Poached Tofu Cutlets

Holy cats, have I been busy! I don’t know why, but October is always an insanely busy month for me. I guess part of it is both our birthdays, and our anniversary, and Halloween, and I always end up travelling – sometimes multiple times – in October. I’ve also been working a lot lately. All that that is why I haven’t been posting much.

We went to Charleston, SC a couple of weeks ago to visit Mark’s family. We left mid-week and right before we left, I did a quick sweep of the refrigerator for perishables and realized I hadn’t used the tofu I’d made that weekend, so I quickly threw it in a container and popped it in the freezer. I’m not a huge fan of frozen tofu; the texture doesn’t win me over as it does some, and it is so sponge-like it always seems to absorb so much salt it tastes too salty. Nonetheless I wasn’t about to waste homemade tofu, so in the freezer it went.

I was looking for a way to use it and came across this post on the wonderful Just Bento. This idea is totally ripped off of Maki, but for my broth I just started pouring things into my Dutch oven, trying but not really to keep the sodium down.

Poached Tofu Cutlets

1 block frozen tofu, thawed
3 cups vegan broth (I used “chicken”-flavoured)
1/4 cup red wine
2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed


Slice the tofu into four slabs like this:

Whisk together the remaining ingredients except the cornstarch in a Dutch oven or wide saucepan then add the cutlets. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 20 minutes or longer. I think I left mine for 45 minutes or so.

Remove the cutlets from the broth …

(In the wild, poached tofu is the same color as bamboo chopping blocks in order to elude knife-wielding cooks.)

… and coat with cornstarch.

Pan-fry on both sides in olive oil, or do as I did and grill on an electric grill (I brushed the grill with oil first):

Meanwhile you can thicken the (strained) leftover broth with some cornstarch (add the cornstarch to a small amount of cold water then whisk it in and heat until thickened) to make a gravy, though that’s optional.

Look at these baby sweet potatoes I got. LOOK AT THEM!

I love baby vegetables almost as much as I love baby animals. They’re tiny and sweet…just like Torticia! (By the way, upon hearing what they were, Mark informed me he hated sweet potatoes, but he tried them anyway and liked them! I know because he actually ate them! Baby vegetables are awesome!)

Plated meal:

Wow – this was the best meal I’ve made using frozen tofu, and though I’d be hard pressed (haha, like my tofu) to call the broth low-sodium, it wasn’t too salty. The texture was good too: chewy, but not overly sponge-like. Very flavourful. I think I still prefer my tofu fresh but it’s great to know I can make something really good with it even if I end up having to freeze it. And actually, frozen homemade tofu is probably better than non-frozen store-bought tofu.

In other news, I had pre-ordered then forgotten about Harold McGee’s new book Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes and was therefore pleasantly surprised to find it on my doorstep this evening. It’s almost as big as the mega-wonderful On Food and Cooking, though not nearly as dense, and looks like it contains a bazillion helpful hints. I’m almost (but not quite) sorry it arrived today, because I’m feeling a little overwhelmed between work, social obligations, and the seven or eight “spooky” books I just bought for Halloween, which were added to my queue of..oh geez, 37 books. (In other news, I’ve read exactly 100 books so far this year!)

And …

Gomez, light of my life, fur of my clothes. My kitten, my cat. Go-mez-ian: the tip of your tail twitching to and fro across my toes. Go. Mez. Ian.

He is Mez, plain Mez, in the morning, standing on my chest. He is Mezzie when he plays. He is Mezzaluna in the kitchen. He is Gomez on the vet bills. But in my arms he is always Gomezian.

…and for Halloween he is Dracula!

Which is extra awesome because growing up I had a cat named Dracula, who prior to Tigger, Brachtune, Gomez, and Torticia, was the greatest cat who ever lived, and though he now has to share the title, still has a very special place in my heart. (And my skin; I have a tattoo of him.)

(My mom made Dracula’s Halloween costume just like she made all of mine!)


  1. Zoa Said,

    October 29, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

    Gomez: too scary! Sweet potatoes: it’s time Mark joined the world of Superfantastic Brightly-Coloured Superfoods. Seriously, how can there be a better-tasting, better-for-you food, unless it be…tofu! I confess, I have never tried frozen tofu because tofu is so f*ing good it doesn’t last long in my house, certainly not long enough to freeze. They all say, freeze your tofu, it will absorb flavours so much better, but alas. That doesn’t happen here. Now and then I read about someone who doesn’t like tofu. Can one even conceive of it? Whoa, I can’t. Fresh, frozen, firm, shredded, deep fried, soybean awesomeness!

    I am however, reading _Deliverance_ for the first time. How far we have, as a culture, advanced, since the ’70s, when I was growing up. Planning a trip to the backwoods of the US South? Canoeing? Take a canoeing class. Check the route _first_, make sure you’re on the right river and don’t count on your rockin bow skilz to get you through the tight spots. Just a word to the wise.

  2. Midnite Said,

    October 30, 2010 @ 12:22 am

    Gomez is so adorable. He reminds me of my little kitty (okay, he ain’t so little any more), Lucky (named so because I found him on the side of the road in the middle of winter, nearly frozen to death (literally) and badly injured. He’s quite happy, healthy and strong now. He is, however, deaf as the mites that had infected his ears when I found were so bad. Otherwise he’s the perfect picture of vitality and endless energy) minus the fact fact that he’s albino. It’s just the look about him, yah know?

  3. renae Said,

    October 30, 2010 @ 1:38 am

    Zoa, yeah, freezing tofu is over-rated. I don’t think I’d do it if I didn’t have to, but this did turn out better than any other frozen tofu I’ve had; maybe because it was homemade. I am just as baffled as you by the tofu haters.

    Mark’s aunt’s family went white water rafting where they filmed Deliverance this summer and said it was very pleasant and there were no banjos. I will definitely keep your advice in mind, though, the next time we are in the South; it’s a very interesting place.

    Midnite, aww, Lucky IS very lucky to have found such a great home! After I moved away from home, my next door neighbors had an all-white cat that I thought was the reincarnation of Dracula because they had such similar personalities. And his name was Ghost! But I can see how you’d see similarities in Gomez and Lucky even if their differences are black and white!

  4. Jes Said,

    October 30, 2010 @ 5:24 pm

    Oh goodness, I can’t tell which is cuter, dracula Gomez or the baby sweet potatoes! I didn’t even know sweet potatoes could come in the utterly l’adorable baby category!! And poached tofu? Love it. I’m totally going to have to try this soon. Happy Halloween weekend!!

  5. Mark Said,

    October 31, 2010 @ 1:58 am


  6. Josiane Said,

    November 3, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

    I had never thought of poached tofu; your recipe makes it sound delicious. I’ve got to give it a try one of these days.
    Gomez makes an adorable Dracula!

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