“When I was hired in 2017, I had never scaled up a recipe to a large size because that wasn’t typically required in restaurants. I used to think that any recipe producing a batch size of more than 50 kg was huge. A favourite highlight was seeing my first bench formulation successfully scaled from 1 kg to full production size at the client facility. Seeing a bench formulation come to life is as exciting now as it was five years ago.”
Kyle has food production baked into him. His grandfather and father were bakers, and Kyle grew up on the production floor of a small-town bakery.
He joined Prairie Research Kitchen in 2017 after spending more than 10 years in the restaurant industry, honing his skills across Canada and in Australia. He credits the talented mentors he’s worked with at PRK for shaping him into a chef grounded in food science principals.
We do a lot of plant-based cooking here at PRK, and Kyle loves the challenge of replacing meat in a recipe – especially when the result tastes better than the original. “These taquitos are flavourful, spicy, and, in my opinion, tastier than if you used beef,” he says about the recipe he shares here. “Who says tofu doesn’t taste like anything?”
FUN FACT: Kyle is an avid home brewer, and the skills he’s gained at PRK have transferred over to his beer-making processes. The observation and data collection from his beer production is as detailed as his office and research kitchen records.
Tofu Taquitos Using Dehydrated
Fava or Soy Tofu Crumble
Source: Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) Project
YIELD: 6 TAQUITOS
Dehydrated fava or soy tofu
|fava or soy tofu, firm
|fava or soy tofu, hydrated crumbles
|water, hot (95°C)
|whole chipotle pepper, minced
- Freeze the tofu until solid.
- Thaw the tofu and drain off all excess water.
- Crumble the tofu into pea-sized crumbles. Using a dehydrator, dehydrate the crumbles at 63°C/145°F for 10-12 hours until all crumbles are completely dry.
- Store in an airtight container.
Chef’s Note The goal of this process is to create a meat-like texture for the tofu. Although there are commercial methods to accomplish this, the easiest way to create a consistent product at home is to dry the tofu completely, then add water back in the first step below.
- In a small bowl, add hot (simmering) water to the dehydrated tofu crumbles, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain excess water.
- In a separate small bowl, combine all seasonings and spices.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic, seasoning mix, chopped chipotle and adobo sauce. Sauté for 1 more minute and then add the hydrated tofu.
- Sauté the tofu mixture for 1-2 minutes until hot and just starting to get brown, crispy edges. Adjust seasoning as desired.
- Remove the mixture from heat and pour it into a bowl to cool for 5-10 minutes. It should be cool enough that the cheese doesn’t melt when you mix it in.
- Add the grated mozzarella to the slightly cooled tofu mixture and stir until well combined. You may want to add 1-2 tsp of water to moisten the mixture. You should be able to form it with your hand so that it doesn’t fall out of the shell during the filling/rolling step.
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a non-stick skillet over high heat, add 1-2 tsp of oil. Once the oil is hot, gently lay in 1 corn tortilla for about 5 seconds, then flip. Swirl the skillet to coat the tortilla with the hot oil. This helps soften the tortilla for easier rolling and crisping up during the baking process. You may need to add more oil as it coats the shells.
- Carefully remove the tortilla and add 1/6 (or the desired amount) of the filling to the bottom third of the tortilla. Tightly roll up the taquito and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, seal side down. You may need to use a toothpick to seal it if the taquito rolls open on its own.
- Repeat until all the filling is used up.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are crispy and cheese is melty.
Serve with sour cream and fresh salsa.
Chef’s Note: Adjust the amount of cheese as desired. For added flavour, bulk, and nutrition, add minced green peppers and mushrooms to your sauté mix before filling.