Tofu “Cheese”

This tofu “cheese” has a consistency resembling cottage cheese, or a little like feta cheese, and is really tasty. It doesn’t taste like cheese, however, which for me is a good thing: I outgrew my cheese addiction about 7 years ago – it took a few vegan years to combat my cravings. Tofu marinated this way can simply be used as a spread like in the photo, but is also great in Greek filo (or phyllo) pie called Spanakopita.

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It is funny how vegetarians keep saying that they could never give up cheese, and that’s why they won’t go vegan; it’s like a smoker stating that s/he could never give up cigarettes. We all know it’s possible with a little willpower, but if the motivation isn’t there, it’s not going to happen. What people mean by saying things like that is that they’re just not interested (enough) in becoming vegan, but phrased in a way that is more socially acceptable. Can’t blame them, I like social acceptance too.

I have accidentally tasted milk products every now and then, and have to say that they no longer taste exactly appealing to me, although I practically grew up on cheese, milk, and yogurt. Now I understand the many Japanese people who think cheese and milk taste weird – they do, compared to our beloved tofu. So, after all this babble, my main point is: I wouldn’t call this tofu cheese when cooking for cheese-eaters, since they would compare it to cheese. And to be honest, I cannot tell whether it resembles cheese or not – I only know that it’s tasty.

So, here’s how I made it:

  • 300 g firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

I first pressed the tofu like I always do; slice it in about 1 cm thick slices, wrap in kitchen towel, and place a light weight on top of the pile. Then I mixed all the marinade ingredients, except oil, in a container, and then squeezed the tofu with my hands in the same container so it became grainy.

Now, I mushed the tofu and the spices for a few minutes until they were incorporated, squeezing the mixture between my fingers to make it smooth. Then I mixed in the oil with a fork, adjusted the saltiness, covered the container with a lid, and refrigerated overnight.

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This recipe could be varied indefinitely: lemon juice instead of lime juice, olive oil instead of canola, fresh herbs instead of (or in addition to) garlic, or with an addition of different peppers. Brown rice wine vinegar is pretty essential, since it gives a sort of fermented taste to the tofu, but other types of wine vinegar might work as well.

10 Comments

  1. Posted December 7, 2008 at 10:36 | Permalink

    Oh what a marvelous blog you have! I was so happy a week or so ago when I stumbled upon it. I just have a question about the wine vinegar.. brown rice wine vinegar is different from regular brown rice vinegar, right? Would it do relatively the same thing if I were to use brown rice vinegar?

    :)

    Thank you!

  2. Anni
    Posted December 7, 2008 at 11:58 | Permalink

    Thanks Asha, and a warm welcome to our blog! I think the important thing about the vinegar in this recipe is not to use the regular wine vinegars, they are a bit too strong. I think brown rice would be fine, as it also is relatively mild and sweet!

  3. Posted September 29, 2010 at 13:55 | Permalink

    Adding a little meso soup paste and pepper added a little kick that pleased the buds. Then toasted it under the grill.

    Thanks for splendid adivice. I can now make crulety free pizza. Keep up the good good work.

  4. Kashinath Nag
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 12:48 | Permalink

    Dear Anni,
    I am from Pune, India. I do make all kind of Soy products and use those for our use. I did not get success to make cheese and Soy Burger.Please help.
    Once make tufu from Soy milk, I get a tasteless lumpy product after filtering out the milk. Can it be used for making soy burger or soy nuggets? Please help with your formulation if you can. Regards.

  5. Anni
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 13:16 | Permalink

    Dear Kashinath Nag – I have never made tofu myself, so I am afraid I cannot help you in that matter! I can imagine it takes some time to get the tofu right. I assume you mean to ask what to do with “okara”, which is how the by-product of tofu-making is called. There’s a bunch of recipes on the internet, but as I’ve never made tofu, I’ve never used okara either! I have heard of people using it in all kinds of cooking, from cookies to burgers and such. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

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  7. Posted March 26, 2014 at 00:53 | Permalink

    Started toying with veganism about 3 weeks ago and this is the ONLY preparation for tofu that I really enjoy. I was going to give up. Thank you!

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3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Veggie Spread (Adapted from Tofu for Two’s Tofu Cheese Recipe) [...]

  2. [...] one batch of  TOFU “CHEESE” [...]

  3. By ratliffevents | Healing Before Hurt on March 6, 2013 at 18:52

    [...] she offered whole wheat pizza dough, topped with organic veggies and vegan cheese (you can also use tofu). For the salad she went with spinach, shredded carrots and ginger with a spritz of lemon juice. [...]

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