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Three ways to make tofu tasty

Friday 11th June @ 10.00

Posted by Ravinder Bhogal for The Curiosity Academy

Welcome to The Curiosity Academy’s class with Ravinder Bhogal, founder and chef of renowned London restaurant, Jikoni. Drawing on her chef experience and culinary knowledge, Bhogal promises to convert any tofu sceptics in this 35 minute cook-along, by sharing three speedy and delicious suppers using this versatile ingredient. Bhogal truly believes that tofu can be the foundation of any modern vegetarian feast, if done properly, which takes a bit of practice.

Class Title: Three ways to make tofu tasty

Type: Online class

Duration: Video 35 mins, but class will take 60 minutes including chopping time

What you get with the class: 

  • Expert advice from the founder and chef of London restaurant Jikoni
  • Cook-a-long with Bhogal where you will find out how to make three speedy suppers with tofu
  • Three recipes to take away

What you will need: Ingredients plus equipment for the following three recipes:

1. Grilled Peaches with Silken Tofu and Thai Basil and Lime Leaf Gremolata

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe peaches, stoned and cut into wedges
  • 1 x 349g block tofu 
  • 1 tablespoon cold pressed rapeseed oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • sea salt
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced on the diagonal
  • a handful of salted toasted cashew nuts
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, including stalks
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 8 limeleaves, stalks removed
  • 1 birds eye chilli
  • The zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 60ml cold pressed rapeseed oil

Equipment:

  • Small paring knife
  • Bowls
  • Chopping board
  • Blender / food processor
  • Microplane zester
  • Measuring spoons
  • Griddle pan
  • Tongs
  • Rubber spatula
  • Platter to serve 

Method:

Begin by making the tofu cream. Place the tofu on a wire rack and cover it with kitchen paper and place a weight on it for half an hour to extract some of the liquid. Now break it up and place it in a food processor with the rapeseed oil and some sea salt and blend till smooth. Empty into a bowl and set aside.

Clean out the food processor and use to make the gremolata by simply whizzing together all the ingredients until you have a coarse dressing.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Drizzle the peaches with a little oil and then grill cut side down, turning after thirty seconds or until they have char marks.

To serve the salad, spoon the tofu cream over a plate and then lay over the peaches. Drizzle over the gremolata and finally scatter over the red chilli. Serve immediately.


2. Cold Silken Tofu with Black Vinegar Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 block silken tofu cut into 1.5cm slices
  • 25g roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • Crispy shallots
  • Coriander Cress
  • Purple Shiso Cress
  • Puffed Rice

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 30g Laoganma crispy chilli oil
  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Chiankang vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons mirin
  • 1.5 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar

Equipment:

  • Chopping board
  • Large chef’s knife
  • Mixing bowl or jar for dressing
  • Scales
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Serving bowl – like a pasta bowl for this would be excellent

Method:

Stir together rice vinegar, sugar and salt and pour over chillies. Reserve in a sterilized jar.

To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients.

Lay the tofu in a bowl and pour over the dressing and top with remaining ingredients.


3. Caramel Braised Tofu

Ingredients:

  • One block of extra firm tofu
  • Rapeseed oil to deepfry

Ingredients for the caramel sauce:

  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 30ml red wine vinegar
  • 50 ml light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black Chinese vinegar
  • 25g chilli bean paste
  • a thumb of grated ginger
  • 3- 4 cloves grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 birdseye green chilli, finely chopped
  • Serve with Steamed Jasmine Rice and garnish with:
  • 30g toasted sesame seeds
  • crispy fried shallots
  • Asian cress such as coriander cress or shiso cress or a mixture

Equipment:

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Heavy based pan for making caramel
  • Deep fat fryer or wok to fry it
  • Serving bowl
  • Sauce pan to cook rice
  • Spatula / wooden spoon
  • Slotted spoon
  • Pasta bowls to serve in.

Method:

Place the tofu on a wire rack and cover it with kitchen paper for half an hour to extract some of the liquid.

To make the caramel add the sugar 400ml of water and cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves into an amber caramel. Add the vinegars, garlic, chillies, ginger, chilli bean paste and stir to combine.

Deep fry tofu for 4 -5 minutes till it is golden brown. Add tofu back into the pan and coat in caramel.

Serve garnished with sesame seeds, crispy onions and coriander cress.


About the tutor: Ravinder Bhogal 

Born in Kenya, to Indian parents, Ravinder Bhogal’s food is inspired by her mixed heritage and the UK’s diverse immigrant culture. Ravinder is a journalist, chef and restaurateur. She is a monthly food columnist for the FT Weekend Magazine, a contributing editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and regularly writes for Guardian Feast, The Observer Magazine and Vogue online. Her debut restaurant, Jikoni, was ranked 56th in the UK by the National Restaurant Awards within 7 months of opening and achieved a coveted place in the Michelin Guide in the same year. In 2017, she launched a 4 month vegan pop-up at the W Hotel which was voted The Best Vegan restaurant in the country by Harper’s Bazaar within a few weeks of opening. She has authored two books; her latest Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen, (Bloomsbury, 2020) has been shortlisted for the André Simon Award. In June 2020, Ravinder launched a sustainable vegetarian home delivery brand Comfort and Joy, a sister brand to Jikoni last year.

Ravinder Bhogal Curiosity Academy
Ravinder Bhogal Curiosity Academy