Tofu is an excellent source of protein, and is a wonderful food to add to your diet just for fun or if you’d leaning toward a vegetarian lifestyle it can be used to create a variety of delicious and healthy dishes.
What is Tofu Made of?
Tofu is made from soy milk curd, it’s rich in iron and protein. Silken tofu (Japanese style tofu) is soft and smooth and usually used for creamy dishes, while regular tofu (or Chinese style tofu) is firmer and works perfectly in stir-fries, soups, salads, and as appetizers.
Buying and Preserving Tofu
You can buy tofu most anywhere – Your local grocery store, asian markets or healthy food stores. Regular tofu is packed in water and found in the refrigerated section of the store. All types come in different degrees of firmness- soft, firm, and extra-firm. You can also buy light tofu along with ready to eat, baked and marinated versions.
This type of tofu is sold in vacuumed packed containers and don’t need to be refrigerated. It and can last for years on the shelf unopened. This kind of tofu is usually found in the Asian food section or international isle at the grocery store. It will need to be refrigerated after opening, and use as soon as possible. Also keep in mind that silken tofu does not freeze well. Use Silken tofu for puddings, smoothies, dips, soups, salad dressings, sauces, pie fillings, and other creamy desserts (Yes, cheesecake!).
Tofu can be frozen for up to three months. Once defrosted, tofu has a nice caramel color and a chewier, more absorbent texture. To freeze tofu, drain it, then wrap it tightly. When it has thawed, squeeze out all water and break it into pieces.
Squeeze as much of the water out of tofu as possible before cooking with it. To press tofu, place a block of it between a few layers of paper towels and press down for about 15 to 30 minutes. Once most of the water is pressed out you can cut it into whatever shape you want for your recipe. Silken tofu shouldn’t be pressed because it’s the water content that gives it it’s creamy texture.
Tofu is excellent to use instead of meat and awesome marinated for stir frying or grilling. Try it you’ll like.