Trader Joe’s ORGANIC BAKED TOFU


RAVE

How about this for a review? Though I am not vegetarian, I buy this all the time. This is a terrific tofu product for anyone. It seems to be one of the more popular products Trader Joe’s sells. I often notice shoppers grabbing 2 or 3 packages, and throwing them in their cart. Sometimes its even sold out. Clearly there is a reason TJ’s BAKED TOFU is this popular. ORGANIC BAKED TOFU is an excellent, tasty, very versatile and healthy food. Its high in protein and an excellent “meat substitute” that one can use this in many ways, for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

BAKED TOFU as the name implies is tofu that’s been backed after being marinated. Baking tofu removes most of the water in it and gives it a very pleasant, firm, and well nicely satisfying “meaty” texture, which is why its great for non-vegetarians as well as vegetarians or vegans. Again, I’m not vegetarian but I buy this all the time because its so good. This can make a very good substitute for a meat protein like say, chicken? In fact this can be used as a “main” protein in many dishes. This is terrific for use in an Asian Stir Fry. It can be eaten on its own as the Main. You can eat this just As-Is, cold or room temp, with a nice sauce or dressing such as their Sweet Chili Sauce or Sriracha Ranch Dressing, or Spicy Peanut Dressing…. or make up your own. As you can see from what I did with it, it can still be cooked (see pic below). I sometimes grill it, which I think improves it’s flavor even more. There are two flavors available, TERIYAKI and SRIRACHA. Though I am a big fan of Sriracha sauce I find the Teriyaki version is my preferred of the two versions they have. So if you are trying this for the first time, I suggest trying the Teriyaki version first, then the other. But honestly both flavors are good, do try both at some point and see which of the two you like best. Perhaps you will always buy one of each kind, as I see many people do!

What I did with it here (pictured below) is just cut it into slices and sautéed it in a non-stick pan with some Toasted Sesame Oil for about 5 minutes a side until it was golden brown. I then added Soy Sauce and a little raw Sugar (the two basic elements of Teriyaki sauce) and a good deal of fresh black pepper and cooked that for a few minutes more until the sauce has cooked in and thickened a bit. Basically I wanted some more Teriyaki flavor and some sauce. Fresh Garlic (and fresh ginger) would be great to add too, of course for even more flavor.

If I had added more soy sauce and sugar and cooked it down, that would have made more Teriyaki sauce. I think thats one good way to make it. This can be served with that sauce on the side or spooned over. You can use almost any sauce, prepared ones at Trader Joe’s such as Teriyaki, Dumpling Sauce, SoyYaki, Sriracha, Green Dragon Sauce, or even Sriracha Ranch Dressing. Serve the tofu along with some rice, a vegetable, and salad and you have a great tasty, healthy, fast, easy dinner.

If that’s too much work for you, you can just open the package up and just slice it into cubes and throw it on top of a bed of arugula, Power Greens, spinach leaves, etc., and drizzle your favorite sauce or dressing on top, maybe add some peanuts or cashews and voila – you have a nice Lunch or Dinner in seconds.

Roughly I would say one 7 oz. package serves about 2 people, if you serve with above other stuff. So get another package if you are 4.

Some readers report just slicing it up thinly and using in sandwiches, as one might use sliced chicken. As the package says “be creative”.  This would be good with the SOBA STIR FRY KIT. You could also use this, or the Sriracha version, as your “main protein” plus veggies with TJ’s very good  THAI CURRY SIMMER SAUCE for a Thai curry. 

In short I find this is great stuff to always keep on hand in the fridge, and I almost always have a package in mine, as it’s already cooked it has a long BEST BY date (about 5-6 weeks) so its not like a meat product.

Some more uses: cut into strips, sprinkled with more seasonings (chili powder and garlic powder), stir fried, then added to lots of veggies in an asian stir fry.

