We have a local tofu factory, oddly enough. This dude (hippy?) started it back in the seventies or eighties and he’s still puttering along. Having a local tofu factory means that you buy your tofu in giant bags of 10+ lbs and make freezer food, though. He makes one kind of tofu: a firm Chinese-style tofu, sometimes known as “cotton”. Silken tofu could be used to create a casserole or “pate”, but that works best with a slightly different method.

The bites are a pretty basic pseudo “meatball.” I hesitate to call them meatballs because they neither taste like meatballs nor contain meat. They’re a light, nutty vegetarian appetizer or main dish that freezes well and defrosts fairly quickly. The version below is pretty mellow: it wouldn’t knock your socks off or scare your mother-in-law. In other words, safe for mixed companies of conservative and adventurous eaters. Adding extra soy sauce, ketchup, and/or minced mushrooms can punch up the flavor.

Tofu Bites

This would yield 6-10 servings, depending on appetites.

24 oz tofu, firm
2 eggs
1 T soy sauce
2 T ketchup
3 T peanut butter
1/2 c sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
6-8 mushrooms, diced
Optional: pinch of cayenne, dried thyme and/or sage

To crumble the tofu, cut into medium cubes, and place in a large bowl. Using both hand, squish handfuls of tofu until you see few to no whole cubes (entice a child to help here, perhaps?). Add the soy sauce, ketchup, peanut butter, eggs, sunflower seeds, garlic, carrot, mushrooms, and herbs if using. Blend thoroughly– the peanut butter tends to clump a bit.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a cookie sheet (not needed if you have truly non-stick pans). Shape balls about 2 inches in diameter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. For freezer-bound ones, I prefer to undercook them by a few minutes and then cook them for 10-15 minutes at 325 F to reheat. Serve hot.

Linked to: Gluten Free Wednesdays