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Wheatsville Popcorn Tofu and Cashew Tamari Dressing

Popcorn Tofu

As reverse engineered from Wheatsville Co-op, Austin, TX

About

After a bit of hunting far and wide I have achieved success. For anyone who's been to Wheatsville Co-op in Austin, Texas knows that it's the bomb. It's received enough of a following that it has it's own Facebook page. The problem is that it's a closely guarded secret with only sparse smatterings of it to be found. At one point I found a recipe in a book but it was for making 40lbs of Tofu at a time. Earlier this year Wheatsville changed the recipe so that it is completely gluten free. I haven't figured that out yet, but there isn't much wheat flour in the original so besan will likely make a good substitute.

Ingredients

Flavor powder (will make excess, save in 2qt plastic bag for later)

  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • 1 tbs thyme
  • 3 tbs black pepper
  • ¾ c cornmeal
  • 1½ c nutritional yeast
  • 1½ c flour

Popcorn Tofu

  • 8oz extra firm tofu (If you can only get Naysoya or Mori-nu, suffer through it but know better types exist like Hodo Soy, Twin Oaks, Wildwood, etc. Basically you should try and avoid anything in a water filled plastic tub.)
  • 2 tbs powdered vegetable broth
  • ¼ c water
  • ½ c tamari
  • ¾ c flavor powder (above)

Preparation

As a prerequisite, assemble all ingredients for flavor powder.

  1. Fill a frying pan with ½" of a high heat oil and put on medium-high heat.

  2. In a large bowl combine broth powder, water, tamari, and flavor powder and whisk vigorously. Cut tofu into ¾" blocks. Add tofu to batter.

  3. When the oil reaches 375°F add the covered tofu to the pan. Do not fill more than ½ full. The tofu will drop the temperature of the oil (this is acceptable) but make sure that the oil gets back up to temperature after about 90 seconds. If it does not your tofu may end up greasy. If it heats too quickly it may burn. Turn the tofu half way through and cook until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat the process of adding tofu, cooking, and removing all while keeping the temperature within this range. If you do this, it will come out perfect.

Ratios

The way tha the recipe was cracked was through balancing of ratios and taking some liberties. I simplified the measurements to be able minimize the number of individual tools needed. For the reader interested in the original work it is as follows:

Flavor powder

  • 1 part salt
  • 2 parts onion powder
  • 2 parts oregano leaf
  • 2 parts thyme
  • 2 parts garlic powder
  • 6 parts black pepper
  • 36 parts cornmeal
  • 72 parts flour
  • 72 parts nutritional yeast

Popcorn Tofu

  • 1 part powdered vegetable broth
  • 2 parts water
  • 4 parts tamari
  • 6 parts flavor powder

Cashew Tamari Dressing

A dressing to be served with Popcorn Tofu

About

This is an approximation of the dressing served at Wheatsville Co-op with their Popcorn Tofu.

Ingredients

  • ½ c raw cashews
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 tsp tamari
  • 5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs sunflower oil (or grapeseed, rapeseed, etc)
  • ¼ c water
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Preparation

  1. If you do not possess a vitamix type blender, put the cashews in a bowl covered with water and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cashews.

  2. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add water until desired consistency is achieved depending on whether it will be used as a dip or salad dressing.

@SeymoreBiggins
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SeymoreBiggins commented Oct 19, 2021

I worked at Wheatsville not too long ago and my dumb ass forgot to get the recipe. Shoutout to the programming community for continually holding it down. Y'all real af.

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