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Demystifying recipes for TikTok’s latest trend – Tricks and Tips

Tofu knots: Demystifying recipes for TikTok’s latest trend

After Bonnie Chung, cookbook author and founder of Miso Tasty, appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch earlier this year to showcase a dish using tofu knots, social media was awash with requests on how to get hold of this ancient Asian ingredient.

She embarked on a mission to reimagine tofu knots for a modern audience looking for nutritious, satisfying and natural ways to eat well, with more plant-based meals and less meat. And so Tofu Tasty was born.

“Dried tofu has always been a reliable cupboard ingredient for me, ready to be knocked up into satisfying nutritious dishes,” says Chung. “In particular, my vegetarian friends have been begging me to launch this for years, so since they became so popular following the TV show and book, I am so excited to be the first to finally make tofu knots available in the UK.”

Although it is considered a delicacy in China and Japan, dried tofu is a relatively unknown ingredient in the UK – Tofu Tasty’s launch in July was the first time it had been available in British supermarkets.

The knots are made from the top layer of soy milk, which is dried and hand-twisted into various shapes – somewhat similar to pasta. Dried tofu has a more intense flavour than fresh tofu – creamier and more savoury. They’re also chewky and flaky, so great for those who want some bite to their tofu. They’re usually enjoyed crisped up and coated in a spicy sauce.

Whether you’re a passionate and experimental foodie, vegan or vegetarian; are keen to experiment with different kinds of tofu, or simply want to reduce the amount of meat in your diet in a healthy, natural way, tofu knots are the perfect way to mix things up.

The below recipes are extracted from Chung’s book, Tofu Tasty, which features 60 inventive and versatile recipes to rethink and challenge how to use tofu in everyday cooking.

Crispy baked tofu knots with peanut butter miso dressing

This dan dan noodle-inspired dish is full of spicy and nutty flavours

(Bonnie Chung/Miso Tasty)

Serves: 2

Prep time: 2 hours | Cook time: 10 minutes

Tofu loves spicy notes and it loves rich nutty flavours – bring these two elements together and we have this dan dan noodle-inspired dish of crispy baked tofu with an incredibly delicious dressing. This is just ridiculously tasty on noodles and crispy tofu knots as a satisfying veggie dinner.

Ingredients:

150g Tofu Tasty’s Craft Tofu Knots, soaked for at least 2 hours then drained and pressed dried with kitchen towel

2½ tbsp vegetable oil

200g dried wheat noodles

2 tbsp sesame oil

2-3 bunches of greens – fresh spinach and slices of cucumber

Red chillies, sliced

Coriander

2 spring onions, finely sliced

Crushed peanuts, to serve

For the dressing:

3 tbsp peanut butter or tahini

1 tbsp Miso Tasty’s Organic White Miso Paste

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tsp caster sugar

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp Chinese five spice

½ tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns

2 tbsp chilli oil with sediment

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan.

2. Coat the hydrated Craft Tofu Knots with the oil and then set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the dressing ingredients.

4. Bake the tofu knots for 10 minutes until crispy on the outside, and chewy in the middle.

5. Boil the noodles according to packet instructions, rinse in cold water and drain then dress in the pure sesame oil, the sliced fresh red chilis and spring onions and set aside.

6. When the Craft Tofu Knots are ready, drizzle the dressing over them or dip them.

7. Serve with the noodles, greens, coriander and crushed peanuts nuts.

Notes: For best results, tofu knots should be soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours. Alternatively, leave them overnight in the fridge in a sealed container of water to soak.

Cheesy miso baked tofu knots with sweet potato

Tofu knots can be baked like pasta

(Bonnie Chung/Miso Tasty)

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes

Yes you heard that right – tofu knots can be baked like pasta! Their texture and subtle flavour really reminds us of pasta sometimes and so we have come up with some super high protein pasta-like dishes like this one. Inspired by mac and cheese or fish pie, this tofu knot with béchamel sauce enhanced by miso is so rich and indulgent, it is a great centrepiece for a vegetarian meal that’s a bit different. Quick to absorb the creamy sauces and tomatoey sauces, use your imagination to try our tofu knots in a range of pasta inspired sauce.

Ingredients:

200g Tofu Tasty’s Craft Tofu Knots, dried

250g sweet potatoes, chopped into 1½cm cubes

60g butter

60g plain flour

2 tsp English mustard powder

1 tbsp Miso Tasty’s Organic White Miso Paste

600ml whole milk

1 tsp of smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp very finely chopped parsley

50g panko breadcrumbs

For the cheese mix:

100g gruyere cheese, grated

100g cheddar cheese, grated

100g cheshire cheese, grated

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan.

2. On the stove, simmer the Craft Tofu Knots for 20 minutes until soft and plump, then drain.

3. Simmer the sweet potatoes for 10 minutes until soft, and drain.

4. In a pan, make a roux by melting the butter, then adding the flour and mustard powder until you have a smooth paste forming in the pan.

5. Mix together a few tablespoons of the milk with the organic miso paste and then add to the roux, then slowly add the milk gradually in the pan, until all the milk has been added.

