Tofu, also known as bean curd, is an age–old staple in many Asian cuisines. It originated in ancient China. Historians believe that its popularity coincided with the spread of Buddhism, due to the Buddhist emphasis on a vegetarian diet. Tofu has a subtle flavor, and actually takes on the flavor of just about any sauce or marinade. It is low in calories, has substantial amounts of protein, and contains minimal fat.
Nasoya is our tofu brand of choice. We buy only organic tofu in various textures for various purposes. Recently we tried Nasoya’s Organic TofuPlus line – tofu with added vitamins including B2, B6, B12, D and Calcium. We like the idea of extra nutrition, especially when it tastes and looks the same as basic organic tofu. All Nasoya tofu products are certified OK kosher, parve.
Welcome to Tofu 101:
Enroll with us at Nasoya Tofu U to learn about this amazing, healthful food!
How is Tofu made? Tofu is made by curding soymilk, much in the same way cheese is made from dairy milk. Making tofu starts with grinding soybeans with water and heating. The soymilk is separated from the solids, stirred, and a natural firming agent known as a coagulant is added. Curds form, they are poured into a forming box and the liquid (whey) is pressed out. The pressing action forms the curd into a tofu block
What about the textures? Tofu is available in different textures, depending on the amounts of natural coagulants, which are used. The texture also varies depending on how much water is used for each type. Simple as that! Tofu U explains which texture of tofu works best for each use:
Stir–frying: Use Extra–Firm
Baked BBQ: Use Firm
Quick salad: Use Cubed
Creamy dip or soup: Use Soft
Blending a smoothie: Use Silken
How is Tofu cooked? There are many things you can do with tofu. Most people use it as a meat substitute but it can also be used to make sauces, soups, dips, smoothies, desserts & more. In the kosher home, or for those striving to maintain a vegan or vegetarian diet, Tofu is a perfect substitute ingredient.To learn how to use Tofu as a substitute for dairy or eggs check out the tofu conversion chart.
How and why is Tofu Pressed? Most tofu arrives packaged in a bed of water. It is best to remove excess moisture from Tofu, so it will cook more evenly and more flavorfully. Therefore pressing is recommended.
Three Tofu Pressing Methods: 1. Put the tofu between two or more paper towels and place on a plate. Top with heavy objects such as large cans of food, and let drain for 20-30 minutes.
The TofuXpress tofu press is designed to be the healthy cook's kitchen tool!. It presses water effectively from a standard size brick of commercially made tofu to change the texture so it can more easily absorb flavor. The TofuXpress also converts into a marinating dish, and can be used for pressing other vegetables such as sliced eggplant, thawed, chopped spinach, fresh tomatoes etc. and is also great in making cheese and Greek Yogurt. It is made in America and dishwasher safe.
Fellow Atlantan, Ben Aron invented this tofu press when he decided that there had to be a better method of removing moisture from tofu than towels and heavy cans. He often cooked with tofu, because as he says “it is a canvas” for flavor. Necessity is the mother of Invention – and so it was in this case. Aron invented the EZ Tofu Press, an easy-to-use tool that works with any size Tofu brick, small or large, to remove moisture. The EZ Tofu press is simple in design, and has an easily adjustable tension feature. It is top rack, dishwasher safe.