A 7 oz. package has gone up in price now to $3.69 (current price, May 2019, NYC)

RAVE

NYT no-recipe recipe idea. Soba/Tofu and Kimchi
Here’s what to do: Get some firm tofu; some soba noodles; some jarred kimchi. Make a sauce of minced garlic and ginger, some soy, hoisin or oyster sauces, a splash of raw sugar, honey or maple syrup, another of toasted sesame oil, a some red-pepper flakes, all whisked together. Boil water for the soba. Cut the tofu into manageable pieces, and pat dry with paper towel. Heat a good quantity of neutral oil, like canola, in a big sauté pan, then add the tofu in a single layer and fry it over medium-high heat, turning to get every side. Meanwhile, cook the soba. Remove the crisp tofu and toss with the sauce. Serve in a bowl, the hot soba arranged to one side of the tofu and the kimchi to the other, along with the sauce. Oh, man. You could put some roasted asparagus on top. A soft-boiled egg. It’s so delicious.

RECIPE: Veg. Tacos, Roasted Corn & Soy Chorizo with homemade tortillas


Made this for dinner the other night. I had some very interesting looking corn I had gotten, check out the color: Purple! I’m not sure I ever saw this before (no, it wasnt from Trader Joe’s, I got it at uptown Fairway) This omnivore decided to go vegetarian that night and make dinner featuring the corn with Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. I even went whole hog and made fresh, homemade Tortillas de harina (flour), something I’ve been working on, trying to get better and better at. I watched a lot of videos on YouTube for tips.

To go with the tacos, I made a quick Salsa in five minutes, and let it blend for a 1/2 hour. When all was ready the Tacos got topped off with the salsa, some shredded cheese (Jalapeño Monterey Jack from Zabar’s) and some Arugula (TJ’s Wild Arugula).

How did it taste? Great. The roasted corn was excellent with the TJ Soy Chorizo, which really adds a lot of mexican flavors and spices, and the potato in the filling makes it taste hearty. Topped off with some salsa and jack cheese this was a damn tasty taco, vegetarian or otherwise.

Isn’t this pretty wild looking? No photoshopping here; this is the color!

I got my little assembly line to roll out the flour tortillas; Did about 6 for two people. Below, cooking on the griddle. If the griddle or pan is hot, they do not take long. About 1-2 mins on the first side and less than 1 min on the second side. Keep them warm in a cloth covered basket while you finish cooking all of them.

Dinner is served.

RECIPE: Vegatarian Tacos made with Roasted Corn, Soy Chorizo, and potato with Homemade Flour Tortillas

Taco Filling
2 ears, fresh corn, taken off the cob
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 “tube” of Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo (ie, about 3 oz?)
1 med. potato, diced
1 med. onion, diced

Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Carefully take the corn off the cob using a sharp knife. Get it all and be sure to scrape the cob with back of your knife to get the good healthy germ. Heat a skillet with 1 tbs of olive or veg. oil. Toss in the corn, minced garlic, 1/2 the diced onion.
Cook on high heat till corn browns a little bit; five to ten mins. Remove from pan and set aside
Add diced potatoes, another tsp. oil, lower heat, cover the pan and cook 10 mins, turning occasionally; Cook, stirring occasionally another 5-8 mins till evenly golden brown; Add the Soy Chorizo. Add the roasted corn in and stir gently to combine all. Taste for seasonings,turn off heat, keep warm.

Quick Salsa
(Easy but you can also just buy your favorite TJ salsa)
1 ripe tomato, diced
clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
fresh or pickled green chili, or a can or TJ’ Roasted Hatch Chilis (
Mix all above, add little salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, pinch cayenne

Flour Tortillas

This would be a little complicated to document in full. The easiest way is to learn the way I did, via YouTube. Heres one video that should show you how to ‘roll your own’ . Personally I use oil not shortening and much less than the amount in the many recipes to cut down on the fat, and find it still works pretty well. I did as you see use TJ flour (and baking soda! and Olive Oil!) Not too mention the Soy Chorizo =Trader Joe recipe!

Now of course if you don’t feel like doing all the “work” you could accomplish something close by picking up at TJ’s, tortillas (flour or corn, the Chili Lime ones would be good!) and salsa, and use the soy chorizo on its own (or with thier frozen corn?) and whip a similar dinner together in no time.