6. Remove from the heat, and then add the paprika, salt and pepper, then half of the 3 cheese mix, stir and set aside.

7. In a baking tray, lay out the Craft Tofu Knots and sweet potatoes, evenly then pour the cheese sauce over the knots and sweet potato.

8. In a mixing bowl, mix together the rest of the grated cheese with the parsley, thyme and breadcrumbs, then top the tofu knot and sweet potatoes with the mix,

9. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and golden.

10. Serve with salad of butter leaves such as cabbage, kale and rocket.

Sweet and spicy crispy tofu knots

This is Chung’s favourite way to enjoy tofu knots

(Bonnie Chung/Miso Tasty)

Serves: 2

Prep time: 2 hours | Cook time: 12 minutes

This is probably our favourite way to enjoy tofu knots! It has everything going for it – sweet and spicy, crunchy, chewy and a little bit naughty. We enjoy this a lot in our team, and we cannot get enough! This is an addictive sauce inspired by Korean fried chicken and it’s the bomb!

Ingredients:

100g Tofu Tasty’s Craft Tofu Knots soaked in hot water for 2 hours, then drained

100g cornflour (corn starch)

150ml vegetable oil

Toasted sesame seeds to serve

Spring onions, finely sliced, to serve

For the sauce:

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

1 tbsp gochujang

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp rice vinegar, malt vinegar or Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tbsp Miso Tasty’s Organic Red Miso Paste

Method:

1. In a bowl, coat the softened tofu knots with the cornflour, until all the knobbly angles and curves are covered.

2. Leave for 10 minutes to let the cornflour soak up the moisture around the tofu.

3. In a frying pan, heat the oil until bubbling-hot and add some of the Craft Tofu Knots. Be sure not to crowd the pan; you may have to cook them in batches. After 2-3 minutes, flip them over. Some angles will be golden brown and crisping up. Keep turning them until each knot is crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels). If you are not finishing the dish straight away, pop them into a medium oven to keep them warm and crispy.

4. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, then put in a clean saucepan. Place over a medium heat until the sauce bubbles and starts to reduce.

5. Throw the crispy Craft Tofu Knots into the sweet, sticky sauce and mix to coat.

6. Then serve immediately, scattered with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.

Easy noodle soup with tofu knots and fridge riad-toppings

Umami-rich flavours add extra depth to this tofu knot dish

(Bonnie Chung/Miso Tasty)

Serves: 2

Prep time: 2 hours | Cook time: 15 minutes

Here the tofu knots are simply braised in umami-rich flavours to add some extra depth. You can also add these soft and silky tofu knots to broths, or serve them with rice for a simple dinner too. By simmering the tofu knots in this way, you get a really soft, unctuous texture similar to soft wanton pastry or handmade pasta – really delicate and delicious – quickly taking in the simmering liquid.

Ingredients:

100g Tofu Tasty’s Craft Tofu Knots, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained

200g rice or egg noodles

1½ tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp caster sugar

1 clove of garlic minced

For the broth:

1½ tbsp Miso Tasty’s Organic White Miso Paste

600ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Topping ideas:

2 free range eggs, soft boiled and sliced in half

100g sweetcorn kernels

50g mushrooms, finely sliced

1 bunch of pak choi or spinach

Sliced red chilli

1 tsp of finely chopped spring onions

Method:

1. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain and add to bowls.

2. In one sauce pan, add the broth ingredients and simmer on low heat until steaming hot and then set aside.

3. In a frying pan, heat up the oil at medium heat, then add the garlic for 1 minute, then the soy sauce, and then the Craft Tofu Knots. Toss them gently around to coat the Craft Tofu Knots.

4. Prepare any other toppings of your choice from your fridge raid – we love sweetcorn, greens and soft boiled eggs.

5. Top the noodles with the Craft Tofu Knots and your other toppings.

6. Pour the hot broth on top, before serving.

7. Garnish with the freshly chopped spring onions.

Tofu knots in sweet soy, garlic, chilli and pepper

This is your new weeknight staple

(Bonnie Chung/Miso Tasty)

Serves: 2

Prep time: 2 hours | Cook time: 15 minutes

This super simple stir fry dish is so easy and nutritious, it will become a weekly staple stir-fry. Fresh tofu is a lovely way to make a vegetarian stir-fry but it can easily break apart in the pan or lack chewy texture. Dried tofu knots are different – naturally chewy with plenty of bite, they retain their shape in the pan, no matter how much you toss them around. Great for light or thick sauces, they absorb your flavours readily.

Ingredients:

1. Simmer the tofu knots in a large pot of boiling water for about 2-3 mins until softened then drain.

2. Slightly press the Craft Tofu Knots with a spatula, to remove excess water. Cover and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and then add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and toast for 2-3 minutes until aromatic.

4. Add the Craft Tofu Knots to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes before adding the soy sauce, maple syrup and rice vinegar. Keep them moving to prevent sticking for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Garnish with coriander, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.

6. Serve with steamed rice and sautéed garlic pak choi.