Tofu.

Yep, you heard me right. I tackled tofu.

See, I didn’t grow up eating tofu and cooking it has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Who am I kidding? I’ve always been INTIMIDATED by tofu. What if it sticks? What if it has NO taste whatsoever? What if it doesn’t get golden brown because I was too impatient during the “draining” and “pressing” process. Seriously, all of these questions created some major tofu insecurities, but I am here to tell you that I conquered my tofu fears.

The trick? First, I needed some inspiration, which I found over lunch at Pho Que Huong on Greensprings. I got a noodle bowl full of fresh veggies, golden brown tofu squares, and a delicious fish sauce. It was crunchy, filling, and full of flavor. With that inspiration in mind, I started looking for ways to recreate that dish at home.

That’s when I found this recipe: Bun Rice Noodle Salad Bowl on Viet World Kitchen.

But first I had to figure out how to infuse the tofu with flavor. That’s when I found this recipe: “How to Make Tofu Really Freaking Delicious” on Herbivoracious.

So off I went. I followed the Herbivoracious advice and soaked the tofu in salt water. Then I did exactly what they said (drained well, etc).  Here are my tofu cubes soaking away:

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After I drained the tofu for an hour (I used the handy cast iron skillet trick), I sauteed them. In fact, I used the Salt and Pepper Tofu recipe on Viet World Kitchen.

Here’s what it looked like:

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Once I soaked my tofu, drained my tofu, and sauteed my tofu…I was ready to create my own Bun Rice Noodle Salad Bowl.

First, I combined lots of veggies: English cucumber, sweet red peppers, cabbage, shredded carrots, cilantro:

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Then I cooked some rice noodles and threw them in the pan with the salt and pepper tofu to soak up the pan juices for extra flavor:

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And then I just combined all of it together and drizzled with Vietnamese nuoc cham dipping sauce (think lime, sugar, fish sauce, water, chiles, and garlic). You can find the recipe HERE.

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It was super delicious. So delicious that I bought two more blocks of tofu and will be making a new recipe this week. Let’s face it: I’m a tofu champion and I hope this helps you overcome any tofu insecurities you may have had before reading this post.