Similarly to marmite, when it comes to tofu people generally fall into 2 camps. Those that love it and those that do not. I am firmly in the first group and am constantly on a mission to convert the tofu haters. I fully understand why people might think that they do not love tofu; badly cooked tofu is an aberration to any right thinking taste-buds. As I have said before, there is a simple mantra for deliciousness when dealing with tofu; “press and marinade”.
There are two types of tofu; what I think of as regular tofu which is basically soy cheese, where the milk is curdled, the curds strained from the whey and then pressed. Silken tofu is totally different, softer with the soy milk curdled into a custard like consistency with very little separation. Regular tofu is more usually served in solid pieces whereas silken tofu is blended, whizzed and mixed into a creamy sauce and generally used in puddings, cakes and dips.
Clearspring have just launched an organic silken tofu* (the only organic ambient storage long life tofu in the world, fantastic if your fridge is always as full as mine) and gave me some samples to experiment with. The tofu is made and presented in Tetra pack style boxes,and tastes just as fresh as my homemade tofu does. It is as delicious straight from the box, with a drizzle of oil or tamari, as it is made into all manner of dishes.
I have briefly written about Clearspring before; along with Steenbergs they are one of my favourite food producers. Clearspring are a 100% vegan company, committed to producing ethical foods and supporting local communities. They are organic as far as they can be (because of their production methods sea vegetables cannot be certified as organic), and they are serious about quality, their statement that they make premium quality products is spot on. I have a serious and growing addiction to the brand.
Here in the UK is it freezing cold and snowing, comfort food is called for. I was craving creamy pasta; but mindful of the spate of Christmas parties that have already started and the resultant calorie load, I wanted something a little lighter. So I whizzed up a mock cream sauce using the silken tofu and some other Clearspring goodies. Miso and tamari are rich in umami; the 5th human taste, which almost defies description. Umami has long been recognised in Japan where the word means deliciousness.
This multi purpose sauce is excellent with crudities, thinned as a salad dressing, and warmed over pasta it makes a fantastic creamy sauce, fantastic as it is or as a base for other flavours. It is very creamy; I think most people would think it contained dairy, unless told otherwise.
Silken Tofu Miso Sauce (Serves 3 as a pasta sauce)
1 pack silken tofu (300g)
50g raw cashew nuts
1 tbs tamari
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs sweet miso (I used sweet white)
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whizz all the ingredients thoroughly, either in the food processor or with a stick blender.
*Clearspring Organic Silken Tofu
RSP; £1.85 for 300g (Prices accurate as of October 2010)
Price comparison with fresh tofu
Cauldron Organic Tofu 250g RSP £1.67
Taifun Organic Tofu 225g RSP £1.89
Please see Clearspring for more information. The tofu is avaiable nationwide from the 1st January 2011 and will be in selected health food shops in London the week before Christmas.
Thank you to Clearspring for the free samples of the tofu.