Sunday, 10 January 2016

Spicy tofu recipe

Spicy Tofu


Tofu is said to have been developed in China where it is called dong doufu or bing doufu. It was made by setting cakes of firm tofu out in the snow. The earliest known mention is from the Ch'ing dynasty (1662-1912; Shinoda 1974).


One of the world's earliest meat analogs and lightweight staple soyfoods, dried-frozen tofu originated in Japan, where there was a long history of freezing foods containing a large amount of water, then thawing and drying them as a way of removing most of the water at little cost to produce a lightweight dehydrated food that would store well. Agar, radishes, buckwheat noodles, konnyaku, and mochi (cakes of pounded glutinous rice) were all processed in this way. By the 1980s only dried frozen tofu and agar remained as commercial products. There are no foods processed like this in the West. the second traditional center of experimentation with dried-frozen tofu was in the cold mountains of Nagano, far to the northeast of Tokyo, where the product was first made during the mid-1500s. No one is certain who first developed this method but it is said that the famous feudal lord and warrior, Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), thought of drying frozen tofu to make a lightweight, nutritious food that his soldiers could carry in their backpacks. There, in Nagano, a new drying process was developed. Firm tofu, after being frozen solid on boards in the snow, was wrapped in straw mats and placed in a cold barn for 1-7 days. Then five pieces of tofu at a time were tied together with several pieces of rice straw and these strands were hung from poles under the eaves of farmhouses (where they received no sunlight). After several weeks of thawing and drying during the day then freezing at night, the tofu became as hard and dry as a dry sponge. This new technique eliminated the special shed and drying equipment used on Mount Koya. Soon farmers in Nagano were making this tofu, carrying the lightweight product from village to village in backpacks, and selling it as a source of wintertime income. The new product, first called shimi-dofu, later?? came to be known as kori-dofu ("frozen tofu"). To this day, here and there in the Nagano area, strands of drying frozen tofu can be seen hanging under the verandas of farmhouses and the eves of temples.


Ingredients:

1: Firm tofu 12 ounces (drained)

2: Soy sauce 1⁄4 cup 

3: Creamy peanut butter 1tsp

4: Yellow squash 1 medium

5: Zucchini 1 medium

6: Green chilies 3 (finely chopped)

7: vegetable oil 2tsp

8: Garlic cloves 2 crushed

9: spinach leaves packed torn 2 cups

10: Red bell pepper half (sliced in half inch strips)

11: Green bell pepper half (sliced in half inch strips)

Method:

Press tofu lightly between paper towels, cut into 3/4" squares or triangles, place in single layer in shallow dish.
Whisk soy sauce into peanut butter in small bowl, add tofu and stir lightly to coat the tofu surfaces, leave it on the side for 20 minutes to come to room temperature.
Cut zucchini and yellow squash lengthwise into 1/4" thick slices; cut each slice into 2x1/4" strips.
Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium-high flame till oil is hot, add garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and green chilies stir-fry for 4 minutes.
Add tofu mixture; cook 2 minutes or until tofu is heated through and sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach; remove from heat.
Enough for 2 servings

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