Don't Trip About Tofu

Don't Trip About Tofu

Maybe it’s because the first time I heard the word tofu I thought someone was speaking Klingon to me. It might’ve been because at first sight it looked like a colorless block of clay. Or it may have even been because the first time I tried it the uncooked cubes were sprinkled on a salad. Tofu has a bad rap, and it’s undeserved. It’s really nutritious and can be delicious; it just needs to be prepared the right way. Keep reading for some tofu tips and recipes!

Food shouldn't be boring. To spice things up some more, check out: Marinating Tips and Recipes, Edible Flowers: A Delicate Addition to Your Dish, More Rhubarb, Barb! 14 Rhubarb Recipes, 5 Caffeine Alternatives, CRAZY for Coconut

Firmness: Tofu is made from firmed, pressed soymilk and comes in a variety of consistencies from the creamy silken to the extra firm that’s my favorite for stir-fries. Make sure you buy the right tofu for the job; using a silken tofu in a stir fry will end in disaster and putting firm tofu into a smoothie will make it anything but smooth. 

Drain: Because tofu is made from firmed liquid, it is basically a sponge. As such, there’s a significant amount of moisture in each block. When you are using firm or extra-firm tofu, it’s important to drain the blocks. I like to do this by wrapping the tofu in paper towel and weighing it down with a cookie sheet topped with some cans. Let it go for two hours, and the tofu will be drained and ready to absorb whatever flavors you throw at it.

Marinate: Because drained tofu can absorb flavors, it’s a great way to use a marinade. I like to do a simple soy sauce and rice vinegar marinade for stir fries. In the summertime, I’ll marinate the tofu in a little barbecue sauce and red wine before throwing it on the grill. You want to marinate for at least 30 minutes, and can go for as long as overnight depending on the marinade. 

High Heat: The firm and extra-firm variants of tofu should be cooked at a very high heat to add a caramelized texture to it. Searing, grilling, and roasting at high heat are all great ways to lock in the marinade and crisp up the outside. 

Ready to get cooking? Check out some of my favorite recipes!

Tofu Lasagna: This healthful, vegetarian lasagna is easy to prepare and rich with Italian herbs and cheeses.

Barbecue Baked Tofu: This is a delicious recipe that you can make for any vegetarians that you know. By draining the tofu, marinating, and cooking at a high temperature, it loses that watery, bland flavor and becomes chewy. Try it in sandwiches, on nachos, or just for a snack!

Tropical Tofu Smoothie: Drift away to paradise by indulging in this tropical tofu smoothie.

Tofu Chow Mein with Cashews: This is a simple vegetarian dish perfect for a weeknight dinner or weekday lunch for those of us on the go.

Health-Packed Miso Soup: This soup is known for being packed with healthy vitamins and nutrients. Why don't you give it a try on a cold day or when you're feeling under the weather?

Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu: This dish is a perfect vegetarian take on the traditional Chinese take-out staple. It's a great appetizer, or the perfect main course served over a bed of rice!

Five Alarm Tofu: This spicy tofu dish, known officially as Ma-Po Tofu, is a dish that originates from the Szechwan province of China. This dish is hot! Make sure to serve it with some steamed rice or noodles.

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