Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

Ingredients
1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Reverse Beer Batter Tofu Dumplings over Spicy Ramen

First you'll need to marinate the tofu. Depending on what tofu you purchase you may need to drain and press it. If your tofu is sold stored in brine, then this step is very important. Drain it and press it between some paper towels and kitchen towels using cans for weight. Leave it drain for 1 hour.

For this application I recommend firm, but not extra firm tofu.

Marinade
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tbls sriracha
1/4 cup canola oil

One 12-14 ounce package tofu

Cut tofu into one inch cubes. Marinate overnight in the fridge. Small pieces more easily absorb more of the marinade. After the tofu has marinated mash it with a fork until the tofu and marinade form a smooth, loose batter.

Dumplings
1-2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 cup beer
All of the the tofu/marinade batter

Lightly whisk together 1 cup flour and baking powder. Pour in 1/2 cup beer. Whisk lightly to form a batter. Gently fold in tofu/marinade mixture. Stir as little as possible. You don't want to create gluten in the flour as this will turn your dumpling chewy. We want the end result batter to be somewhat loose, but just barely able to retain its shape. Add additional flour or beer as needed to achieve the correct consistency. Still stirring as little as possible.

My original thought was to fry these guys, but they turned out much better sauteed in a barely greased, non-stick skillet.

Drop by big spoonfuls into a hot pan and brown on both sides. You can use a ring cutter to make them pretty after they've cooled some.

Ramen
3 oz packet dry ramen noodles, soy flavored
1 cup water
3  chile de arbol, broken, deseeded
1 guajillo pepper, broken, desseded
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 diced white onion
1 tbl minced jalapeno
1/2 cup kale, torn into small pieces

Cook noodles, flavor packet and all other ingredients except kale in the water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes. Add kale and simmer 1 more minute.