Learn About Tofu

Author: Chef Toby

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What is Tofu?

Tofu is a soy-based product popular in Asian, vegetarian, and vegan cooking. It is white in color and has a creamy, smooth texture. There are four varieties of tofu, all with different textures: extra firm, firm, soft, and silken tofu. 

What does Tofu taste like?

Tofu has a very mild flavor and is actually somewhat flavorless. It is great at adding texture, nutrition, and heartiness to meals. Essentially, tofu will take on the flavor of whatever seasonings or ingredients it’s paired with. 

How do you use Tofu?

Tofu is very versatile and each variety can be used in many different culinary applications. Silken tofu is a common ingredient in Japanese miso soup, and can also be blended to make dairy-free desserts and smoothies. Soft tofu is also great for soups and stews; while firm and extra-firm tofu can withstand the high heat in baking, frying, and sauteeing. Many vegans crumble tofu and sautee it to substitute for scrambled eggs. When seared or fried, tofu develops a crispy texture, making it a great substitute for meat in stir-fries.

Learn About Tofu

Where do you buy Tofu?

You can find tofu at any grocery store, in the refrigerated section of the produce department. It is usually sold in large blocks, submerged in water. 

How do you store Tofu

Keep sealed tofu in the container it came in until you are ready to use. Store any opened tofu in a sealed container in water for up to three days. 

Fun fact about Tofu:

Tofu is one of the oldest foods in the world. It is believed that tofu was discovered in China when a man accidentally curdled soymilk with seaweed over two thousand years ago. 

Did you know?

Tofu is very healthy! Eating tofu helps prevent anemia, build strong bones, and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It is also very high in protein, making it a favorite for vegetarians and vegans who do not eat meat. 

Recipes Using Tofu:

Simple Tofu Scramble

Mimic the look and texture of scrambled eggs with this tofu scramble. To make it, crumble firm tofu into small pieces. In a skillet, heat up olive oil and add the tofu, ground turmeric, and ground pepper. Stir until combined and warmed throughout. The turmeric gives the tofu the signature color of scrambled eggs.

Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse

In a food processor or blender, combine drained, silken tofu with maple syrup and mix until fully combined. To this mixture, add melted chocolate and blend until very smooth. Put the mousse in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve the colocate moose with berries or fresh mint.

Tofu Stir Fru

Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces, then toss together with soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper in a medium bowl. As the tofu marinates, it will absorb the sauces. After it absorbs, toss with corn starch. In a wok or a large frying pan, cook the tofu in oil until it is crispy and set aside. In the same pan, saute broccoli, carrots, peppers, and garlic until tender and golden brown. Add the tofu back in along with a sauce made with soy sauce, sesame oil, water, brown sugar, and cornstarch. Cook until the sauce thickens and serve.

Sesame Noodles With Tofu

In a small bowl, combine serrano chile, soy sauce, honey, and vinegar; set aside. In a wok or large skillet, fry cubed firm tofu until very crispy. Add the soy and honey mixture and cook at medium heat until it thickens. Then, add cooked soba noodles, tahini, and more vinegar. To serve, top the noodles with pickled cucumbers.

Vegetarian Taco Bowls

To make vegetarian taco bowls, tear 1 to 2-inch pieces of firm tofu. Cook the tofu in hot oil and break up with a spatula into smaller pieces. Once the tofu is browned, add garlic, fennel, cumin, coriander, and ancho chile powder. Once the spices begin to toast, add tomato paste and water, and simmer until the sauce thickens. Serve the tofu on a bed of rice with avocado, chopped cilantro, and sliced jalapeño.

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