Tofu is one of the most popular foods in vegetarian and vegan gastronomy, a very popular alternative that has different benefits. This is generally called ” tofu ” mainly because of its appearance and firm texture; On many occasions, it is usually presented in small white cubes.
Tofu is obtained from the coagulation of what is called “soy drink”, the process being very similar to the production of cheese from milk, separating at the end the liquid and the solid part. The popularity of tofu is largely due to its flavor, versatility and excellent price ; Thanks to this, there are many people who inquire into ways to cook this food and here some of them will be reviewed.
Benefits of tofu
As with any food, knowing the benefits of tofu for your body is very necessary when adding it to your diet. In the first instance, we must talk about the most outstanding characteristics, it stands out more than all that it is made from soybeans, which is the most consumed legume in the world as it is a base of the diet of any person.
Regarding the properties of tofu, it stands out that it is considered the perfect substitute for meat, mainly thanks to its low fat content and that it is produced with a much lower investment, being more accessible in the market.
It also excellently combines proteins and amino acids, providing a great source of these compounds. It also contains good amounts of calcium, iron, manganese and phosphorus, perfect for everyday use; and likewise, it is rich in B complex vitamins (mainly vitamin B1), beneficial for the nervous system.
It provides many elements that take care of the body and serve as a treatment for certain ailments, among which we can count fats such as lecithin, which helps control cholesterol. It also contains fiber, fatty acids and isoflavones that protect the heart.
Likewise, isoflavones provide extra benefits to women, especially when the menopause stage begins. This compound can modulate and regulate the hormonal state of the body, thus preventing symptoms such as cramps, hot flashes and mood swings.
Types of tofu for your recipes
In the market you can find different types of tofu depending on its texture and consistency mainly (Found according to this criterion: firm tofu and silky tofu). Also, the amount of water used for its preparation plays an important role in achieving different types of this product.
According to the different brands, different terms can be found to define the types of tofu; the main and most common ones will be defined below to give a more complete image of their variety, making it possible for you to identify them yourself.
Regular or regular tofu
It could be considered the most standard tofu as it has a medium consistency that is firm but also smooth, it is perfectly suited to multiple dishes, and it can be prepared in many different ways.
Also known as firm Chinese tofu, its texture is comparable to that of a ricotta cheese, being firm but grainy if crushed or crumbled, making it excellent for dressings and salads.
Extra firm tofu
This tofu is much more solid and strong, it is also more complicated to crumble on its own and because of that it is easier for it to be cut into cubes or strips, perfectly keeping its shape.
Japanese firm silky tofu
Although it has a firm consistency, it is still smooth and is characterized by being quite silky and creamy compared to the previous ones. Typically, this type of tofu is found exclusively in miso soup.
Japanese soft silky tofu
It can be considered the lightest, creamiest and smoothest type. It is so soft that at times it can be almost liquid, which is why it is ideal to be used in the preparation of creams, sauces and dressings after crushing it.
This variety is typical of Japanese brands and is a term used exclusively by this country; refers to a firm and solid consistency tofu .
Like the previous one, it is a term typical of Japanese brands that can be found in different stores; and unlike Momendofu, this is a soft and very light tofu .
Cook tofu properly
If you want to add tofu to your diet, I will introduce you to some of the most popular ways to prepare it, so you can get the best flavors every time you set out to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your own favorite recipe when cooking.
It should be noted that there are certain things you must do before preparing the tofu, the main thing is to find the type that suits what you want to prepare, if you are not sure, you can opt for regular tofu and that way you know when you would need one firmer or softer for each dish.
When you go to cook, you should always drain the tofu, this usually comes packaged with a liquid to keep it in good condition; but when you start to consume it you must remove all the liquid and press the tofu on a firm surface, placing a pot or other heavy object on top.
After you do this, you have many different alternatives to cook, below you can see them.
Right after removing the liquid from the tofu, the next thing is to replace it with a marinade. Be it BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce or some sauce of your own invention. You must cut the tofu into small cubes and place it in this sauce to marinate (The more time passes, the more intense the flavor will be); When you feel satisfied, you can proceed to grill it until golden brown.
To prepare the tofu in this way you can mix it with various ingredients, whether they are vegetables, sauces, sausages, cheese (Vegan or normal, it depends on your own diet) or any other type of your choice.
You must create a base with onions that will be briefly fried in oil; Once this is done, you will place the tofu, crumble it and add its companion, making sure to take advantage of its flavor.
Note : you can also season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Sauces and creams
This is the easiest recipe to prepare with tofu, you simply have to blend it together with an ingredient to achieve your desired consistency.
For example, you can prepare a cream to fill a cake by mixing tofu with chocolate (Vegan or conventional) and a sweetener of your choice (Sugar, honey, sweetener). Likewise, salty sauces are an excellent option, you just have to blend it together with marinara sauce so that it is much heavier.
Ultimately, another way to cook tofu is to prepare it baked, which is a great option if you are looking for a different and less common flavor.
To prepare it you must cut it into small cubes and place it on a tray along with olive oil, salt, pepper and any other seasoning that you like; You can also cook it with other ingredients such as sausages or vegetables.
The oven should be hot to 450 ° F by the time you put the tray in, then you should wait half an hour and then flip the tofu cubes giving it another 30 minutes of cooking. Finally, you must remove the tray and serve to enjoy.
Knowing all these ways of cooking tofu and the benefits it brings you, it is much easier to expand your menu and get the best results with an excellent flavor.