel and press the tofu gently to remove any excess moisture. Slice the Tofu into 2cm cubes
- Heat a wok over a medium-high heat until smoking, then pour in the oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 5 seconds. Add the aubergine pieces and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, keep adding splashes of water to help the aubergine soften. Continue to cook like this for another 4 minutes.
- Once the aubergines have softened, add 3 tablespoons of the chilli bean sauce, the soy sauce and stir well, then pour in the hot vegetable stock.
- Add the tofu in and stir-fry gently together for a further 1-2 minutes or until it is warmed and piping hot.
- Garnish with spring onions, and serve with Jasmine rice, eat immediately.