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Tofu Tips and Tricks

Tofu is probably one of best resources in a vegetarian diet, since it’s a great source of proteins. With a literary meaning of “bean”, tofu is actually made of soybeans. Soybeans are turned into soy milk, and tofu is made by coagulating soy milk. This rather simple story has a huge impact worldwide, as tofu and other subsidiary products are now available and often used in many cuisines.

There are two kinds of tofu, fresh tofu and processed tofu. The fresh tofu divides into silken tofu and firm tofu, each with its purposes and attributes. Silken tofu can be compared to a heavy cream, and it is mainly recommended as a base for dips and spreads, or as a thickener in dressing. It also goes great in soups or in various recipes of desert.

The firm tofu is the most common form of tofu, easy to find in the dairy section of s store, and it’s probably one of the most popular ingredients in green salads. You can also fry it, grill it, bake it or just use it in soups.

Besides these two kinds of tofu, there’s a third one, an extra firm tofu, resembling to chicken taste, usually used as meat substitute. The processed tofu refers to all frozen tofu products and also to the flavored ones (sweet tofu or egg tofu).

Whether the tofu, there are some secrets one can always use when cooking with tofu.

  • firm or extra firm tofu can be turned into a ground beef texture if one tries freezing, thawing squeezing dry and mashing; it’s an excellent ingredient for chili or burritos
  • tofu can be cut into cubes, salted and then put into an oiled baking pan; after 20 minutes of baking at 300F, the tofu is ready with a nice beautiful crust, ready to mix with a sauce
  • silken tofu can be puréed and afterwards used just like a regular dairy product, the perfect ingredient to mix into a soup; if scrambled, it tastes like eggs
  • tofu can be spiced with lots of intense herbs, just like ginger, turmeric or cumin
  • raw tofu can be sliced in any veggie dish or sauce
  • for a crispy crust, cut tofu in 1’’ sticks, marinate it and then bake or broil it

  • One of the most amazing things about tofu is the large variety of cooking and using it into any recipe. From broiling to grilling, tofu goes in soups, stews, salads, vegetable dishes, raw or frozen. The western methods of cooking tofu include barbecuing, marinating it, as a replacer for dairy-free products, or even to replace cheese in some dishes, like lasagna. Even though grilling it seems awkward, since its texture is rather soft, some techniques are still available.

    How to grill tofu

    Use extra firm tofu for this specific recipe. Place the slices of tofu on paper towels, so it drains. Add some more paper towels on top of the tofu, put also a baking sheet on top of that and then add something heavy, jars or books, so it drains properly. After 15 minutes, put the tofu in a glass pan and get ready to prepare the marinade:
  • lime juice
  • soy sauce
  • 2 Tabasco dashes
  • pepper
  • dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • sesame oil
  • balsamic vinegar

  • Marinate the tofu for about an hour and after that, it will be ready to grill. Turn the heat to medium, and just simply grill it for 2 minutes per side, until it’s crispy.

    Tags: tofu recipes, tofu, tofu tips, vegetarian food, vegetarian diet, soy protein, soy milk

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