Earth Day 2012: Japanese Tofu Taco Bites

Happy Earth Day!

It came by email. A very polite invitation to conduct a culinary demonstration during the central Florida Earth Day festivities at Lake Eola in Orlando, FL.

Honestly, when I read the email, I was extremely excited because I wanted to share a different view of what vegans eat. I just didn’t want to present yet another version of some kind of salad with some twist on a dressing. Nor did I want to do some other kind of bean dish with some spin on rice or something like that. It truly annoys me when people think that all vegans eat are lettuce, hummus, beans and rice. And yes, TOFU!!! I wanted to have those who might not have eaten tofu their very first taste of something wonderful.

So, I agreed to do the demo. Then it hit me in that instant that I didn’t have much time to plan anything. Classes I wanted to experience at The Center For Contemporary Dance, two different sites that I needed to take care of since they tend to have a brain of their own, recipes with pictures that needed to be pulled out of my head and uploaded into my gallery. As well as choosing recipes and creating them for another project and finally, getting myself even more involved with social media. By nature, I’m a shy person. Not very good in front of people in any capacity until I feel comfortable with the group.

So I replied with a yes! Then I was hit with “What are you going to make and not to be push and rush you however, we have signs to do. So we need to know like now, lol.” In the process of replying to yet another email I came up with the idea to make little bites of some of what I tend to eat on a daily basis – Japanese food (or at least some elements of it). The title just came to me; when that happens I say so with it. The universe is speaking just follow, always pay attention.

Then it hit me, I don’t have recipes written down for this. Now I have to get this out of my head, translate it to paper, and present this dish both to an audience and on the plate! WHAT!!! HOLY CRAP!!! How am I going to do this when I don’t write down recipes! I just jump in the kitchen with my baby (my Global knife) to began chopping and poof dinner.

I purge the recipe out of my brain and onto paper about an hour before the demonstration. Everything was gathered the day before. Why was I nervous is beyond me. I realized after it was over was how unorganized I had been. It’s a place I don’t like to visit.

Earth Day 2012: Japanese Tofu Taco Bites

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 40 pieces

These are good when you need an appetizer for a gathering or a snack. Or slice tofu into bigger pieces to have as an entree.


    For Tofu Marinade:
  • 1 carrot, washed and grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon dark miso or 2 teaspoon shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or brown rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-16 ounce) block of extra firm tofu, pressed sliced into any size you choose
  • Extra vegetable broth for cooking or use 2 teaspoon oil
  • For Slaw:
  • 3 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded (your choice of cabbage)
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup daikon radish
  • Remainder of marinade
  • For Edamame Guacamole:
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 tablespoons red onion (they look purple to me)
  • 1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • Rice Crackers (or blue corn tortilla chips)
  • Furikake or nori (optional)
  • Sesame (optional)


    For Marinade:
  1. Place all ingredients into bowl once grated.
  2. Mix.
  3. Set aside.
  4. For Tofu:
  5. Rinse tofu. Pat dry. Press if desired to release excess water (if packed in water).
  6. Slice into 10 slices. Cut each slice into thirds or half (your choice).
  7. Marinade for 5-10 minutes.
  8. In a heated skillet, place oil (if using).
  9. Brown tofu lightly 30 minutes on med high. once brown, set aside.
  10. For Slaw:
  11. Place all ingredients into a bowl along with any remaining marinade.
  12. Stir.
  13. Cover.
  14. Set aside.
  15. For Edamame Guacamole:
  16. Steam edamame for 5-7 minutes.
  17. Place edamame into food processor or blender along with cooking liquid to make it creamy (just eyeball for the consistency you desire).
  18. Add remaining ingredients until blended.
  19. Cover set aside.
  20. To Present:
  21. Place cracker onto dish.
  22. Tofu on cracker.
  23. About 1 tablespoon of slaw.
  24. About 1 teaspoon edamame guacamole.
  25. Top with Furikake or shredded nori and sesame seeds
  26. Serve.