Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Video: Tofu Prep 101
Cooking with tofu and finding tofu recipes can be very easy in today's vegetarian market. Internet sites like VegWeb.com are just loaded with information and tofu recipes on how to cook tofu. I hope this article is helpful and that you learn new ways for cooking with tofu.
Tofu, or bean curd as it is some times called, is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks. It is a food of Chinese origin. Acid type coagulants are used for silken and softer tofu. Salt coagulants are used to make a more firm tofu and adds calcium.
Commercial tofu comes in aseptic packaging (does not need refrigeration) and has a shelf life of one year. Water packed tofu requires refrigeration. Silken tofu is soft, firm or extra firm. Regular tofu is firm or extra firm. In some cases the soy milk is curdled directly into the packaging and others are allowed to cool, become firm, cut into pieces and in some cases, flavored or further processed.
The process of freezing tofu makes it a meat-like texture to be used in easy tofu recipes. The moisture creates ice crystals which in turn create layered cavities. After thawing the tofu, it is then squeezed or pressed to remove the moisture. This can be done by sandwiching the tofu between two plates and paper towels or dish clothes. Place a weight such as a pan of water, or canned food on top of the plates for about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off the liquid.
Unused left over tofu can be kept refrigerated for 3 days in a sealed container and covered with water. Change the water daily.
For tofu desserts, sauces and shakes, blend silken, soft or firm tofu until creamy smooth. Mix together with other ingredients according to the recipe. Making tofu cheesecake is one of the many easy dessert tofu recipes.
For stir fried tofu recipes, deep fried tofu, tofu salads and casserole tofu recipes, cube, slice, or crumble regular, firm or extra firm tofu. Use as is or freeze and thaw. Mix together with other ingredients according to the many easy recipes.
If you would like to learn how to make tofu at home, here is a site with directions and photos for making tofu: Homemade Tofu
High in protein - about 10.7% for firm tofu and 3.7% for soft silken tofu.
Low in saturated fat.
Low in calories.
Beneficial amounts of iron.
Sometimes high in calcium (depending on the coagulant used in processing).
High in magnesium.
The Recipe Directory at VegWeb.com has a Tofu Recipe section with six pages of recipes. Categories: BBQ, Baked, Fried, Burgers/Patties and Miscellaneous. Tofu can also be found in recipes throughout the entire Recipe Directory.