What better way to eat tofu* than doused in a sweet and tangy peanut sauce? The strips of firm tofu are quickly tossed in flour and deep-fried to crisp them up nicely.
Pick up some gochujang from your local Korean or Asian grocer for this punchy Korean dish. Gochujang is a savoury, sweet, spicy, fermented condiment that effortlessly adds layers of depth.
Think tofu is just for Asian cuisines? This dish will have you thinking again. If you can't find baharat, a Middle Eastern spice mix, you can whip up your own by combining smoked paprika, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and black pepper. Use leftover baharat in these recipes.
With a texture and delicateness similar to pannacotta, silken tofu makes a perfect dessert feature. Here, chef Luke Nguyen provides a recipe to make your own, but if you don’t have the time or will, you can do a seamless substitution with store-bought silken tofu. The ginger and mandarin syrup make it an elegant Asian-inspired end to a meal.
This dish is as enjoyable to eat as it is to say. It's an intensely aromatic soup, filled with slices of chewy fried tofu, soft rice noodles and tender fresh seafood.
6. Mapo tofu
Showing that tofu isn't just for vegetarian dishes, this Chinese classic features it alongside beef mince and a host of other lively lineup ingredients like Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger and chilli bean paste.
For when you want a big bowl of something that tastes and feels like you care about your welfare.
Learn how to make one of your favourite local Vietnamese restaurant dishes. Haven't had it before? Expect crisp-fried tofu steeped in lemongrass-infused oil and crunchy lemongrass slices.
The deeply savoury flavours of Korean cuisine make the most vegetarian of meals taste meaty. Case in point, this tofu stir-fry.
You could use regular firm tofu in this recipe, but frying it creates a contrast between the crisp outer shell and soft inner and imbues it with sponge-like qualities to soak up all that fresh green curry paste goodness. None of your efforts will go unnoticed.
Stuffed tofu flavour bombs is probably a more fitting translation for this popular Indonesian street food. Tofu puffs are stuffed with ground meat, vegetables, and aromatics like fresh ginger and kecap manis, then battered and deep-fried.
Meaning "cold thing" in Japanese, and this dish is eaten commonly at restaurants and homes throughout summer. While the tofu component may be gentle and subdued, it's topped with a riot of flavours: grated ginger, soy sauce, bonito flakes, sliced spring onion.
The variation in textures really makes this dish: chewy noodles, succulent beef slices, springy mushrooms, and soft-as-silk silken tofu - all swimming around in a meaty broth.
If you’re not sure about an ingredient, what better way to get on board than crumb it and deep-fry it. This is a souped-up take on the Japanese classic, "agedashi tofu", deep-fried tofu in broth.
The squeaky-clean flavours of this dish are given a sassy edge by an intense soy sauce-based dressing.
Curious about the combination of figs, tofu and a bunch of other aromatic herbs served in a Vietnamese dressing? There’s only one way to find out.
Need something new and exciting in your midweek-meal repertoire? This could be just the recipe. Come home from work, dress the tofu and pop in the oven while you shower, then dinner will be ready in 10 minutes.
You can watch Adam Liaw explore the joys of Sichuan on Destination Flavour China Wednesday at 7.30pm on SBS, replay at 9.35pm Sundays on SBS Food (Ch 33), then later via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #DestinationFlavour on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBSFood. Check out sbs.com.au/destinationflavour for recipes, videos and more!
I love that contrast you get when tofu is deep-fried - the crispy exterior and soft centre.
"This is one of my favourite dishes to share with Sarah. It’s very typical of traditional Chinese home-cooking, with clear flavours and a lovely interplay of textures – cool, silky tofu; crunchy, salty fried whitebait; creamy eggs; and earthy sesame, freshened up with spring onion. Serve with rice as part of a shared meal." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. 2
This rice dish calls for firm tofu and creamy spinach. The kombu adds the perfect earthy touch and is a delicious way to incoporate seaweed into your meal.
This is my version of a recipe inspired by the incredible Mari Fujii.
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