In an effort to limit my soy intake without sacrificing protein content I’ve been looking for a reasonable alternative to tofu. I was very excited to discover an almost perfect replacement that was easy and inexpensive to make, and I actually like it a lot more than tofu (thank you marystestkitchen.com). It’s Burmese chickpea tofu (shan tofu) made from four simple ingredients: chickpea or garbanzo flour, a teaspoon of turmeric, a pinch or two of salt and water. No specialized processes or tools, if you can boil water and wield a whisk you’re set. Chickpea tofu is really versatile whether it’s fried, baked, made into little steaklets, added to salads, stir fry or almost any way you could use tofu, even desserts. But let’s start with snacks. Cubed and fried it’s even better than popcorn for binging on Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones because it’s crunchy, tasty and full of protein. No guilt. Spice it up any way you want, dunk it in your favorite exotic sauce or drown it’s crispy goodness in ranch dressing. Try it.
Basic Chickpea Tofu
- 2 cups chickpea flour (if all you can find is chickpea and fava bean, that’s okay).
- 6 cups of water or vegetable broth (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
Line a baking pan or casserole dish with parchment paper, or a clean cotton kitchen towel.
The turmeric will stain it so don’t use the nice ones you got for your birthday.
In a large pot bring 4 cups of water or vegetable stock to a FULL ROLLING BOIL.
While you’re waiting for the water to boil, combine the chickpea flour, turmeric, salt and 2 cups of cold water. Whisk it until it’s smooth.
When the water or stock comes to a FULL ROLLING BOIL, carefully stir in the chickpea mixture. If the water isn’t boiling it won’t be hot enough for the tofu to set properly.
Turn off the heat and stir constantly and vigorously for five minutes. Don’t skimp on the time.
The mixture should become glossy and get very thick within a couple of minutes. If it doesn’t just put it back on the heat for a minute or two over a medium low heat and keep stirring.
Once the mixture has thickened, quickly pour it into the prepared pan and spread it evenly with a spoon or spatula.
Let it cool to room temperature, and then chill in the fridge for at least an hour or even overnight.
Once it is thoroughly chilled, turn it onto a plate and remove the parchment paper. At this point you can slice it or cube it any way you want for storage.
Chickpea tofu freezes beautifully, just pop the cubes in a zip lock and tuck them in the freezer.
You can make little cutlet patties, or cubes, or even slice it thin like noodles. This really is one of the most versatile dishes I’ve ever seen. Try it and enjoy!