Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tofu - If You've Got It, Flaunt It!

One staple of most vegan and vegetarian diets is tofu. It's nutritious, it is pretty much completely healthy and good for you, and it's great for texture. It's something especially precious to the diet, and anyone can enjoy it.

However, a good many people don't really know how to use it, and that is a pity. Many a dish has been ruined by simple bad preparation, or lack of knowhow. So today, I will let you in on some great secrets of preparing tofu and cooking it to the best!

Choose wisely! Select the right tofu for your recipe. If you don't know what you're going to make, choose firm or extra firm tofu; these are best for dishes where you're going to be putting cubes of tofu with other foods, or eating it on its own. Many dishes you can quickly throw together are best when firm or extra firm tofu is used for them.

Press your advantage! Tofu is not ready, right out of the container. Open the container, pour all the water out, and take the block of tofu out of the container.

Get a bowl with a mostly flat bottom, turn it upside-down and set it in the sink, and place the block of tofu on it. Then put a plate on top of the block of tofu. Now it should be positioned between two flat surfaces that will press it. Leave it there for at least half an hour, ideally a few hours.

You may need to add weight on the top. If so, a mixing bowl or something should do nicely. Just make sure you balance it well so it doesn't topple over.

You can actually use an upside-down plate for the bottom, just make sure it's not something where water is going to pool under the tofu. If water pools under it, you've just defeated the purpose of pressing it.

Pressing tofu is important, because it is suspended in water. That water takes on a strong tofu taste and aroma, and it also makes the tofu flimsy, since it's waterlogged. Even soft tofu should be pressed, unless it's already prepared.

Use it, don't lose it! You can preserve tofu by keeping it in water and changing the water regularly. However, it's best just to use all the tofu after opening it. There's always leftovers! Fried tofu keeps quite well refrigerated, as well.

A watched pot never boils! And it may seem like you've been cooking it forever, but cook it a little bit longer. Tofu needs to be cooked in a frypan until it is golden if you're just cooking it with oil. It must have sufficient time to cook.

A marinade is as good as a smile! If you have the time, press the tofu and then marinate it. This will enhance the flavour and make it even more enjoyable. Tofu absorbs liquid easily, which makes it especially easy to season for its part in your dish. Since it is so absorbent, you don't need to marinate it for a long time. You can just marinate it for an hour, and you'll see the immediate enhancement!

Freeze in a flash! Even many people who use tofu regularly don't know this handy secret, but actually, freezing tofu makes it easier than ever to use.

To freeze it, open the container and pour out the water. Squeeze as much water as you can out of it without crushing it or causing it to collapse. Put it in the freezer for a few hours, until it is completely frozen. Then take it out and let it thaw.

The tofu will change texture, and it will also be easier to squeeze the water from it! It is perfect for many dishes, because it is easier to use without falling apart. Freezing and thawing tofu gives it a different, slightly chewier texture. It is still supremely absorbent. It's much easier for beginning tofu chefs to use.

I hope these tips will help you as much as they have helped me in my tofu journey! Tofu doesn't have to be bland, crumbly, damp, or unappealing. It just happens that many people don't prepare it properly and don't know that they're doing anything wrong! And so, as a result, they believe -- and mistakenly! -- forever that tofu is something to be avoided. In actuality, tofu is nutritious, delicious, versatile, and an absolutely amazing food that can be used regularly in a healthy diet. You could have a tofu dish every day for a month and never prepare it the same way twice in a row!

I hope you will enjoy your newfound joy with tofu!

};) Dhiar <3

1 comment:

  1. I'm not even vegetarian and I love tofu, especially when it's fried till crispy on the outside then used in a tasty stirfry or other asian dish! Keep up the wonderful food blogs - I find them very interesting and informative.