Saturday, February 4, 2012


When we think of beans, we may think of pork and beans, red beans and rice or perhaps cassoulet, see here but automobiles? Really? Automaker Henry Ford grew acres and acres of soybeans, intending to make a soybean plastic to build cars out of them. He made one prototype in 1941 but World War II priorities killed the program. Ford, a believer in agriculture uses for industrial use did use soybean-based plastic for gearshift knobs, horn buttons and such.

While soybean use in Asia goes further back, the American chemist George Washington Carver, in 1904, detailed how valuable a foodstuff soybeans are. Not just the bean’s oil or the protein in the meal but the huge concentration of vital minerals as well. Carver also related how exceptional planted soybeans were for farmland soil enrichment.

I think the best use of soybeans is in producing bean curd, which the Chinese call tofu. Many people turn up their noses when I mention tofu but it really is a miracle food. Vegetarians can appreciate tofu for the high protein content but so can anybody, because properly prepared; tofu makes a superlative culinary contribution. I have been preparing Italian –style stuffed shells with it for years. See here
A great tofu dish for neophytes is a crispy one with a couple of colourful vegetables in a sweet and hot sauce. These crispy, golden cubes are aromatic and spicy and sure to thrill your taste-buds. You may already have all the groceries for the tofu in your pantry. So please give it a try, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Really.

Crispy Tofu with Chili Soy Sauce                                 serves 4


1 pound of firm tofu
3 Tablespoons  vegetable oil
2 Garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 Carrot, cut into julienne sticks
1 Green or red bell pepper, cut into julienne sticks

1 Small red chili pepper, seeded and minced or ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Adjust according to taste
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce (aka nam pla or nuoc mam)
2 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Thoroughly drain the tofu, first on a wire rack, then on paper towels.
  • Cut into small cubes (3/4 “) or slice horizontally so you have ¼ “ planks and then cut them into one inch squares (they will be like wafers)
  • Place them on fresh paper towels to absorb any excess moisture
  • Heat a large skillet till warm, add the oil and slowly heat.
  • Increase the flame to high and add the garlic
  • Fry garlic, stirring all the while and remove when golden and set aside
  • Add the tofu, let sit a minute or two, and then carefully turn when golden brown. You might want to do small portions at a time. Adjust flame so as not to burn
  • Take out the tofu and drain on wire rack or paper toweling, keep warm
  • Put the carrot and bell pepper into skillet and stir-fry one minute
  • Put the tofu into a serving dish or the individual plates and put the stir-fry atop it
  • Combine the last five ingredients in a bowl
  • Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar
  • Pour over the tofu and top off with the garlic slices.

How hard is that? Not. But wait, the taste is so awe-inspiring you will stock tofu regularly. Really.


Vardhini said...

Tofu looks inviting and love the flavors.

Event: Sweet Luv
Event: Strawberries

Prathima Rao said...

Tempting, no doubt & so inviting!!!
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

My Journey With Candida said...

I have never tried making tofu myself, and really.. I should because it is supposedly less acidic than having meat.

I eat it when we go out sometimes and really like it.... guess I am just to lazy to make it myself.

anthony stemke said...

VARDHINI: The flavours are wonderful and the texture is very appealing. Thank You.

Words Of Deliciousness said...

I have never cooked with tofu before. After reading your post I think I should try it.

The Golden Eagle said...

We recently had tofu; it was quite good.

And I wouldn't have connected Ford with soybeans before!

anthony stemke said...

PRATHIMA RAO: Thank You, it is.

MY JOURNEY WITH CANDIDA: This dish is not difficult to prepare and this particular recipe will wow those loathe to try tofu. Tofu is unnoticable in my stuffed shells recipe, I know because I've served it to sone tofu-averse persons who loved it. I think it is alkaline too.
Thank You Terry.

WORDS OF DELICIOUSNESS: I would urge you to try it, is high protein, low fat,low carb and very very versatile. And economical.

THE GOLDEN EAGLE: I agree that it is quite good.
Thank You.

