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How To Cook Tofu So You’ll Actually Like It

From creamy tofu smoothies to crunchy tofu tacos, tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Here is a tutorial on how to prepare tofu to get the delectable results you seek.

To many people, the blocks of soy that may be found in the produce area of the grocery store are a frightening and enigmatic foodstuff. However, vegetarians and vegans may consider tofu to be an essential part of their diet.

Why would you even consider using tofu in the first place? What characteristics set one variety of tofu apart from the others? Why is eating tofu a good idea? How exactly do you prepare meals using tofu?

It is not necessary to consume tasteless, gelatinous soy any more thanks to these excellent tofu solutions. If you want the flavor and texture of your tofu to be the best it can be, make sure you follow these guidelines and advice. It doesn’t matter what kind of tofu you use.

Is Tofu Good for You?

Tofu is an excellent source of a variety of nutrients, including protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and others. Additionally, compared to many other types of animal protein, it has a significantly lower amount of saturated fat. In addition to having a low calorie count, it does not include any cholesterol, gluten, or dairy products, which is excellent news for people who adhere to a vegan or gluten-free diet.

The curd from soybeans is used to make tofu (unlike tempeh, which is made from fermented soy and seitan, which is made of wheat gluten). Isoflavones are plant-based chemicals with estrogenic activity that have been proven to potentially reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers, as well as heart disease and osteoporosis. Other soy products, like tofu, also contain isoflavones.

Is Tofu Cheaper Than Meat?

Tofu is an extremely cost-effective food option, as if the numerous health advantages it offers weren’t already convincing enough. In comparison, the price of a pound of meat or chicken can range anywhere from $3 to $4 per pound, yet the price of a package of tofu is normally under $2 per pound (even more for more sustainably raised meats). Due to the fact that it can be prepared in a very short amount of time, it is an excellent component to have on hand whenever you are pressed for time.

How to Make Delicious Tofu

The adaptability of tofu is among the list of the food’s many outstanding properties. Because of its mild flavor, there is an almost infinite number of ways to prepare it in the kitchen. Tofu is a versatile ingredient that works well not only in recipes with an Asian influence, such as Sesame-Maple Roasted Tofu, but also in dishes with an Italian influence, such as Vegan Lasagna, and in desserts such as Chocolate Raspberry Tofu Pie, amongst many other applications. It even imitates the texture of scrambled eggs.

The types of tofu that are used the most frequently are extra-firm and firm tofu. These varieties of tofu are able to maintain their form and structure even after being stir-fried, fried, grilled, roasted, or marinated. These two varieties of tofu, when cooked properly, have a consistency and flavor that is comparable to that of meat.

When cooking tofu to a firm or extra-firm consistency, you will want to remove as much water as you can from the tofu in order to achieve the greatest results. Because of this, it will be able to more effectively absorb the marinade and crisp up when it is being cooked. To remove the excess water from the tofu, cut the block into between four and six slabs. Then, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been covered with paper towels or a clean dish towel, and allow them to rest and drain for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of four hours.

How to Press Tofu

A block of tofu weighing between 14 and 16 ounces should be cut lengthwise into eight equal pieces.

A fresh dish towel should be laid out on the baking sheet. After arranging the tofu in a single layer on the towel, cover it with a second towel.

On top of that, place another baking sheet and weigh it with two cans that are 28 ounces each. Allow to stand for between 1 and 4 hours.

To remove even more moisture from the tofu, you can first freeze the tofu slabs, then allow them to thaw in the refrigerator, and last crush them with your hands for half an hour.

One more choice is bringing, which, at first glance, does not seem to make much sense. This method can also extract excess moisture from the tofu and contribute to the formation of a tasty crust. In water that is boiling, dissolve the salt, and then place the tofu slabs that have been cut in them for 15 minutes. The next step is to drain the tofu and then press it between a couple of paper towels to dry the outside before continuing with the preparation.

How to Make Crispy Tofu

To achieve a crispy crust without resorting to deep frying, put a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the tofu according to the instructions in your recipe, but before adding any sauces, move the tofu that has been lightly cooked to a baking sheet that has been preheated. The heat, upon coming into contact with the tofu, will cause the exterior to become charred, creating a chewier consistency. For pieces that are even crispier, continue baking them in the oven for an additional 5 to 8 minutes while rotating them halfway through.

If you do not have enough time to perform this additional step in the oven, you may also aid generate a crisp coating and stimulate good browning by giving the food a gentle toss in cornstarch before cooking.

How to Use Silken Tofu

Smoothies, desserts, soups, and other dishes can all benefit from the increased body and creaminess that can be achieved by blending silken and soft tofu. Both of these varieties of tofu are less stiff than regular tofu. These varieties of tofu are perfect for a variety of other applications as well, such as crumbling them over foods or whisking them into dips.

When you make a smoothie the next time, try adding some silken tofu for an extra dose of protein. These options for softer tofu are great dairy-free additions to puddings and mousses, and they can even help thicken sauces. In addition, they are more versatile.

How to Marinate Tofu

Tofu is a superb blank slate because of its capacity to thoroughly absorb savory marinades and seasonings, which is one of the reasons why it is considered to be one of the best attributes of tofu. It is important to keep in mind that the more surface area you generate by cutting the tofu, the more room there is for the marinade to work its magic and transform the flavor of the tofu.

Tofu can be marinated in the refrigerator for up to four hours in a dish or a bag with a zip-top for a minimum of thirty minutes. To ensure that the tofu is evenly coated in the marinade, give it a little toss or flip it over halfway through the process.

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