More and more people nowadays are choosing to live a healthier lifestyle. For that reason, the market is now teeming with healthier food options and protein alternatives. Whole food options, plant-based proteins, and foods are claiming and leaning towards the more beneficial food option spectrum.
But one major challenge of resorting to vegan options of plant-based foods is the difference in taste. That is usually the problem that a cook encounters, especially with our featured recipe for this article. Tofu is one of the staple protein substitutes that people often use, but most of the time, if the tofu lacks seasoning or marinade, the result is usually bland.
So our goal for this article is to guide you and teach how you can make this healthy ingredient flavorful and savory. So do not worry, because we got you covered. Just follow our recipe, and allow us to share with you the things you need to learn for you to cook the Best Tofu Sarciado there is.
What is Tofu Sarciado
Tofu is a byproduct of soy milk, a milk alternative made from soya beans. There are a few varieties of tofu, which can be used for different kinds of dishes. But firm tofu is the variety that most people use for their cooking needs.
Sarciado, on the other hand, is a simple sauce made from sauteed tomatoes and aromatics like garlic and onions, which are then simmered until the tomatoes are tender. Then eggs are added to thicken the mixture. The name sarciado is corruption or adaptation of the Spanish term for sauce, which is salsa.
To put it literally, Tofu Sarciado means tofu with sauce. The dish might be simple to look at, but it’s flavors are to crave, and the carousel of colors is a culinary sight to behold. Tomatoes are rich in acids, which provide the umami taste; this is what makes a dish savory. And tofu is like a sponge: it absorbs the flavors of whatever sauce or seasonings you’re using.
This recipe has many variants: that’s how versatile and flexible this dish is. Not only can you use it for tofu, but for many types of proteins as well. But among the many variants, this dish has, tofu is the preferred protein of health buffs because of how healthy it is.
Ways to Cook
Tofu, as we have said, is a very flexible ingredient: you can cook many recipes that center on it. You can marinate it in a flavorful sauce, coat it in batter, and deep fry them like you would with chicken. You can also use them for stir-fry like what we see in the movies where we see chefs toss around the ingredients high up in the air.
And for Tofu sarciado, any type of cookware can be used to cook this recipe. Thanks to the advancement of technology, cooking is made more convenient because of new kitchen equipment inventions. To give you a headstart, we have a list of methods to cook it in your kitchen.
The stovetop is the staple cookware that we all know and are familiar with. We grew up seeing our moms use LPG-fueled cookers to create dishes that we all love since childhood. They are reliable and affordable at the same time. And most of the dishes that the culinary offerings that Filipino cuisine has been done using the stovetop cooker.
There are two common types of stovetop cooker that we commonly use: the LPG-fueled and the newer electric-type, but they both use the same principle, cook food using direct heat coming from the burner or the conducting plate. There’s no need for fancy looking pans since the usual aluminum or steel cooking pots and pans can be used.
The process of cooking Tofu Sarciado using a stovetop cooker is straightforward and straightforward. Fry the tofu first until they are slightly crisp. Then saute the aromatics, followed by the tomatoes: simmer them until the tomatoes become tender and the skin separates from the pulp.
Instant pot, in our humble opinion, is one of the most versatile cooking appliances ever invented. The convenience that one can get when cooking using this piece of appliance is unmatched. This upgraded cousin of the pressure cooker does the job of multiple kitchen equipment with just a button press.
The instant pot uses the same principle as the pressure cooker: it uses steam and pressure to cook food quickly. The pressure that builds up inside the cooker allows the water to exceed its boiling point, thus creating enough pressure and steam to cook food faster than usual.
For this cooking method, tofu Sarciado, there’s no need to change cookware since you can use the instant pot to do the job of other cookware with just a flick of a button. So for frying the tofu, switch the button to fry and cook the tofu pieces until they change color. Then scoop them out of the pot and set them aside.
Then change the setting to saute, and saute the rest of the ingredients starting with the aromatics: garlic, then followed by the onions and tomatoes, simmer them until the tomatoes are tender. Then mix the tofu into the sauce and set the instant pot to cook for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are fully cooked.
Other Delicious Variants
The flexibility and versatility of this recipe make it a suitable dish for experimentation and innovation. Change the ingredients or add some other components, and you have yourself a new variant of Tofu Sarciado.
For starters, allow us to give you some well-known variants of this lovely and healthy recipe.
With Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is an essential condiment and ingredient in Oriental cooking. Oyster sauce gives that distinct sweet and salty, savory taste to dishes and provides a sheen to the dish, making them more appealing and appetizing.
