How to cook tofu—beloved by so many, yet seemingly detested by so many, too. If you know how to cook this great product in some interesting and delicious ways, though, it can do a lot for your nutrition and your mealtime pleasure.
Besides packing roughly 10 grams of protein
into a half-cup, tofu also tastes great—when
"prepped" before adding to recipes. Two simple ways to do this are by pressing and with the "freeze-and-squeeze" method.
If you give one of these a try, you may find yourself liking tofu better than you think you do.
Some people press their tofu first—compressing it into a dense (and drier) cake. In this form, the tofu can absorb more liquid from either cooking or marinating, both of which give it more taste. If I'm in a hurry, I sometimes use the EZ Tofu Press myself and find that it works pretty well. (Saves a lot of paper towels, too.)
You can also do it this way, sans press.
First, cut your tofu block into three or four equal slices. Lay each
slice on some paper towels or, even better, a thick, clean tea towel
lying on a flat surface. Cover with another layer of towel(s) and top
off with a cookie sheet.
Then place a weight of some kind on the cookie sheet—a book or two, perhaps, or some heavy cans equally spaced. (But not so heavy as to squash your tofu!) Let it rest this way for 30 to 40 minutes before cooking.
Another method (and my own favorite) is "freeze-and-squeeze," which can change your entire experience of tofu. It does this by yielding a firm and somewhat spongy product, with minimal liquid remaining.
The only real downside to this little trick is the time you must factor in for freezing and thawing the block...although you can use hot water or the microwave to speed things up in a pinch.
After freezing the tofu (best done in its original package), thaw it completely. Then cut out one side of the package, squeezing the tofu gently over the sink. Continue squeezing until no more liquid remains.
At that point, your tofu will have a somewhat spongy texture you may find more to your taste. Moreover, it can now absorb more flavor than if it retained the original liquid. Crumble or cut the tofu into pieces, and sauté it, braise it in a small amount of sauce, or toss it into soups or sauces as is.
By doing these steps beforehand and then freezing the
cooked tofu, you'll have a ready supply to add to soups, salads, pastas,
and other yummy vegetarian dishes. Pretty slick, no?
And speaking of "yummy vegetarian dishes," try this hearty soup, which combines tofu with kale and barley. Tasty, filling, and also great for you. But—after you eat those yummy tofu dishes, please don’t be sure to brush and floss. Alas no, not a joke: soy products tend to cling to the teeth and cause mischief. So please brush and floss after any meal containing soy, which seems a relatively small price to pay...
Vegetarian Diet Tips for a Slimmer, Healthier You!
Copyright 2010-2016. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.