Not long ago, the only place you could get tofu was from an Asian/Chinese supermarket, which for me was a real pain as the closest one from where we lived was in London (2 hours by train).  I grew up eating tofu and we had it at least once a week and another soya based ingredient, tempeh, another day in the week. These two ingredients were and are still very cheap in Indonesia as nutritious replacements for meat.  Having 7 children, my parents couldn’t afford to have meat (which was usually beef and chicken) more than once a week.  Even then, it was cut to small pieces and mixed with different types of pulses or vegetables to stretch the dish further. Good imagination is needed as far as dealing with tofu.  Not so much with tempeh, as this is made with chunks of soya added to the mixture and fermented which makes the texture quite nutty and tastes earthy.  Tempeh is not easily available at the moment,  but should be as this is easier to be ‘liked’ by Westerners than tofu. Tofu is very bland, needs a lot of help to make a tasty dish out of it.  Kevan would eat tempeh but still finds tofu quite a challenge.  You can make your own tempeh (http://www.tempeh.info/) which apparently is quite simple.  I am yet to try it.  Nowadays, tofu can be found in most supermarkets in all sorts of different flavours, but for me, I prefer to buy my tofu plain (Cauldron original Tofu)

Last week, I had my first tofu cooking demo in my house for friends who were keen to know how to add tofu to their menus.  They all knew the benefit of it and had tried but didn’t think much of it.

The demo started at 12 and we had our lunch at around 1.30pm.  The session went well.  A lot of questions asked and ingredients discussed and at the end everybody went home feeling positive about eating tofu.  More people are in the waiting list for another demo, so will do that as soon as I have space in my diary.


TOFU FRITTATA

serves 4

1 packet of tofu from a supermarket
6 large sized eggs
5 spring onions – sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
1 packet of bean-sprouts, blanch in hot water to soften
or 1 packet of Chinese cabbage – finely shredded as the bean-sprouts
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 recipe of peanut sauce – see below

In a bowl, cut the tofu to about 1 cm cubes and crush with a fork coarsely.
Beat the eggs in.  Add salt, 1/2 the amount of the spring onions, garlic and season well.
Heat up a frying pan.  When hot, pour in the oil and swirl around the pan.
When hot, pour in the tofu mixture and cook until slightly brown underneath.
Heat up the grill.
Move the tofu mixture to under the grill and brown the top slightly or flip it over and brown the other side this way.
Keep an eye on it so not to make it too brown
Use a flat-ish platter to serve the tofu in.
Top the omelette with sliced spring onions and bean-sprouts or Chinese cabbage and serve straight away with the peanut sauce poured on top.

Peanut sauce:
3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter and 1 of crunchy
juice of large lemon or  1 1/2 lime
1 clove of garlic, grated finely
1 teaspoons of caster sugar
a dash of tabasco (optional)
2 tablespoons of sweet soya sauce (kecap manis) or soya sauce plus extra sugar
a cup of hot water
salt to taste

Mix the lot in a bowl and taste.  Adjust the flavour accordingly and it should be pourable but not too thin.

TOFU PANNACOTTA, served with rhubarb compote

For the pannacotta recipe, please write via “Contact” page provided or in the comment box.