Friday, November 10, 2006

Savoury smoked tofu and sweetcorn pancakes

What do you do with smoked tofu? I bought it on impulse a few months (yes, months - I'm impulsive in buying, not in using!) back and it had been living in the freezer ever since it came home with me. About 3-4 days back I took it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for it to thaw.

(It doesnt take four days for frozen tofu to thaw, but please see previous paragraph for an explanation.)

What I discovered, when I finally looked at the actual pack, was the warning on the outer packaging that said something like: "Can be frozen, but texture and colour will change on defrosting."

Boy was THAT ever right! They certainly hadnt exaggerated there.

What had originally started out as firm tofu, that could be cut, ended up, when I opened up the inner sealed pack, looking brown, watery and quite a lot like sponge (not the cake kind but the stuff that is used in washing up) that had been crumbled. I cant say that the tofu looked in the least appetizing, but I was loath to throw the darn stuff away - it had been too long with me (albeit in the freezer) and I had formed a tenuous but strong (so sue me, I'm contradictory!) attachment with it.

Besides, it smelt nice and smoky - a flavour I love. So I decided I would use it SOMEhow - and luckily, I found a
recipe on the Net which was perfect for my purposes.

So here is the recipe, with a few modifications incorporated. I made some with a cheese filling and for Pete I used both sliced ham and cheese. You can of course vary the filling according to your taste. The pancakes had a wonderful smoky flavour from the tofu. If you dont have smoked tofu at hand, I would certainly suggest adding a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke just for that lovely smoky taste!

Recipe for:
Savoury smoked tofu and sweetcorn pancakes

1 cup plain flour
2-1/2tsp baking powder
3 tbsp semolina
Salt to taste
1-1/4 cup milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 htsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup sweetcorn
4 spring onions, finely sliced
handful chopped parsley or chives
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled smoked tofu
Cheddar or other cheese of choice for filling (optional)


1. Melt the butter and let cool slightly.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, semolina and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre.

3. Add the melted butter,

the eggs

and the milk

and whisk until smooth.

4. Add the sweetcorn, spring onions, chives, chilli and tofu. Mix well.

The batter should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping.

5. Spray a tava or pan with butter-flavoured Pam. Pour a large ladleful of batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads.

If you prefer smaller pancakes, drop 3 or 4 heaped tablespoonsful of batter on the tava, leaving a little space for them to spread.

6. Cook for about 2 minutes, until little bubbles appear and the underside is golden. The top shouldnt be wet.

7. Flip the pancake over and cook on the other side.

8. If you want the pancakes with filling, after Step 6, place some cheese (sliced or grated) on one half of the pancake and fold it over. Press down gently with the spatula to seal the pancake shut.

9. Turn the pancake over carefully and cook the other side for a minute, until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.


Anupama said...

Hi Shammi,
Your description of your Tofu and how you had developed an attachment to it realy made me laugh.Have you lived in the Uk forever because you do have the british sense of humour. It was too good. Thanks for the recipe too.

Anonymous said...

Yummy, Shammi :)
I never thought of mixing tofu with pancake batter. I love your blog. It's so genuine and homely. And you've a sweet sense of humor. Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, interesting! I've never quite developed a taste for the smoky flavor! I suppose I could use regular tofu in this as well. Never quite developed a taste for tofu either! I suppose I could leave it out!

... ducking and running before you reach out over the 'Net ....:) :)

but seriously, pancake with corn and cheese sounds delish!


Anonymous said...

ps. I was thinking about you today....I posted a recipe for coconut burfi and was thinking that this will send the same shivers down your spine that smoked tofu does for me!!


Meeta K. Wolff said...

Shammi, I had a packet of smokey tofu in my hand today too. But I just put it back on the shelf because I cannot believe this would taste good. After reading your description it kind of confirmed my thoughts - however like Saffron the pancakes would still be delish without them.
I appreciate you trying this out for us.

Anonymous said...

Where art thou? no post for a while....hope all is well


Sujatha said...

Great recipe - I have been experimenting a lot with tofu and Indian food. My latest experiment was to mix it in with coconut chutney. It came out really good. My family couldn't tell the difference.