Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tofu Pancakes Like Mom Used to Make

Several meatless Mondays ago, I had a craving for tofu pancakes. I wanted something similar to what Mom used to make for Dad when I was a kid: crushed tofu with egg. It was not really my favorite as a kid, but now that I acquired a taste for tofu, I seem to be craving it - sort of like comfort food, but not really.

I consulted my favorite recipe book (Google, as you remember) and found some options. Unfortunately, the ones that I found did not use eggs. All the tofu pancakes that I found were vegan; therefore, eggs were not used. I also found recipes for Tofu Chocolate Cakes, which maybe a great project, but not right now.

Finally, I ran into a recipe for Tahu Telur, an Indonesian dish courtesy of NDTV Cooks. It seemed like it had the components of what Mom used to make, but a lot of extras. This seemed promising.

Preparation and Cooking

I pretty much stuck to the recipe, but I cut it in half since it will only be my husband and me, Well, sort of... I eyeballed the half-part. I started with the omelets first (or patties). The recipe called for three tofu squares and three eggs. Growing up in the Philippines, the squares were much smaller than the blocks that are sold in our grocery stores in California. I also started with one egg, but ended up using two.

prepping pancakes
I wanted a bit more fiber on it. I looked in my vegetable crisper for options, and the carrots seemed to call to me. I went ahead and shredded about a quarter of a cup. I think using two eggs helped here. I also added a dash or two of garlic powder, since I was concerned that the cakes may turn out to be a bit bland.

tofu mixture
Tofu mixture in progress

I opted to make the tofu patties a bit smaller than saucer size. These are more small hamburger patty size. I've read that to fry these patties, it is best to get it brown on one side then flip it. Flipping it prematurely may cause it to fall apart.

frying pancakes
Patties on the fryer: Only fits three at a time

While the tofu patties were frying, I cooked the sauce. This time, I stuck to the recipe with no improvisations. The sauce was soy sauce based with onions, tomatoes, and sugar. I was planning to make a simpler sauce, but I thought it would be better to stick to the original recipe for now to see what works and what does not.
cooking sweet soy sauce
Sauce Cooking - Smells great with the garlic and onions

The Verdict

These took a bit longer to cook than I thought. I was hungry, so that may have been a factor.  After it was done, it was worth it. It did remind me of Mom's tofu pancakes. I was planning to have them with rice for (a now late) lunch, but I can imagine these being served as appetizers.

tofu pancakes entree
Entree portion: My lunch!

tofu pancake appetizer
My husband's portion: Appetizers only
Other options

Since I had left-over tofu and quinoa, I decided to make these again as a tofu/quinoa pancake. I did not have green onions left, but I kept the carrots.  I used these patties for a sandwich and used a honey mustard dressing instead. This combination was equally good: the quinoa provided a nuttiness to the patties, but I did miss the flavor of the onions. The onions provided some sweetness and freshness. Also, the honey mustard dressing was good, but not as good as the sweet soy/tomato sauce.

A less successful combination was my attempt to make tofu balls. I added some breadcrumbs to bind the balls, but I think I did not use enough. It ended up as tofu slider patties. Oh well, it's still good and went on another sandwich. More experiments are needed for the tofu balls.

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