This variant is pretty simple and is just a minor tweak to the original recipe. Proceed with the instructions for the Tofu Sarciado: when you’re in the part of sauteing the aromatics, add in the oyster sauce just before you mix the eggs into the tomato mixture.
The oyster sauce’s mild sweetness will highlight the tomatoes’ taste while deepening the sauce’s color. It also helps to balance the acidity of the tomato sauce without masking its flavors.
Mushroom is another popular plant-based substitute. It provides a meat-like texture while absorbing the flavors of whatever ingredients are used for it. It works pretty much like the tofu, but the mushrooms’ taste is much sweeter and firmer in texture.
For a more natural taste of the mushroom, you can use the dried mushroom varieties, which you can simply rehydrate before you use them. Or if you can procure the new variants, then that is much better. In the absence of the two varieties, you can go for the canned ones.
Follow the recipe for cooking the Tofu Sarciado: you can add the chopped mushrooms while sauteing the aromatics. Then after sauteing them all together, scoop the tomato and mushroom mixture onto the fried tofu.
Pork and Tofu Sarciado
This variant is pretty straightforward based on the name of the recipe. The usual Tofu sarciado is mixed with ground pork, which elevates the dish’s flavor to a whole new level. Pork meat is known to be savory and is highlighted even more with the sauteed tomatoes’ addition.
This meaty sarciado variant is undeniably good. And cooking is relatively simple. Simply follow the steps for cooking the Tofu Sarciado: include the ground pork when sauteing the tomatoes along with the aromatics. Make sure to brown the ground pork first. This is to ensure that you’re able to draw out the meaty goodness from it.
Once the ground pork is cooked and the tomatoes are tender, that’s the time to scoop it on top of the fried tofu. Or you can also simmer the latter with the tomato and ground pork mixture to tenderize them a bit.
Tofu is the equivalent of cheese because tofu is the byproduct of boiling soy milk, the same principle when making cheese by boiling cow’s milk and adding the coagulant or the agent for solidifying the milk curds. Tofu is also hailed as one of the oldest food sources in the world. This protein substitute is also low in calories but high in protein.
For you to be a great cook, knowing a few time-tested kitchen tips to achieve that level. So we also have a list of information that can guide and help you nail this recipe hassle-free.
- Season the tofu well with salt, pepper, and oyster sauce. This is to ensure that they will not be lackluster in flavor.
- Before frying them, pat-dry the tofus using a kitchen towel. This removes excess water from them, preventing the oil from splashing too much.
- Use firm tofu when possible; they are easier to handle when cooking and are not prone to breaking or collapsing.
Do not worry or fret when you encounter trouble cooking Tofu Sarciado: we got your back on that note. We also have a list of troubleshooting steps to help you remedy that kitchen dilemma when cooking this delightful dish.
- If the tofu came out soggy, scoop them out and shock them in cold water to rehydrate them. Then deep fry them to make them firm.
- If you have a runny consistency of the sauce, add more beaten eggs to thicken it.
Best Serve With
To enjoy this dish better, we also looked for dishes that you can pair Tofu Sarciado with. After all, Filipinos love matching foods.
Rice is the quintessential food of the Filipinos: fried, steamed, or even porridge; we all love them and can’t live without them. And this flavorful rice variant is a perfect canvass for our delicious tofu recipe.
- Taco Fried Rice
Another rice entree in this Mexican-inspired dish. The burst of flavors from this aromatic dish complements the mild, savory taste of the Tofu Sarciado. And the contrast of texture blends well.
This coconut milk-infused goodness is a perfect partner for our delightful tofu recipe. The creamy sauce of the string beans blends well with the savory flavor of the tofu.
Flavorful and straightforward dishes remind us of home: the joy of waiting at the dining table and anticipating the home-cooked goodness we all love. And that’s the joy of cooking Tofu Sarciado, simple yet very delightful. And with all the information that we have shared with you, we know that you’ll be able to cook this recipe with absolute perfection.
So just keep learning, and keep innovating. Until next time, happy cooking!
For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!
- 3 slice Tofu cut into halves
- 1 pc Egg beaten
- 2 pcs Medium tomato cubed
- 1 pc Small white onion cubed
- 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
- ¼ cup Cooking oil
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- ½ cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Dried Parsley flakes
- Pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a pan. Then fry the tofu until brown. Set aside.
- In another pan, sauté the garlic, tomato, and onion until then onion become soft.
- Add water and fish sauce. Stir and let boil.
- Add the beaten egg. Quickly stir and then cook for 2 minutes while gradually stirring.
- Add the fried tofu. Sprinkle with ground black pepper. Stir and cook for a minute more.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Top with dried parsley.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!