Fantastic Feasts and Where to Find Them: Tofu Donuts

Last Saturday was Mitsuwa’s Summer Matsuri that pluffei covered, but believe it or not my friend, silverwolf, myself, and a few other members of our “pack” (Aw yeah wolf puns) also traversed to the festival and partake in the general feasting, revelry, and taiko-drum performances that Mitsuwa had to offer. Just like pluffei’s troop we came to have a good time, but most importantly because silverwolf’s group had one avid food blogger and one bottomless pit that demanded to eat throughout the day, we spent a little more time (And a little more money) on the food that Mitsuwa had to offer. Ranging from hoji icecream to kakigori–green tea flavor with red bean topping–and braving the long lines for takoyaki, soba, croquettes, and other tempting treats, it’s safe to say that we really did spend a lot of time and money waiting for good food.

However, best of all–and yes, I am aware this may be frightening to the average donut enthusiast and most genius, playboy, billionaire philanthropists–were the tofu donuts that silverwolf and I gorged on.

I swear, the minute you taste one of these deceptively (Okay relatively) healthy, fried puffs of pure heaven, you’ll be a believer too, and you’ll say “さよなら” to those cakey, heavy, over-frosted lumps of dough that America apparently runs on.

Yes, Mr. Stark, the following donuts are about 95 percent tofu, sorry.

Okay I’ll start with a small confession to make: I love desserts made with alternative ingredients. You know, desserts made out entirely free of eggs, or made entirely out of tofu; a lot of people don’t realize it but you can have pretty good things made entirely out of the white blocky stuff. Maybe it comes with being Filipino and growing up on cups filled to the brim with taho (Silken tofu, tapioca pearls, and syrup — it’s soft, sweet, and comforting)  purchased at our local Asian mart, but in all seriousness, there is a lot you can do with tofu to make something that’s beyond good.

And it’s without any trace of skepticism that I embraced the idea of tofu donuts last Saturday when silverwolf and I passed by the Tofu Donut stand at the festival. It had a good deal: a free cup of barley tea with any purchase of either five or fifteen of the donuts.  Silverwolf tried out the deal first, raved about it, and then I stood in line to wait for a bag of fifteen for only about four bucks. So yeah that was a bag of fifteen tofu donuts–which are lighter than most donuts, and impossibly crisp on the outside but still fluffy and soft on the inside–and it disappeared quickly when we tucked into it, and stared off into the murky and filled with radioactive three-eyed fish gorgeous Hudson river.

It was an idyllic summer scene with friends completed with a round of fried tofu delight shared between us.

And while we hardly took pictures of ourselves to chronicle onto our Facebook pages/tumblrs (I know weird huh), the taste and aroma of those dang donuts haunted me all week…

Aww yeah trying so hard to make it look like there's more than there seems

Until I made them for myself and had a few bites of heaven until my dad came home, said they were “good”, and proceeded to down them all as a merienda before dinner.  Which sort of explains the paltry picture up top (That was cleverly bulked up with some ice-cream cake) which doesn’t do the donuts any justice since he kept eating all of the good ones but alas, you just have to trust me.

Anyway this recipe is deceptively simple because you really only need the following…

1 package medium-firm tofu; the recipe I sourced from the Humble Bean blog specified 150 grams

Which is around and about, 1/3rd of the block. In my haste, I used the whole thing, and it worked out fine.

1 pouch of Morinaga Pancake Mix; and this, my friends, is the key, KEY ingredient to making these donuts work and I suspect this was the same thing that the guys at the Mitsuwa Matsuri poured into their bowl of tofu. There is something magical about Morinaga Pancake Mix, and since there are no other binders or ingredients besides the tofu to hold this all together, deviating from this specific pancake mix might lead to a bad ending.

1-2 Tsp of sugar; honestly, it’s pretty sweet as it is because of the Morinaga mix being sufficiently sweet, just taste the mix (Again there are no raw eggs or oil running around, it’s just tofu and pancake mix, you can taste as you go) and add as you need.

Okay, so you’ve got your whopping three ingredients lined up, so let’s start~

Tofu tofu burning bright in the darkness of the night, what immortal hand or eye has carved thy rectangular symmetry?

First you’ll need to crumble your tofu as finely as possible; you could use a kitchen sieve and push the tofu through it a few times to come up with a fine mix, or you could use your fingers to crumble it all up. Be sure your hands are clean and you don’t leave too many tofu lumps laying about the mix.

It looks super gross but it will transmute into something delicious

Once you’ve broken up your tofu, add the pancake mix, sugar and stir thoroughly and quickly. It will come together to form a paste, which you can then roll into balls as you wish; my batter came out a little gooier than I expected so I stopped trying to form balls and used two spoons to drop balls of dough into the oil.

By the way, you should have a pot of oil on hand at about 300 degrees for frying. Wait until they brown up (But not too dark, be careful!) and then move them onto a paper-towel lined plate/bowl/container and let them cool.

Then eat and enjoy; it’s as simple as that. Or well, eat and feast until there’s only two left, if you’re like my dad.

A little burned, but still quite good - it's a Morinaga pancake!

Of course… I did mention up top that they are only “relatively” healthy; since the Morinaga Pancake mix comes with two sachets of instant-pancake-mix I decided to make some hotcakes the next day. My parents loved it — especially since it was sweet enough for their Asian palate, and when my mom asked if I added any extra sugar I shook my head with a no.

Again it might be a Filipino thing, or maybe it’s true about all sorts of pancakes found around Asia, but unlike the buttery, butter-milk variant found in the states that isn’t so-so sweet, a pancake is a very sweet thing for us Pinoys. Case in point: I’ll catch my parents adding table-sugar at diners on top of their pancakes because they’re not sweet enough. So a pancake mix that pleases their sweet tooth?

That’s great, no?

But then Doctor Mom had to look at the back of the box to read the label and although Morinaga Pancakes are deliciously sweet — they’re definitely not something you should eat day in and day out. Compared to an Aunt Jemimah’s Buttermilk Pancake Mix’s total caloric intake of 110, Morinaga Pancakes are a whopping 280 (560 total, divided by two packets), and for our dear Aunt J only 5 calories are from fat, compared to the 20 fat calories of the Morinaga mix.

So

That’s just some food for thought for those of you who are thinking of stocking up on the hot cake mix; it’s delicious but not an everyday food :’D I should have known, it was too good to be pure and okay for us.

Anyway – that’s all for this exciting addition of Fantastic Feasts — tune in every other Saturday for more delicious (and relatively healthy) recipes!

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Fenrir

A would-be anthropologist, writer, food historian, and professional glutton hoping to combine fandom with her love of food. Ever wondered what a nug tasted like? Is butterbeer alcoholic? If you've asked such questions and are already drooling at the thought of a big old plate of lembas bread, then you're in the right place

Latest posts by Fenrir (see all)

Fenrir

A would-be anthropologist, writer, food historian, and professional glutton hoping to combine fandom with her love of food. Ever wondered what a nug tasted like? Is butterbeer alcoholic? If you've asked such questions and are already drooling at the thought of a big old plate of lembas bread, then you're in the right place

One Comment:

  1. Those tofu donuts were heaven.

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