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Thread: Just discovered tofu
04-19-2012, 01:20 PM #1
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Just discovered tofu
Meat is expensive and has cholesterol.
I bought some tofu because it's healthy, but also because it costs about $2 for a large package. I was intimidated by it, but after looking up some recipes online I tried it. It's not bad.
It takes some prep to make it taste good, though. I put it on a paper towel on a plate in the fridge, put another plate on it and some canned goods on top of that. You have to press the water out before you cook it.
I let it sit overnight, but it only needs to sit an hour or so. I made a marinade with asian spices, garlic, lime juice, and soy sauce. I let it marinate a couple hours and coated it lightly with corn starch. Then I added it to some oil and let it brown a bit. It's easy to overcook. Then I added cooked veggies, soy sauce, and 1 TBSP hoisin sauce. Go easy on the hoisin sauce. It has a ton of sugar in it. I let it heat through, and then I put it on rice.
It wasn't bad. It sort of had a cheese-like texture. The main taste in the tofu ended up being lime, which worked for me.
04-19-2012, 01:36 PM #2
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Oh, good. I've been meaning to start a thread about tofu, but I keep forgetting. I don't have any experience with it and don't know much about it, other than there are different types and it's made of soybeans (I think.)
I'll be watching this thread with interest.
04-19-2012, 04:19 PM #3
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There are three different kinds. The very soft tofu can be blended up to make shakes, dip, even salad dressing. In China it is served as a dessert with a sweet syrup over it.
The hard tofu can be sliced or cubed and treated like chicken. You can marinate and grill it, fry it, etc.
Medium tofu gets used a lot in soups and stir-frys. It can also be used as a substitute for chopped egg (like in egg salad).Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.
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04-19-2012, 04:21 PM #4
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How does it taste?
04-19-2012, 04:39 PM #5
Tofu has no taste. It will take on the flavors of whatever you are using it with. That is why when you hear people say they tried tofu and hated it, well they didn't make it right. You don't just eat a block of tofu and expect it to taste like a block of Spam. You must prepare it correctly or it won't work.
The secret to cooking with Tofu is to remember to use the right tofu with the right type if cooking. As someone already mentioned, you need firm to x-tra firm for using it as an alternative to meats or chicken.
The true secret to tofu success is to press it. Think of it as a giant sponge. Most times when you open the package it has been packed in water and you are able to pour that water off. But the tofu block itself is saturated. In order for it to be able to absorb the flavors of what you are cooking you must get the water out of it.
I wrap mine in a kitchen towel and place a heavy object on it and leave it for about an hr. After that hour you should have a towel that is soaking wet and a hard block of tofu that you can now slice a knife thru (think like a block of Spam or something) - it should be that firm.
Now you can slice it, cube it, crumble it - whatever your heart desires.
If you are making smoothies, dips, cheesecakes or something like that you always want to use silken or soft, otherwise you will have a clumpy end result.
Tofu is a wonder food I believe. You can do most anything with it. Another alternative I would recommend along the soy meat alternative line is Tempeh... it's sold in a hard block and I like to slice it and fry it in a pan to make sandwiches out of. Look for it usually next to the tofu in the store.
04-19-2012, 05:12 PM #6
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I LOVE tofu. Unfortunately my body goes into reject when I eat it. It is dirt cheap in Asian groceries. I can get it 3 blocks for $1, fresh in food buckets with water. You just put your pieces in produce bags. That's that hard type that you can press, freeze, fry. Yumm!
I love General Tso's tofu! Here's recipe for it, read reviews to make adjustments.
General Tso's Tofu Recipe - Chinese.Food.com - 96563
04-19-2012, 06:15 PM #7
04-19-2012, 06:36 PM #8
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LOL! I live in a small town too. This requires travel to the Asian grocer.
04-19-2012, 07:38 PM #9
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I may have to give it a try. I've wondered about it but never have been able to find good info about which should be used for what. Why don't recipes state which type to use instead of just unhelpfully saying 'tofu'.
04-19-2012, 07:52 PM #10
04-19-2012, 08:28 PM #11
Maybe its just me but the Asian (fresh/loose?) tofu vs the type sold by brick or a plastic tray with a heat sealed plastic top doesn't taste the same to me.
Just like what is deemed 'soy milk' in North America is nothing like the Asian version of 'soy milk'. North American style is creamy with additives and thickening agents. Asian style is like opaque water with gritty bits (near the bottom).
For what its worth - grilled tofu is super tasty
04-19-2012, 11:44 PM #12
04-20-2012, 08:23 AM #13
I didn't see this mentioned but could have missed it.
You can freeze tofu too. Just stick the whole package of water-packed tofu in the freezer. When you thaw it out, the texture is sponge-like and it really soaks up the marinade. It makes a more chewy product that is really good.
One of my favorites is scrambled tofu. I blend up a few raw cashews with water, salt and herbs of choice and pour that over the crumbled tofu; mix well. Saute that in a skillet; you can add onions, bell peppers, olives, etc but saute the veggies first.
Some folks like to just sprinkle herbs over the tofu and saute but I like it better blended and thoroughly mixed with the tofu. I like the flavor going all the way through it!
You can also boil a block of tofu in salted water. This gets the salt all the way through and changes the texture a bit. Good cubed in a salad or to just eat by itself. I use 1 teaspoon per 1 lb of tofu in water to just cover.
04-20-2012, 11:29 AM #14
Always enjoyed baking tofu after it was marinated. Seemed to give the tofu a chewier texture.
04-20-2012, 12:50 PM #15
Just a heads up to any women dealing with hormone difficulties, tofu and other soy products can mess with you. I had to give up my favorite snack of edamame, switch from soy milk to almond milk, and in general read ingredient listings to avoid soy as much as possible. Not everyone is sensitive to it but if you haven't had it on a regular basis before try to pay attention as to whether you start feeling any changes within a month or so.
Think menopause/pms symptoms, hormone-wackiness-feelings.
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