When was the last time you thought about cooking with tofu? Unless you're vegetarian or vegan, or grew up eating it, it's probably been awhile. We're a pretty open-minded bunch when it comes to food (as you would hope), but we must admit that the general reaction around our office when this theme was announced was a volley of groans and "oh no's" peppered with the occasional "I don't know what to do with it." So, if you've always felt that way about tofu, don't feel bad. You're not alone.
But what kind of contest would Recipe SWAT Team be if there wasn't the occasional, actual challenge? After all, we don't just give away cookbooks (they're the standard prize every week). People earn them.
So what did we come up with in the end? Some really great recipes that we think will not only change your mind about eating tofu, but will make you crave it.
Here are a few highlights:
- Have you had hiyayakko before? If you haven't, you've been missing out. Hiyayakko is a refreshing Japanese tofu dish typically served in the summer, made with silken tofu, chopped scallion, grated ginger, bonito flakes, and soy sauce. Jessica Chou's version takes just five minutes to prepare and is a great way to beat the heat.
- Spherification is the name of the game with Erin Wysocarski's Glazed Tofu with Fiery Sriracha Pearls Recipe. Wysocarski is a member of the Culinary Content Network and author of the blog Olives for Dinner. Hers is probably the most interesting tofu recipe we've seen in a very long time.
- We know, we know. She won last week, and people will think that once again "the fix is in." It's not though, because once you try this week's winning recipe by Anne Dolce, The Poor Man's Crabcake, you'll understand why she won again. Even the most vehement "tofu haters" will see the light and ask, "Is there really tofu in this?" Plus, we think the title is fantastic.
All of the recipes featured here can be made at home for about $22 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.