The Vegan Slow Cooker: Sweet and Sour Tofu

Today I realised that our kitchen is sponsored by Breville! At last count we have the following of their items in our kitchen:

  • Blender
  • Slow cooker
  • Panini Grill
  • Toaster
  • Rice Cooker/Steamer

We didn’t plan it that way, we bought all the items at separate points in time, without even looking at the brand, and yet here we are with a kitchen full of their appliances-strange! Enough random musings, back to tonight’s dinner, which was brought to you by our Breville Slow Cooker and Rice Cooker/Steamer!

Today we attempted the Sweet and Sour Tofu. Again I didn’t manage to do any of the night before prep actually the night before but it was still great to be able to put dinner on in the morning, do everything we needed to do today and then just stick the rice on about half an hour before we were planning on eating and then just dish it up.

We didn’t have smoked tofu as the book suggested, nor did I make the tea-scented tofu. Instead we had plain out of the packet tofu, which basically tasted, well like plain out of the packet tofu. I got a little bit confused about the instructions as it said to store all the ingredients including the sauce in an airtight container the night before, but when you get round to cooking it, you add some of the veg about 45 mins before you are serving it. So I ended up having the sauce in one container, first set of veg with tofu in another container and then second set of veg in a third. I’m not sure if you were meant to store the tofu and first set of veg with the sauce, which essentially means you are marinating the tofu. Then again maybe none of this is an issue if you use a more flavourful tofu in the first place!

Second issue I had was that I asked my husband to check if the veg was cooked, he said it was and then sat at the table and went “hmm some of this veg is a bit crunchy”. Typical eh? So with our slow cooker the second lot of veg needs to be in for at least 45 minutes (the longer end of the timescale) for our tastes. Overall though, this was a pretty cool dish to make and the veg stayed nice and colourful, we just need to fine tune it a bit for our tastes.

I am loving our rice cooker. We have just cooked up some brown rice in it ready to make the apple sage sausage, which is in turn going in the meatless sausage ragu (also meant to have mushrooms but hubby won’t eat them so we are having it without!) tomorrow. I am really excited about the prospect of making seitan (well sort of seitan, its made at least in part from vital wheat gluten!)  in the slow cooker and I’m also always interested in experimenting with different seitan recipes. For us seitan is a new discovery due to only just finding a stockist of vegan vital wheat gluten here in the UK. So we are taking our time to experiment with different ingredients and methodologies for making seitan to see what we like the best!

One thought on “The Vegan Slow Cooker: Sweet and Sour Tofu

  1. October 24, 2011 at 1:42 am

    If you don’t have smoked tofu, I would add some liquid smoke, smoked paprika or at least some in to add that deeper flavor.

    The directions are indeed super confusing. I’ve sent a note to my publisher. Thank you for finding that. I think it got messed up in all the edits.

    They should read something like this:

    The night before:

    Open the pineapple can and drain the juice into a small
    bowl. Add the soy sauce and ginger to the juice to make
    the sauce. Store the sauce, cut-up tofu, and onion in 1 covered bowl.
    Then store the pineapple chunks, pepper, carrots, and broccoli in a second container.
    Put both containers in the fridge.

    In the morning:

    Combine the sauce, onion, carrots, and tofu in the slow
    cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

    About 40 to 50 minutes before serving, turn up slow
    cooker to high and add the pepper, broccoli, and pineapple
    chunks. Make a thickener by mixing the cornstarch
    and water in a small cup, then add it to the slow cooker.
    It’s ready when the sauce has thickened and the broccoli
    is tender. (You can also add an extra teaspoon of ginger if you
    feel the flavor has dulled too much for your taste.)

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