Much has been said about the benefits of consuming soy products. Include tofu in your dishes and add to their nutritive value. Ideal for those on low-sodium diets and weight watchers, tofu provides soy protein and isoflavones. Our tofu recipe guide provides you tips and tricks on cooking with tofu. Easy to cook tofu recipes are ideal for those who want to whip up tasty and delicious meals in minutes.
Tofu or bean curd finds it origins in South East Asia. It is used widely in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Made by curdling fresh hot soy milk with a coagulant, tofu is a protein-rich food. The curdling agent used to make tofu is usually nigari, a compound found in ocean water or calcium sulfate. When calcium salts are used, the tofu becomes rich in calcium. It is then pressed into solid blocks. With its low fat content, tofu contains no cholesterol and practically no sodium. Firm tofu is dense and solid and is used in soups or grills.
Such tofu pieces are higher in protein, calcium and fat content. Soft tofu is ideal for recipes where blended tofu is called for. Silken tofu is creamy and custard-like in appearance. Softer tofu contains lower fat content. Tofu is sponge-like and soaks up any flavor.
You can pick up tofu in most department stores in water-filled tubs or brick packages. Ensure that the tofu you pick is well within the expiry period. Tofu comes as individual cakes or large blocks or even cylinders. Since tofu is perishable, it needs to be refrigerated and consumed soon. Cover tofu with fresh cool water till it is completely submerged and replace the water every day.
Spoiled tofu tends to be moldy and smells sour. Frozen tofu lasts longer and has a meaty texture. Since soybeans are a complete source of protein and vitamins A, B1, B2, E, niacin, lecithin, calcium and mineral salts, tofu is being hailed as a wonder food - packed with amino acids and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Silken tofu has a softer creamier consistency. It needs careful handling lest it crumble and fall apart. Do not use silken tofu in recipes calling for stir fry or plenty of handling. You can pick up silken tofu in sot, medium or firm consistencies. Use silken tofu for healthy smoothies, desserts or meat loaf. Silken tofu can be replaced in many a dish for a healthier version. Stir it into sour cream for a dip. Use silken tofu in place of cream for creamy soups. Silken tofu is a healthy replacement for cream cheese or mayonnaise. Use silk tofu in cheesecakes, quiches and smooth fillings.
Cooking with tofu
When cooking with tofu, use it in a variety of dishes - add chunks to stews or crumbled tofu to meat loaves. Mashed tofu can be combined with breadcrumbs, chopped onions and seasonings to create healthy burgers. Soft and silken tofu can be blended to create cream pies and dips and salad dressings. Crumble it and add to chili.
When cooking with frozen tofu, thaw it first so that it soaks marinades and seasonings well. Ensure that you boil tofu for about 20 minutes. Press tofu blocks for uniform firmness. Marinate tofu so that it absorbs the flavors well. Tofu can be mashed, blended, whipped, ground, crumbled, marinated, simmered, steamed, baked, broiled, sautéed, barbecued, fried, or deep-fried. It picks up flavors soon since it has little flavor of its own.
An excellent vegetarian source of high-quality protein, tofu is also a good source of iron and Vitamin B. Being low in sodium, tofu is good nutrition for those who are on sodium-restricted food. Tofu provides magnesium, phosphorus, copper and selenium. Tofu has nearly 40% of the calories coming from good fat.
Easy tofu recipe
You can whip up easy tofu recipes with vegetables and sprouts of your choice. Blend them with different sauces and you have a wonderful salad ready in a jiffy. You can rustle up delicious baked tofu sandwiches with onions and bell pepper and spiced with oregano and basil. Roll up tofu slices in fajitas or tortilla wraps.
Cook tofu with pasta and serve a healthy Italian dish ready to serve. Mash tofu and blend with egg white, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms. Season with garlic powder, dried Italian dressing, paprika, fresh parsley, pepper and garlic powder. Make a sauce of flour and milk. This pasta-tofu combination can be baked until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Cornstarch in water
Mix soup stock, soy sauce and ginger. Boil well and add cornstarch mixture to thicken. Cut tofu slices and dust them with flour. Fry the tofu pieces. Place them in a dish and pour sauce over them.
Tofu stir fry
Grilled tofu slices
Chili garlic sauce
Chopped green onions
Boil carrots and mix with onions and peppers in a large boil. Add tofu slices. Mix with vinegar and other sauces. Add garnish and toss gently.
Delicious tofu cheesecake
3 tbsp. Sugar
3 tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tbsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt
½ cup oil
½ cup honey
1 cup sugar
¼ cup margarine
15 pieces firm tofu
11/2 cups cracker crumbs
Mix cracker crumbs, butter and sugar and blend well. Pour into baking dish and bake at around 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Blend tofu with other ingredients till it is smooth and creamy. Pour over the baked pie and bake again for about 30 minutes. Serve with fresh fruit sauces.
250 gms. Firm tofu
1 tbsp. Soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. Lemon juice
Rinse tofu and remove excess water and cut into 1-inch cubes. Blend other ingredients till smooth. Arrange tofu cubes into baking dish and pour blended marinade till it coats the cubes. Allow marinade to settle for about 30 minutes till it is completely absorbed. Thread them on to long skewers with slices of red onions or other vegetables. Barbecue till crisp and golden.
This low-calorie, low fat, low carb version of pasta is made with a blend of tofu and elephant yam flour. Its ideal for those who are counting their calories. Tofu shirataki noodles add protein and fiber to your meal. Though they are a bit rubbery and chewy, tofu shirataki noodles are easy to digest. They make for nourishing food for adults and kids alike.