Any way you want it: the versatility of tofu
Used for over 2,000 years in Chinese cooking, tofu has now found a home in a variety of dishes around the world. Versatile, healthy and delicious, tofu can be used in meals as a protein replacement, texture addition or, if you’re adventurous, a sweet as part of the dessert component. Otherwise known as Bean Curd, Tofu is made by thickening & coagulating soy milk then pressing the result into blocks of varied solidity.
The many varieties of tofu make it versatile enough to be transformed into a dip, a quiche or even a dessert. Popular dishes include tofu that has been fried, crumbed, marinated, scrambled, baked or cubed for a soupy noodle dish or meat replacement. Adventurous cooks have transformed it into sauces, mousses and smoothies. The possibilities are vast and delicious!
Originating in China, Tofu has had a long history within the Asian culture. Containing many vitamins and minerals to support a healthy, balanced diet, tofu is a great addition to any meal. It contains all nine essential amino-acids and is a great source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. It is because of its versatile texture and nutrients that tofu has become a staple for many diets including vegetarian and vegan. The product has proven to be a good substitute for the meat products in your favourite dishes.
Tofu can be diced, sliced, cubed, scrambled or blended depending on the variety you have chosen. These varieties include:
Silken Tofu is known for its creamy, soft texture. While it makes beautiful savoury dishes, this variety of tofu is incredible in sweets. Its soft texture lends itself to blending to become an egg replacer, a smoothie, a cake, a soup, a dip, a sauce or a cheese replacement.
Soft & Medium Tofu is great for scrambles or fried dishes. Soft/Medium tofu can be crumbed to create an egg-like texture which goes well in fried rices or as an egg replacer in breakfast scrambles.
Firm Tofu is great for marinades and as meat replacement as its texture lends itself to frying, baking and covering in batter.
Often accused of being bland, tofu has been ignored by many over the years in lieu of the more popular meat-based proteins. However, the options for flavour with a tofu dish are tremendous. It can be considered a blank slate that is waiting to be moulded into a delicious meal through the use of sauces, marinades, herbs and spices. No matter how you choose to texturize it, with the addition of sauces and marinades, the end result is a flavourful dish.
Next time you are looking for unique addition to your dinner party, perhaps consider adding a little tofu to the menu or choose the Agedashi Tofu from our Asian Menu.