Give Tofu A Chance

Sweet thai chli tofu served with roasted broccoli and white rice

Last week I brought dinner to my dear friend who just had a baby. Before I got cooking I asked her what she had a taste for: “something with grains and veggies.” I decided to make her the quinoa skillet supper we’ve been developing as well as our Southeast Asian Meatless “Meatballs” which are tofu-based. When I relayed the menu, she was enthusiastic about the former but less so about the latter.

“We don’t really like tofu…” she responded, then politely but hesitantly added “But if you think we’ll like it…!”

I am never surprised when people say they don’t like tofu. We’ve all been programmed not to like it. You’ve seen the memes:

How To Prepare Tofu
Step 1: Throw in the Trash
Step 2: Grill Some Meat.

I say this almost every day – but most people don’t like tofu because they had it once, poorly prepared. Then, the bad PR reinforces the notion that all tofu is made that way.

Here’s the thing: Planetarian cooking does not center around tofu. Even in our house, tofu features just 1 or 2 times a week. But it’s a tasty, protein-packed flavor canvas that’s helpful to have in your culinary tool chest.

As for my friend? Here’s how it turned out. I made the tofu “meatballs” and served them confidently. Her first words, “Oh wow, these are really good.” Her husband, a talented home cook, a professed meat-lover and tofu-skeptic, incredulously pronounced them “actually delicious.” P.S. He ate the rest of them out of the pot before washing it. The greatest, most honest compliment!

So, GIVE TOFU A CHANCE! Make it once with a solid recipe. Below I am offering several recipes I love, some from Planetarian Life and some from other sites. I don’t care how you try it – just try it made right. Then decide if you “hate” tofu! I’m willing to bet you don’t.

Sweet thai chli tofu served with roasted broccoli and white rice

Sweet Chili Tofu

Southeast Asian flavored vegan tofu meatballs

Southeast Asian “Meatballs”

Black Pepper Tofu

Crispy Tofu with Maple-Soy Glaze

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