Foodie Friday: Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir-Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)

Friday, 7 September 2018

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Think all Tofu tastes like a weird soggy sponge? You've been cooking it wrong! With a little clever know-how,  it's easy to transform this popular plant-based protein source into a deliciously crispy bite that you can add to any rice, noodles or stir-fry dish. Try it this way and you may just change your mind!

Tofu is definitely a love it or hate it type of food for most people and I can sympathise; the very first time that I tried tofu was from my local Chinese takeaway and it was awful. It had hardly been cooked and the accompanying thick sauce caused it to be horribly soggy in texture. I avoided tofu for years afterwards, until a vegan friend cooked up a batch at a house party and it changed my outlook on the humble bean curd forever.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
See, the main thing to bear in mind with tofu is that the texture of it can be altered completely depending upon how you cook it, and it can be prepared in so many different ways. It's also worth experimenting with trying various brands because I've found that they don't all taste the same or have the same texture, even before you cook with it. The best kind that I always buy is organic and extra-firm, with my favourite brands being Clearspot (available in health food stores and online at Abel and Cole), and Tofoo which you can pick up in your local Sainsbury's, Waitrose or Tesco. 

Below is my absolute favourite way to cook with tofu as the end result has a pleasant crisp/bite to it and the Madras Curry Powder gives it lots of flavour. I love adding this to a hot bowl of homemade Turmeric Basmati Rice and plenty of Stir-Fried Veggies for a nutritious and totally satisfying meal that always fills me up! You can easily adapt this recipe by using different types of seasonings and spices with your tofu, and you can serve it with your favourite veggies and any kind of rice or noodles.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 280g of Extra-Firm Plain Organic Tofu (I used Clearspot)
  • 2tsp of Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 tbsp of Cornflour
  • 1tbp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for frying
  • 150g Basmati Rice
  • 2 tsp of Turmeric (I used Kiki Health)
  • 3 Cardamon Pods
  • 1 whole Star Anise
  • Mixed Stir-Fry Veggies (I used Peppers, Mushrooms & Baby Corn)
  • Soy or Tamari Sauce to serve (optional)


Method:
  • In a large saucepan with a lid, add the Basmati Rice and 225ml of cold water. Add the Turmeric, Cardamon Pods, Star Anise and put the lid on. Bring to the boil, then reduce to the lowest simmer setting to allow the rice to steam for around 20-25 minutes, keeping the lid on for the whole duration. Alternatively, use a rice steamer.
  • While the rice is cooking, prep the Tofu by gently squeezing out as much water as possible because the drier and firmer it is, the better the end result will be. Cut it into bite-sized cubes and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the Madras Curry Powder, Cornflour and Olive Oil, mixing it with a spoon or your hands, so that the tofu is completely coated. Set aside.
  • Heat up a large frying pan or wok to a medium temperature with a generous drizzle of Olive Oil. Slice up your Mixed Veggies and add these to the pan with the coated Tofu cubes. Stir fry everything for 6-8 minutes until the outside of the Tofu looks golden brown and crispy. 
  • Remove the lid on the pan with the Basmati Rice and take out the Cardamon Pods and Star Anise. Fluff the rice with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl or plate. Add the Tofu and Veggies on the top with a splash of Soy or Tamari Sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Speedy Meal Prep Tips: You can make the Tofu a day in advance and store it in the fridge in a sealed container - just make sure to add the Cornflour before you're about to cook it. You can use microwaveable rice if you're short on time.

Crispy Madras Tofu Bites with Turmeric Basmati Rice & Stir Fried Veggies (Vegan recipe)
Are you a fan of Tofu? 

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