Tofu BasicsLearn tofu basics and you will be exposed to a whole new world of cuisine.  Tofu is a blank canvas for flavors.  Throughout East Asia and now in the United States and other parts of the world, tofu has been the most popular way to serve soybeans.  Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is a soft cheese-like food that comes from soymilk.  The highly versatile tofu is a popular ingredient and has multiple uses in home cooking.

Tofu, Your Health, and the Environment

Tofu can be added to or replace animal protein in recipes. If  joining  Meatless Monday’s is too drastic for your lifestyle, try using tofu to replace some of your meat in a dish. Start small, use 25% tofu and 75% meat if needed. Every little bit helps.

Health- Soy foods, like tofu,  are good for the heart and blood vessels when used to replace less healthful choices, like red meat, because they contain plenty of polyunsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are low in saturated fat as compared to animal protein.

Tofu is a high-quality protein source that contains all essential amino acids for growth.  It is a good source of essential fatty acids and contains no cholesterol. It is also believed to help relieve hot flashes and maintain healthy bones in menopause, and to prevent prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer.  

For facts and research visit soyfoods.org.

Environment- Reducing the amount of  meat in your diet can help the planet. Studies report that, it takes 13 lbs. of grain to produce just one  lb. of beef and three lbs. of grain for each lb. of chicken.  More meat means even more grain, water, land  and waste management for the animals. That is all in addition to the water and land needed to grow the grain, the energy to harvest it, and the resources needed to slaughter the animals and process into meat. You can save all of those resources, and their related greenhouse gases by eating the grain directly.

Tofu Basics – How to Prepare Tofu

Freshly made tofu is great but baked tofu, broiled tofu, barbecued tofu, grilled tofu, fried tofu, or steamed tofu can be even better- flavored to your liking of course.  Tofu is a blank canvas for flavors.  It can be paired with just about anything and its flavors can change.

Marinating Tofu is one of the most popular ways to use tofu. Marinating is the process of adding flavors to foods by either spice pastes or liquids or sauces.  Marinate tofu by first draining tofu or pressing tofu to remove the water from the tofu package and covering the tofu with your favorite marinade.  The longer you let the tofu marinate the stronger the flavor. Freezing tofu and then pressing tofu enhances flavor absorption and changes the texture, thus making it an excellent addition to chili, pot pies and lasagna.

Freezing Tofu is a great way to store tofu for future use and it changes its texture. To freeze tofu, you can either freeze the entire unopened package, or drain it with the TofuXpress and store the pressed tofu in plastic bags or freezer wrap in your freezer.  Frozen tofu becomes chewy, spongy, and beige-colored, and can be stored for up to five months.

Pressing Tofu is another easy option for tofu preparation. Pressing tofu removes moisture and allows better flavor absorption. Press tofu to give it a “meat-ier” texture. Pressing tofu also helps tofu fry and grill faster with crispier results. You can press tofu with the TofuXpress, the new way to press tofu, and experiment with your very own marinades and seasonings.

Quick Ideas

  1. Mix tofu with frozen vegetables for quick stir fry, then serve over soy penne or rontini.

  2. Grill kabobs made with marinated tofu chunks, vegetables, and pineapple.

  3. Make a Mexican wrap with zesty flavored baked tofu, black soybeans and soycheese.

  4. Use tofu to replace mayonnaise and sour cream in Vitamin-A rich spinach dip.

  5. Make protein-rich smoothies with tofu, soymilk and any fresh, canned or frozen fruit.

  6. For tofu recipes visit TofuXpress.com/recipes

Tofu Brands and Supplies

  • House Foods – Tofu, Tofu Shirataki Noodles, Wraps

  • Sunrise Soya Foods –Tofu, Dessert Custards, Tofu Puffs, Flavored Dried Tofu

  • TofuXpress – A tofu press used to make the preparation of tofu easier. It presses water out and lets flavor in

  • Vitasoy’s Azumaya and Nasoya lines – Tofu, Tofu Shirataki Noodles, Wraps, Black Soybean Tofu

Nutrition Highlights

Tofu that is made with calcium based coagulants can be an excellent source of calcium.  Tofu may also be fortified with B-vitamins, other vitamins, and minerals, just check the product label for the nutrient content.  

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup tofu (with calcium sulfate and nigari) provides:

Calories

88

% Daily Value

Total Fat

5 g

8%

Saturated Fat

<1g

5%

Total Carbohydrates

2g

1%

Protein

10 g

20%

Cholesterol

0mg

0%

Sodium

15 mg

1 %

Dietary Fiber

1 g

4%

Calcium

250 mg

25%

Potassium

186 mg

5%

Phosphorus

152 mg

15%

Folate

24 mcg

6%

Average

Total Isoflavones

32 mg

 


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"The TofuXpress makes tofu so easy to handle and much more flavorful than it would be if we pressed it ourselves! We use it in our cooking classes whenever we prepare tofu and at home when we are cooking for ourselves!" Spork Foods- Heather and Jenny Goldberg More >