Thursday, December 15, 2011

No Soy Tofu

***Please see my update to this recipe. ***

So many vegan recipes call for tofu, and Anthony and I do love the wonderful soybean curd, but all those recipes became pretty useless to me once I suspected the severity of Abbie's allergies: tofu for cream pies and sauces, tofu for mayonnaise, tofu as an egg replacer, even tofu used for ice cream and vegan cheeses.  What was I going to do without tofu?  I was seriously set back when I realized that I had to banish it from my cooking.  Part of me was hoping to wait it out, wishing that Abiline would soon outgrow her soy allergy, since Sawyer seems to have, but the other night she touched an edamame pod and got a rash, so that is not looking too hopeful. But that's ok because now we have soy-free tofu in our arsenal.

I did an online search a while back for tofu without soy, and found a few recipes for Burmese tofu, which apparently is made with chickpea flour.  Basically, it is prepared in a manner similar to polenta, where you boil the liquid and gradually stir in the flour, whisk constantly for about 20 minutes until it firms up, and then refrigerate it until fully set.  The texture of chickpea tofu softer, not chewy like soy tofu--not surprising considering the difference in preparation--but it can be eaten as a protein source in its own right. I have had success dicing it and roasting in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and then using it in soup like croutons.

However, when I tried putting it in sauces,  the chickpea flavor wasn't melding quite right. And then there is the problem of the yellow color that just doesn't work in some desserts, sauces, etc. in which one would normally use soy tofu. So I ventured to make no-soy tofu using white bean flour, which I found handily available on Amazon.com. The result has been quite useful in the past week, as I have used it in creamy sauces, desserts, and veggie burgers calling for both silken and firm, water-packed tofu, since the texture is in between the two traditional tofu varieties. The flavor of the white bean tofu is not as pronounced as chickpea tofu, and it is white, so it doesn't discolor the dishes to which it is added. So far, this is a success. I am looking forward to trying it in the many tofu-based recipes I have been sighing over for the past year! 

**Update: It is great in my soy-free vegan cheesecake!


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups white bean flour
5 1/2 cups water

Preparation:
Oil a bread loaf pan. Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pan.  While you are waiting for the water to boil, whisk the bean flour with the remaining 2 1/2 cups water to make a thick, goopy paste. Once the water is boiling, start whisking in the bean flour paste, a little bit at a time (about 1/4 cup) so as to avoid lumps. An easy way to do this is to mix the flour and water in a  blender and just use the blender pitcher to gradually add the mixture to the boiling water. Once all of the bean mixture is whisked into the water, keep stirring continuously until the mixture reaches a really thick, glutinous consistency--to the point that you can barely stir it any more. This should take 15-20 minutes (yes, it is a workout).  Pour the mixture into the oiled loaf pan and smooth out the top. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 24 hours before slicing.  

In other great news, everyone loves Daddy.

video

17 comments:

  1. Great post! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I'm slightly confused on the white bean's. Does this refer to any white bean like butter bean or great northern white beans?

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    1. It has to be either white bean flour (there is a link above) or chickpea flour. The white bean flour is labeled as such--not specified which type of white bean.

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  3. Thanks for this. I'm like your daughter (only 35 years older), allergic to soy and lots of other legumes (i.e. peas, lentils, chick peas). I was so happy to find this white bean mixture. I made this and don't find that the mixture stays solid when frying in chunks. Is this normal?

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    1. I would recommend either adding additional agar powder to firm it up or to try baking it in the oven in a marinade or just lightly tossed with oil, salt, and pepper.

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  4. Does this white bean tofu fry or melt with heat?

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    1. In my experience, you need to prep. it in the oven, not on the stovetop.

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  5. Great recipe! Does it taste bitter?

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    1. The white bean tofu is when plain; I have noticed it so much with chickpea.

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    2. I mean, the chickpea tofu is not so bitter.

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  6. Does it have the same protein value as soy-based tofu? Tofu has been my main source of protein, but all the isoflavones are making me moody!

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    1. It would have a similar protein profile, although white and garbanzo beans are not a complete protein like soy, but your body combines all the amino acids you eat all day to make complete proteins, so that really isn't an issue.

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  7. PLEASE, does someone have a recipe to make tofu from coconut or almond milk or plain old rice flour? I am allergic to all these bean flours. Thanks!

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  9. Replies
    1. I have stored it for about a week in the fridge, and I have frozen it for a few weeks and then thawed. When frozen and thawed, the texture gets mushy, though, so it is only suitable for sauces and the like at that point.

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