The best chickpea tofu with special tips [whole-food, plant-based, no oil, no nuts, gluten-free, soy-free]

When I heard about chickpea tofu I got really excited. You just mix chickpea flour with water, cook, cool down and voila, you’ve got chickpea tofu. I thought it was too simple to be any good. And indeed, it was too simple to be any good. At least for me, it lacked flavor and the consistency was a bit too soggy. I made this recipe countless times, adding different flavors and even trying to use less water to make it more compact and less soggy. Oh, how I failed miserably a few times.

Chickpea tofu.

How to give it more flavor?

I tried adding different spices and I got very interesting results. This is such an interesting recipe because you can use a different spice and get a totally different result. This is a recipe for the basic version, but you can add spices like paprika, smoked paprika, chili or herbs, and you will get a totally new thing. For the basic version, I decided to use onion and garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, and a special ingredient. This is the ingredient that really gives it depth of flavor. It’s peanut butter. Peanut butter makes everything better, right? If you are allergic to peanuts, don’t worry. Another great option for this recipe is tahini. I think it is safe to say any nut or seed butter would work and make it more decadent! You can also skip it if you want a low-fat version.

Tip #1: Add nut or seed butter, to add more flavor!
Simple ingredients: chickpea flour, water, and spices.

How to make it more compact and less soggy?

Just add less water, right? Wrooooong! It will get really thick and sticky even with the basic recipe, and if you add less water it will just get impossible to handle. You won’t be able to cook it properly let alone get it into the mold and shape it nicely. I learned that the hard way a few times. Then it struck me. You have to get the moisture out after cooking. I tried to squeeze it. Failed again. And then, at last, the solution came to me. I saw a show where they made aged cheeses and they used paper to age them in. Yes! Paper! So as soon as it firmed up, I wrapped it in paper towels and put it in a paper bag. After a day it got a lot more firm and after two days it was perfect for me. Yes!

Tip #2: Wrap it in paper, to get the moisture out!
Wrap it in paper to get the moisture out.

How to use chickpea tofu?

You can use it any way you would use tofu, right? You can just put it in a sandwich, or grill it and add it to a dish. I love to dice it into small cubes, air fry it and use it as croutons. You can also grate it and put it on a pizza. But my favorite way to use it is to grate it finely and put it on pasta with tomato sauce. You could say it is a parmesan substitute, but that would be an understatement. It is a whole different thing, giving your pasta such a nice nutty flavor! And it also gives it a lot of nutrition since it is high in protein and has lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber! Isn’t that great? I think so!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 3 cups water

Spices

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter or nut/seed butter of choice
  • 1 teaspoon onion and garlic powder, each
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Put all dry ingredients into a pot and stir. Add just a splash of water first and mix until well combined. That will make it easier to get out all the lumps. Than add nut or seed butter of choice and mix until well incorporated. Add the rest of the water and mix again.

Prepare a dish that will serve as the model. Flush it with water to make it wet so the tofu won’t stick.

Cook over medium-high heat and stir constantly. After about 5 minutes it will get very thick. Lower the temperature and cook for another minute while stirring.

Transfer it into a wet model and put it into the freezer to chill for about an hour. Don’t cover it so the moist will be able to escape. After about an hour or when it firms up, wrap it into paper towels and transfer it into a paper bag. Put it into the fridge for up to 3 days, to get the consistency you like. Change the paper towels if they get too wet.

You can adjust the amount however you like. I used a third of all ingredients for the cute, tiny chickpea tofu in the pictures.

For the tips on how to use it see the paragraph titled “How to use chickpea tofu?”.

Chickpea tofu goes well with tomatoes and basil.

Nutrition facts

I used peanut butter to calculate nutrition facts.

Have you tried this recipe or are you thinking about trying it? Leave a comment or a question below!

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