Believe it or not, there are ways to make tofu more exciting. One example is mapo tofu, which you can accentuate with chili peppers, bean paste, and yes, even meat. Still, if you are following a diet in which you are actively avoiding meat, then tofu can be a surprisingly delicious substitute, especially when you experiment with these meal ideas.
San Choi Bao
You might be curious what this is since the name sounds so strange. Well, it’s a Cantonese way to make tofu mouth watering. For this dish to work, you’ll need tofu, pine nuts, and jicama. You’ll also need some shiitake mushrooms and celery. Combine everything into bite-sized portions, because you’ll be using lettuce wraps as the vehicle for this appetizer. Chopping shouldn’t take too long, but be sure your wok is ready to go. When it comes to additional flavorings, pick and choose what you like to have from these options, among others:
- Soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Black vinegar
Dry Curry Stir Fry
This curry dish comes to us from Thailand, so if you’re ready to branch out from pad Thai, then don’t be afraid to give this a try. In Thailand, it is known as Phat phrik khring and the curry pairs with both tofu and string beans. You can buy ready made curry mixes, but for the more adventurous chefs, try making it yourself with lemongrass, galangal, and makrut lime leaves.
Sichuan Asparagus Salad
Another variation on the standard tofu offering also hails from China. In this case, the Sichuan region gives us a fiery spin on an asparagus salad. Since Sichuan cuisine is notorious for how hot and spicy it is, you must be willing to brave the heat of this salad. You start by blanching the asparagus so that it is tender but still retains that wonderful crunch. Then you add sticks of tofu and a spicy vinaigrette dressing infused with chili oil and vinegar to top it all off.
Let’s not forget that tofu is popular in other parts of Asia, as well. For instance, if you love Indian food, then this is a delicious way to get your tofu fix. Paneer is cheese, but if you’re lactose intolerant, that might not agree with you; substituting the cheese with tofu works just as well. You can also use lemon juice, miso, cauliflower, and spinach to enhance the flavor profile. Don’t forget about the naan bread!
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Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.