Tofu Terrine with Red Shiso Gelée

Before you conclude that I’ve totally lost it, let me explain. Tofu is one of those things that people either detest, or are just okay with. Unlike other broadly disliked foods (like brussel sprouts), you never hear anyone proclaiming their unholy love for tofu. People seem to either hate it for its blandness or because of that “tofu” flavor that comes through in almost anything you make with it.

So for all you tofu haters, here’s a dish where you can’t taste the tofu and is far from bland. It’s rich, nutty and decadent with a tart magenta gelée that “pops” both visually and flavourwise. Yes, mine looks a little ghetto because I didn’t strain the gelée, but that’s why you have me. To make the mistakes, so you don’t have to:-)

I know this wasn’t made in a terrine, and doesn’t really have any ingredients associated with a traditional terrine (i.e. liver, headcheese, etc), but I honestly couldn’t think of a better name for it. To prove it, here are some names I rejected:

Tofu cheese: While this is probably more accurate in terms of flavour and texture, it sounds like some kind of awful processed and vacuum sealed vegan product that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Tofu pâté: As if tofu isn’t disliked enough by itself, why not put it next to another food item that’s widely reviled.

Tofu dip: Well this is getting closer, but this still has a hippie health food connotation and besides that, this is so dense that if you tried to “dip” a chip or cracker in it, you’d break it off (and we all know that’s the #2 party faux pas after double dipping).

If you’re still not convinced, would it help if I told you this was good for you? Tofu is a great source of protein and has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol. For those concerned about such things, it’s also available in non-GMO organic varieties. Tahini is rich in manganese, calcium, Vitamin E and antioxidants and has phytosterols that help lower lower cholesterol as well.

While the red shiso/tahini combo is really what makes this dish, I realize that dried salted red shiso isn’t exactly easy to find. You could also make the gelée with salted plum (ume). Oh and if you’re vegetarian/vegan you could always just skip the gelée and roll the whole thing in Za’atar or Sumac.

makes 2 ramekins

for gelée
3 Tbs water
1/2 tsp gelatin
1 1/2 tsp dried salted red shiso (or 2 shiso leaves from Umeboshi)
2 tsp lemon juice

for terrine
8 oz tofu
3 Tbs tahini
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Put the water in a ramekin and sprinkle with gelatin and allow it to hydrate (about a minute). Add the shiso and microwave until it comes to a boil (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Allow the mixture to steep until it cools down a bit. Add the lemon juice then pass the mixture through a tea strainer into 2 ramekins. Coat the sides of the ramekin with a thin layer of the mixture then refrigerate until set.

Cut the tofu into 2 large blocks, place them in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Drain and allow the tofu to cool to room temperature. Put each block into a cheese cloth (or several layers of paper towels), mash it up a bit, then squeeze out most of the moisture. You should be left with dryish white curds.

Add the curds to a food processor along with the tahini, salt and lemon juice and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once.

Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture a small amount at a time into each ramekin smoothing off each layer and building it up slowly to avoid air pockets. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set (should be the texture of cold cream cheese).

Remove the ramekins from the fridge and place briefly in a hot water bath to release from the ramekin and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with crackers or bread.

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com/ Elra

    I grew up of eating tofu, and am still eating it until now. I also grew up eating tempe (are you familiar with tempe)? I must admit that I love both of them very much. Tempe has more flavor and nice texture then tofu!
    Your recipe for tofu is interesting, look beautiful. Very clever that you added tahini to the recipe.
    Cheers,
    Elra

    • marc

      Hi Elra, I’m familiar with tempe and seitan and other meat substitutes as I tried being a vegetarian for about 6 months once, but I have to say I like tofu the best because of it’s versatility.

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com Elra

    I grew up of eating tofu, and am still eating it until now. I also grew up eating tempe (are you familiar with tempe)? I must admit that I love both of them very much. Tempe has more flavor and nice texture then tofu!
    Your recipe for tofu is interesting, look beautiful. Very clever that you added tahini to the recipe.
    Cheers,
    Elra

    • marc

      Hi Elra, I’m familiar with tempe and seitan and other meat substitutes as I tried being a vegetarian for about 6 months once, but I have to say I like tofu the best because of it’s versatility.

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    I totally had the wrong idea when I saw the pic and thought it was a dessert terrine, heh heh :) As for me… I think the right way to prepare tofu is not to be shy with flavor! (Will have to find out what shiso tastes like, though)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    I totally had the wrong idea when I saw the pic and thought it was a dessert terrine, heh heh :) As for me… I think the right way to prepare tofu is not to be shy with flavor! (Will have to find out what shiso tastes like, though)

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    “Potted tofu” comes to mind, though I think “terrine” is the winner.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    “Potted tofu” comes to mind, though I think “terrine” is the winner.

