Prep: 5 minutes (after freezing overnight)
I have made my own variation of tofu TVP (textured vegetable protein) for over 25 years, using traditional, firm, water-packed tofu. Most commercial TVP products are made with isolated soy protein, so by making your own version this can be avoided. This needs to be prepared ahead of time, and refrigerated or dried for future use. Then it is used in recipes that call for TVP or "crumbled soy" products.
- 1 package firm, water-packed tofu
Place the package of tofu directly into the freezer and freeze for several days. Remove from freezer and let thaw. (See hints below.) When completely thawed, break off pieces of the tofu and squeeze well to remove all excess water. Crumble into small pieces and place in a bowl. Repeat until all the tofu has been crumbled and it looks like cream-colored "soy crumbles". Season with 1 1/2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce and a few dashes of garlic powder, if desired. Now it is ready to use in recipes. It may be refrigerated at this point for use within a couple of days, or it may be dried to keep it even longer. To dry, place crumbled tofu on a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and checking to make sure it doesn't burn. Store in an airtight container
Hints: The tofu may be thawed in several ways. Leave the unopened package on the counter for several hours, then open and place in a colander for further thawing. To quick thaw, place the unopened container in a bowl with hot water, change water frequently until sufficiently thawed to place in colander. Or just leave the unopened package in the refrigerator until thawed. Freezing tofu changes its consistency and makes it more "spongy" and chewy. The dried tofu may be added to recipes as a meat substitute in the dry form, or it may be reconstituted first by mixing it with some warm water and allowing to "rest" for about 10 minutes before using.