Leovi said...

Yes, it's food is totally foreign to me, can be good.

anthony stemke said...

LEOVI: Was totally foreign to me at one time like it's cousin edamame. I consider it among the worlds greatest foods now.

Elizabeth said...

Looks delish...thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on the genetic lottery.

You made a very good point, and I totally agree.

Definitely readable to find out information about this devastating disease. It was very informative.

Gail M Baugniet said...

Anthony, you always share an interesting bit of history with your great recipes. That keeps me coming back for more.
I've been using tofu in meals for years. Once I made mock-chicken tofu for my aging parents. They loved "how tender" and tasty it was. I never revealed it was tofu and it was another case of "tastes just like chicken!"

anthony stemke said...

ELIZABETH: Thank You for your kind words and yes, that book is interesting.

GAIL M BAUGNIET: Ha ha! My daughter said she hated tofu. I made the stuffed shells recipe for her and me and she said: "Why can't we have this more often".

Torviewtoronto said...

this looks good I like this combination

Alexis AKA MOM said...

You know my friend brought me home some that was with veggies etc and I couldn't believe how yummy it was! Now to get these meat eating boys to just try it!

Thank you so much for your comment on tithing. I know the blessings are going to keep coming and I can't wait to do more :)

Teena Mary said...

wow..its really tempting! So glad to follow your yummy blog!
Ongoing-''Valentine's Day Event''(till Feb 20th)

Kalyani said...

tofu looks delicious ....

Now Serving said...

This looks like an awesome preparation with tofu!

anthony stemke said...

TORVIEWTORONTO: Thank You, your macaroons are superb.

ALEXIS AKA MOM: This is the best way to start them on tofu. Brown tofu slowly till nicely browned. The colour, the crispness and the sauce will interest them.
Caritas, a latin word, love of God through helping others, Charity. It DOES repay you.

TEENA MARY: You gonna love it. Thanks.

Lizzy said...

I really need to incorporate some tofu into my diet...and this looks like a delicious way to start!

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

this looks delecious! im sure even a tofu hater will be converted :)

hemalata said...

Very healthy n tempting recipe,looks so inviting.

Malli said...

I agree that tofu is simply delicious when well prepared. Have you tried using Tempeh? It's a bit more firm and wonderful for curries and stir fries. Your dish is totally tempting!!

anthony stemke said...

KALYANI: Thank You, it is.

NOW SERVING: Yes and a good introduction to tofu beginners.

LIZZY: It would be a great beginning and not difficult to prepare.

DEEPS @ NAUGHTY CURRY: I agree with you, Thanks.

HEMALATA: Thank You for those kind words.

MALLI: No, I have never tried tempeh, or seitan either but I do not see them in my markets or I would give them a try.

Al Penwasser said...

I much prefer the term 'tofu' over 'curd.'
Curd sounds like something you hack up.

Joanne said...

My Husband has just started using tofu and i am sure he would love this recipe! Thank You!
Blessings, Joanne

Anonymous said...

I've used tofu in the past. I've used it in smoothies, lasagna, and baked it in the oven with teriyaki sauce. This recipe sounds good. Will have to give it a try.

Miriam said...

I am totally and completely "tempted." Sounds great! :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Margo Kelly said...

Oh, I was tempted by the picture until I saw the word TOFU. Blech. Sorry! :0)

anthony stemke said...

AL PENWASSER: Hey Al, don't tell the Kurds that.

JOANNE: I'm sure he'll love it too. Thanks.

SUSANNE DRAZIC: This is a good recipe, you'll love it. Thanks.

MIRIAM: You can yield to this temptation.

MARGO KELLY: That's okay.

Kalyan P said...

Just mouth-watering...tofu is one of my favs anytime....looks delicious!

Uma said...

I really wonder about the information you provide at each post. Like your post and recipe.

anthony stemke said...

KALYAN P: Tofu can be a favourite, it is so versatile.

UMA: Thank You for your affable comment, I am grateful.

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