Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking to switch up your protein sources, this guide to cooking tofu will help you create delicious and healthy meals.
Tofu was first used in Chinese cooking over 2000 years and has now become a staple for vegetarian and vegan Western cooking as it boosts an impressive nutritional value, being high in protein + calcium and low in fat + sodium and iron. Tofu is made from curdled soya milk.
Tofu is so versatile you can pretty much do anything with it. And while plain tofu can look unexciting and bland, cooked tofu is full of wonderful flavours and textures. The secret of unleashing its greatness is in its preparation and/or cooking. Tofu absorbs the flavours of the other foods it is being cooked with, which makes it a great candidate for marinades, stews, stir-fries etc… Tofu can also substitute cream, eggs and cheese.
Types Of Tofu
Plain Tofu (Firm or Extra Firm) This is the most common type of tofu. You will find it in the refrigerated aisle. It is packed with water so do not forget to drain it before use.
Flavoured / Marinated Tofu Flavoured and marinated tofu can also be found in the refrigerated aisle. The choice is ever increasing from flavours such as smoked, herbs, olives, tomatoes, chilli, garlic, ginger etc…
Silken Tofu Silken tofu is usually available in the Asian / Specialty aisle and is packaged in sterile containers (similar to tetra pak). It is soft and silky and has a pudding-like quality.
Brands Available In The UK
Personally, I really like the range of flavours of Taifun. It is a little bit more pricey but still a delicious treat from time to time. Here are some of the other brands you will find in shops in the UK:
How To Cook Tofu
+ Scramble It: tofu scramble is a scrumptious alternative to eggs that hits the spot every time. Perfect on toasts, muffins, tortillas or in sandwiches. Turmeric adds some yellowish colour to the tofu (to mimic eggs) while the nutritional yeast (high in vitamins B and protein) adds a nutty, cheesy flavour.
+ Marinate It: first you need to drain and remove any excess moisture from firm or extra firm tofu. Then you need to cut the tofu and place it in a container with your choice of condiments, spices and seasonings. Leave it for 1 hour to overnight in the fridge.
+ Bake It: bake plain or marinated tofu in the oven. It becomes crispy on the outside while still smooth on the inside. You can use it in salads, stir-fries, or simply as a hot or cold snack.
+ Grill It: grilling works best with firm or extra firm tofu that has been marinated and pressed first. You can then grill it in the oven or on the barbecue.
+ Fry It: dice or slice some firm or extra firm tofu and simply pan fry them with a little flour, garlic, oil etc.. Fried tofu can then be used with stir fries, salads, rice, noodles, vegetables . . . Silken tofu is also delicious deep-fried.
+ Soup: miso soup is probably the best-known soup with tofu, but you can dice or scramble tofu over many other Asian soups. You can also use silken tofu for an ultra-smooth vegetable soup.
+ Stir Fry It: plain or marinated tofu is great in stir fry.
+ Drink it Shakes & Smoothies: add protein to your morning smoothie with thick and creamy silken tofu.
+ Slow Cook It: plain or marinated tofu can add some healthy vegetable protein to your slow cooker recipes.
+ Beat It in Mousses, Dips & Cakes: silken tofu can be beaten in light and creamy mousses or dips. It can also replace eggs in vegan cake by binding the ingredients together.
How To Cook Tofu – Recipe Inspiration
Do you have a favourite tofu recipe? Why don’t you share it with us in the comments box below?
You can also follow my Pinterest Tofu Recipes board.