Tuesday, March 1, 2016

We have met the tofu tacos

How could anything go wrong when Po is on the package?
and they were actually edible.

A couple weeks ago I mentioned that the Woman's Day February Month of Menus included a number of vegan options, including tofu tacos. I was intrigued -- both the S.O. and I have been the recipient of the "eat less red meat" talk from our primary care physicians thanks to cholesterol numbers that are less than optimal -- so I decided we'd try the recipe. It actually fell early in the month, but first Larry's had no tofu in stock and then there was the pepper problem. Larry's Market in Baraga is a nice small town supermarket, but it is small. It does have a surprisingly cosmopolitan range of merchandise, stuff you wouldn't expect to find in a store its size, but there are limits. Tofu was one of them.

That is, of course, until I happened to mention to someone working there that I had been hoping they carried tofu even though I hadn't been expecting it. Voila. The next time they got a shipment in from whoever distributes that stuff, there it was. Tofu. (Side note: Lord, please don't let Larry's be stuck with almost a full case of tofu just because one person wanted one package!) I had planned to wait until we got up to Houghton or Marquette but I no longer had to.

Of course, I still had to wait until we got to Houghton or Marquette because of the pepper problem. The recipe called for a poblano pepper. Like I said, Larry's is small. Fresh pepper selection there falls into bell peppers, jalapenos, and occasionally those bags with mini multi-colored sweet peppers. The recipe called for cooking half a red pepper and half a poblano and then garnishing with fresh jalapeno. Poblanos aren't a real hot pepper, but they do rank several slots higher than sweet bell peppers on the Scoville scale. Tofu is bland (to say the least) so I wanted a pepper with a little bit of a kick to it. Ordinary green bell peppers weren't going to make it into the frying pan. In any case, having cursed Larry's with a stash of tofu, I wasn't going to suggest they expand the pepper selection, too.

Well, as luck would have it, Marquette with its multiple supermarkets is between where we live and the town of Trenary. On our way home from the Outhouse Races on Saturday, we stopped at Econo Foods. Poblano pepper problem solved.

I made the tacos yesterday. They were a surprise. They weren't bad. I can actually see making them again, especially if an occasion arises where we have friends or relatives visiting who prefer not to eat dead animal flesh. The biggest issue (if you can call it that) was feeling a little weirded out because the crumbled and fried tofu had a texture and general appearance similar to scrambled eggs but a color and taste that was totally different.

Tofu Tacos with Romaine slaw
Finely chop 1/2 each small poblano and red pepper, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 small onion. Saute mixture in a large nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp oil for 4 minutes. Crumble 14 oz extra-firm tofu (squeezed of excess moisture) into the skillet and season with 1-1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground coriander, salt and pepper; saute until golden brown. Spoon into corn tortillas; top with sliced romaine and jalapeno. 

Gotta love the way they jazz it up by saying "with romaine slaw" when the "slaw" consists of some shredded lettuce.
Things I did different: I used a whole poblano and no red pepper and used medium firm tofu (it was the only option available) instead of extra firm. It's possible that if I'd had the extra firm, the texture would have been a little less scrambled egg-like. If I do this recipe again (or something similar) I'll use two whole peppers, not just one. It has also brilliantly occurred to me that a person could probably take ordinary taco seasoning and substitute tofu for the ground meat those seasoning packets tell you to use. I have a giant package of Sysco taco seasoning so one of these days I may experiment with it.

I am still mildly in shock. Holy wah. Tofu is edible. Who knew? 


  1. Our small town grocery is also good about bringing things in. We are, however, north of the fruit and vegetable line so the regular selection is quite often limited. Our local CO-OP expanded and also has an interesting variety now.

  2. I notice you said the tofu tacos were "edible". I did not read "delicious". My run-ins with tofu in the past have been edible, but not much more interesting than eating rice cakes. I will say the tofu burgers my daughter has placed in front of me were almost "good", certainly better than just "edible". But then she has a knack with the skillet. She's a helluva cook.

  3. I've tried tofu in about 6 different ways...I'd rather you stuck me in the eye with a #2 pencil.

  4. Eating tofu is like watching porn - it is a poor substitute for the real thing.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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