Saturday, February 6, 2010

Girl Food

Tofu is girl food. If you're not a girl, go 'way, I'm not talkin to you.

Ladies, you all know that I am an omnivore, that I love many foods made of other animals. But it's not exclusive, nor is it a prerequisite for my enjoyment. And I'm not talking about the stuff you decorate the edges of your meal with. For me, tofu is sometimes an object in itself.

Here's the thing though: I think have yet to meet a man who didn't feel that to be fed tofu as a main dish was somehow unmanly, and not altogether fair. Even oriental men. Meat is for men, not, as dad said, "that cheating stuff" (Imagine expressive sneer). And yes, even the vegan men I have talked to. Not one of them ever gave me the impression that giving up meat in favor of actual tofu was something they contemplated- no, they would go to great trouble in order to acquire the most suitably manly, highly processed, meat-esque, soy-derivative pseudo-food. Men will subsist upon plain Ramen with earth balance margarine and Jif and Smuckers sandwiches before they will voluntarily make one of these wraps for themselves. Oh, they will eat one if you make it for them. They might even grudgingly admit that they like it. But then they'll say "...but it would be so much better with cheese, or chicken, or Tofurkey smokey mystery nubbins instead ..." Lordy, yes, then there's the sprouts. The only manly things about this recipe are 1- you eat with your hands, and 2- sriracha. Dudes like the sriracha.

These are chewy, crunchy, salty, spicy, earthy, and full of umami goodness.

Marinated Tofu Wraps

1 block firm tofu, cut into 1/2" slices and drained as much as possible
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 T balsamic vinegar, use a rather sweet kind
2 T soy sauce
if you use light soy instead of dark, add a generous pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Lay the tofu in a single layer in a baking pan. Whisk the other ingredients together well, pour over the tofu and refrigerate overnight. The next day, flip the pieces over to get them evenly covered with the sauce and bake them at 325 until the marinade has condensed and is quite thick but not burnt. I recommend letting it cool before eating it, the texture is better. I wrapped mine in homemade tortillas with a generous amount of mixed sprouts, whole grain mustard, avocado and sriracha. You can steam the tortillas for a few minutes to make them softer, if you like.


  1. Thank you so much for this recipe. I've been craving wraps but they're not sold in Siberia. Now I'm motivated to make homemade tortillas and grow some sprouts to make these. I'll have to use sweet chili sauce, but it'll suffice for Siberia.

  2. Dunno--I like tofu and sometimes order it in restaurants, but I never made much of an attempt to cook it at home.

    Now, my wife can't stand it, so I suspect I'm not apt to start cooking with it anytime soon.

  3. Looks yummy. I love tofu. (But I am a girl.) In a pinch, and because I am lazy, I am fond of marinating tofu in Soy Vey (either the Hoisin Garlic or Teriyaki) and baking. Great over just some plain or coconut basmati. Hmm. The Mr. is traveling tonight. Perhaps I have figured out dinner??

  4. eh, I was thinking of a fella who once said "tofu is for people who don't have the nerve to eat their own boogers" I beg to differ- boogers lack the earthy quality of tofu, and tofu has more protein.