  • http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com/ indonesia-eats

    I have been using silken tofu lately for my husband, due to his allergic to cow’s dairy products. Recently, I combined silekn tofu with brown rice macaroni, to make fake cheese macaroni

  • http://indonesia-eats.blogspot.com indonesia-eats

    I have been using silken tofu lately for my husband, due to his allergic to cow’s dairy products. Recently, I combined silekn tofu with brown rice macaroni, to make fake cheese macaroni

  • cindy

    I love tofu! YUM!!!!

    All kinds, soft, firm, mushed, stewed, etc. I’ll definitely try the recipe :)

  • cindy

    I love tofu! YUM!!!!

    All kinds, soft, firm, mushed, stewed, etc. I’ll definitely try the recipe :)

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com/ Hayley

    I love this, and it looks so beautiful. Thanks for a vegetarian recipe, I’ll have to try it out!

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com Hayley

    I love this, and it looks so beautiful. Thanks for a vegetarian recipe, I’ll have to try it out!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    “Tofu pâté” :-D
    Oh, poor thing!
    I absolutely love tofu for all you can make with it, including soft airy banana mousse in two seconds with the silken version. Have you tried that? Tofu in itself must feature in my bento at least three times a week :-) go tofu!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    “Tofu pâté” :-D
    Oh, poor thing!
    I absolutely love tofu for all you can make with it, including soft airy banana mousse in two seconds with the silken version. Have you tried that? Tofu in itself must feature in my bento at least three times a week :-) go tofu!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    sorry marc, the wrong address was still in….

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    sorry marc, the wrong address was still in….

  • http://www.windattack.com/ The Wind Attack

    Great presentation and sounds great. looks a lot like cream cheese in the picture.

  • http://www.windattack.com/ The Wind Attack

    Great presentation and sounds great. looks a lot like cream cheese in the picture.

  • http://www.zoebakes.com/ Zoë François

    This sounds amazing! A chef I used to work with loved to cook with Shiso and I haven’t thought to play with it in years.

  • http://www.zoebakes.com Zoë François

    This sounds amazing! A chef I used to work with loved to cook with Shiso and I haven’t thought to play with it in years.

  • http://www.danatreat.blogspot.com/ Dana

    This is a very interesting and inventive recipe! (I am one of those weird people who loves tofu.) I hate to be a vegetarian buzz kill, but if it your dish contains gelatin, it is not vegetarian. Gelatin is made from cow hooves.

  • http://www.danatreat.blogspot.com Dana

    This is a very interesting and inventive recipe! (I am one of those weird people who loves tofu.) I hate to be a vegetarian buzz kill, but if it your dish contains gelatin, it is not vegetarian. Gelatin is made from cow hooves.

  • http://chefholly.typepad.com/holly_hadsell_el_hajji/ Holly

    I have a vegan client who likes tofu, we are always looking for new recipes. Thanks

  • http://chefholly.typepad.com/holly_hadsell_el_hajji/ Holly

    I have a vegan client who likes tofu, we are always looking for new recipes. Thanks

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com/ The Duo Dishes

    Adore tofu, but rarely offered it in a fancy presentation such as this. How can we not try it?

    • marc

      Let us know what you think:-)

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com The Duo Dishes

    Adore tofu, but rarely offered it in a fancy presentation such as this. How can we not try it?

    • marc

      Let us know what you think:-)

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com/ Daily Spud

    You’ve certainly got an interesting sounding combination there Marc. I do like tofu (heck, I even made my own tofu once!) but it does need to have other flavours thrown at it. As it happens, I bought some umeboshi plums lately but have never used them, so I might just give them a whirl in some variation of that recipe you’ve got there…

    • marc

      Making your own tofu is impressive. I’ve thought about it as I love fresh tofu, but we can get pretty descent fresh tofu here so I haven’t tried it yet.

    • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

      Where??!

    • marc

      Chinatown has a number of places that sell fresh tofu out of tubs, there’s also a guy with a cart on canal around centre. Cho Dang Gol makes their own tofu to serve in their restaurant and I’ve never tried, but I bet you could get them to sell you some. And I know I’ve seen fresh tofu for sale at stores in Queens.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    You’ve certainly got an interesting sounding combination there Marc. I do like tofu (heck, I even made my own tofu once!) but it does need to have other flavours thrown at it. As it happens, I bought some umeboshi plums lately but have never used them, so I might just give them a whirl in some variation of that recipe you’ve got there…

    • marc

      Making your own tofu is impressive. I’ve thought about it as I love fresh tofu, but we can get pretty descent fresh tofu here so I haven’t tried it yet.

    • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

      Where??!

    • marc

      Chinatown has a number of places that sell fresh tofu out of tubs, there’s also a guy with a cart on canal around centre. Cho Dang Gol makes their own tofu to serve in their restaurant and I’ve never tried, but I bet you could get them to sell you some. And I know I’ve seen fresh tofu for sale at stores in Queens.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    This is the most gourmet tofu creation I have ever seen!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    This is the most gourmet tofu creation I have ever seen!

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    Since I like tofu I have to say that this is beautiful. Well plated.

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    Since I like tofu I have to say that this is beautiful. Well plated.

  • http://www.veggiebelly.blogspot.com/ veggiebelly

    This looks so beautiful! At first I thought it was dessert! I’m all over the dish, I’m looking forward to trying it.

  • http://www.veggiebelly.blogspot.com veggiebelly

    This looks so beautiful! At first I thought it was dessert! I’m all over the dish, I’m looking forward to trying it.

  • jean

    I love tofu.when I was pregnant I even had craving for tofu.theres so many different types and so much you can do with it.try freezing it to change the texture.and ..i could go on and on but i wont bore you..

    • marc

      Yep I often use frozen and rehydrated tofu as a ground meat substitute. I actually figured this one out entirely by accident after my fridge froze a block of tofu.

  • jean

    I love tofu.when I was pregnant I even had craving for tofu.theres so many different types and so much you can do with it.try freezing it to change the texture.and ..i could go on and on but i wont bore you..

    • marc

      Yep I often use frozen and rehydrated tofu as a ground meat substitute. I actually figured this one out entirely by accident after my fridge froze a block of tofu.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    this looks like a pudding! anyway i have my handup. i’m all for tofu, even if my friends look at me with expressions of disgust. this is lovely. i like the gelee top. thanks for the recipe!x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    this looks like a pudding! anyway i have my handup. i’m all for tofu, even if my friends look at me with expressions of disgust. this is lovely. i like the gelee top. thanks for the recipe!x

  • http://whiteonricecouple.com/blog White On Rice Couple

    I’m a tofu lover, so you can see that I love this dish already! I really also a big fan of red shiso. I grew some last summer and I can’t wait to grow more this year. I can see a big batch of red shiso gelee in my future….

  • http://whiteonricecouple.com/blog White On Rice Couple

    I’m a tofu lover, so you can see that I love this dish already! I really also a big fan of red shiso. I grew some last summer and I can’t wait to grow more this year. I can see a big batch of red shiso gelee in my future….

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ fig&cherry

    I heart tofu, but am not clever enough to do something of this magnitude. Awesome.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ fig&cherry

    I heart tofu, but am not clever enough to do something of this magnitude. Awesome.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    i really wish i grew up on tofu b/c i do understand that it’s misunderstood, but i feel like i need to go to a tofu cooking school to really “get it”. it’s just one of those things that i’m kind of afraid to cook w/ beyond a certain point. i hate to admit that, but i want to change. I REALLY WANT TO! this dessert looks beautiful.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    i really wish i grew up on tofu b/c i do understand that it’s misunderstood, but i feel like i need to go to a tofu cooking school to really “get it”. it’s just one of those things that i’m kind of afraid to cook w/ beyond a certain point. i hate to admit that, but i want to change. I REALLY WANT TO! this dessert looks beautiful.

  • http://www.kalofagas.blogspot.com/ Peter

    Marc, I do eat tofu but I won’t cook with it. There are many (such as yourself) who will do it more justice than I ever could.

    Having said that, next time I’m in NYC, I await your tofu tasting evening!

  • http://www.kalofagas.blogspot.com Peter

    Marc, I do eat tofu but I won’t cook with it. There are many (such as yourself) who will do it more justice than I ever could.

    Having said that, next time I’m in NYC, I await your tofu tasting evening!

  • Pingback: Tahini | [ No Recipes ] Ingredients

  • http://www.addvalue.com.au/ executive gifts

    All your recipes and photos here looks mouth-watering.  I thought that this are real cakes that is made of flour and milk.  But they are tofu and vegetables.  Very right for vegetarians like me.  

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

Green Tomato Gratin
Foraging for Spring
Onsen Tamago (hot spring egg)
Dashimaki Tamago
Christmas Bread
SVS: Baby Back Ribs
Ramps
SVS: Scrambled Eggs