Deep Fried Tofu Balls With Lemon Tahini Sauce
Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. So popular, in fact, that it is celebrated with its own annual festival and has almost become synonymous with vegetarianism itself. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store. The firmer tofu is best for frying, sauteing, baking. The silken tofus are best for using in desserts, sauces and mayonnaise.
Tofu is packed in water. This is why pressing tofu is important otherwise it will not take on the flavours of marinades if it is still water logged. I use a tofu press but the old tried and tested method of the plate-and-paper-towel method works perfectly well. Simply remove the tofu from the pack, wrap in some paper towel, change the paper towel and wrap again. Place on a plate and place something heavy on top to press and remove any remaining liquid. Leave for about 15 to 30 minutes.
Tofu is very bland but takes on the tastes of other foods. You can add a delicious sauce or seasoning to your tofu. You can marinate your tofu or pan-fry it and then add sauce. Tofu is such an incredibly versatile food and I use it in stir frys, soups, desserts, sauces and also tastes delicious baked in the oven with a bbq sauce.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pack firm tofu
1 clove garlic finely diced
1 leek finely diced
1 carrot finely diced
Pinch sea salt
1 tbsp. shoyu
½ tsp umeboshi paste
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger juice
2-3 tbsp. buckwheat flour
Sunflower oil for deep frying
In a pan warm the olive oil and sauté the garlic then add the leek and carrot. Pop on the lid and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Mash the tofu with a fork in a bowl. Add the vegetables from the pan and the remaining ingredients and form into balls, wetting your hands now and again to stop the mixture from sticking. In a heavy bottomed pan heat the sunflower oil, bring to correct temperature (heat test by dropping a tiny piece of the mixture into the hot oil. It should rise quickly to the top. Deep fry the tofu balls until crisp and golden, this only takes a few minutes. Drain on paper towel and serve with the sauce drizzled over the top.
Lemon Tahini Sauce
Tahini is a thick, smooth paste made from ground sesame seeds. Serve this sauce over cooked or raw vegetables, tofu, tempeh, or use as a dip or spread.
2 tablespoons of white miso
2 tablespoon tahini
½ teaspoon tamari, soy sauce
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Add the light miso, tahini, tamari, lemon juice and water into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Variation – You can add chopped basil, parsley, or chives to the mixture. Use barley, chickpeas or rice miso instead of a light miso for a different taste.
In good health
There are over 200 delicious recipes in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ available on my website www.marlenewatsontara.com