Wednesday, December 16, 2015

September Recipe: Vegan Junk Food

September's recipe (finally caught up in October) was from Vegan Junk Food. This cookbook really does live up to its name - it has all sorts of restaurant and take-out imitations, along with multiple dessert chapters.  

Because I apparently have a thing for it, I picked the takeout orange tofu to try. (Orange chicken was the only thing I liked at a Chinese restaurant when I was a kid. Pre-vegetarian, obviously.) (I was also going to make the takeout fried rice to go along with it, but am lazy.) 

Takeout Orange Tofu

Difficulty: 3 of 5 

There are a couple steps - making the sauce and coating and frying the tofu. The frying the tofu part is not exactly easy, but made less difficulty by the fact that I've done it before (in January for a similar recipe, and helping Abe with it on other occasions. Hey, practicing cooking skills makes them easier! Who knew?! 

Enjoyment: 3 of 5

The sauce was fine. The tofu was nice and crispy right after frying it, but then made sort of soggy by adding the sauce. I'm still befuddled by how any fried tofu can remain crispy with any sauce added, if sauced after the fact, or can be made crispy in the first place if you add the sauce and marinate it first. Ok, but not fabulous.

Likelihood to make again: 2 of 5 

The components (tofu + sauce) were decent on their own, just didn't quite work. 

But - likelihood to use their method to fry tofu again - 5 of 5! It's not really a novel way, it's just a flouring thing, but I found this clear, step by step instructions to doing so, and it worked really great to make it crispy. I also, upon reusing this for a different purpose, used a method that must be what restaurants do -  coated and fried strips of tofu, and then cut into bite-size pieces. It made it sooooo much easier to flip them in the pan to get all the sides fried evenly. Yes, that means once you cut it into pieces there are sides not fried at all, but I still think it works better than the alternative of small pieces that are all unevenly fried anyway because you can't flip them all at once exactly the right way.

Fried tofu (not-orange-sauce-coated) on salad: 

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