Tofu is made of soybean curd. Being a soy product it contains isoflavones, plant-based compounds with estrogenic activity that may potentially reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis (1). In addition to this, it is a good source of protein and is low in fat. Being animal protein free it is often used in vegan cooking.
One of the best things about tofu is that it is versatile. Tofu is bland and will take on the tastes that you cook it with. The key to tofu tasting good is choosing the right type of tofu for what you are cooking. I know myself, pre-vegan days, I tried tofu and hated it. It was soft, mushy and tasteless. Now I know better!
Whatever the tofu type, you need to drain it and remove the water. Watery tofu won’t absorb a marinade or get crispy in a frying pan. To drain it, slice the block and place the slices in a single layer on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Top tofu with more paper towels and then a heavy object. Let sit for 30 minutes or longer.
To Bake Tofu
For this method of cooking the firm type of tofu is best. You’ll cut the tofu up in blocks and soak it in a marinade. I tend to use soy, tamari and coconut aminos when I flavour tofu. Soak it in the marinade for about 30 minutes. Then transfer it onto a tray lined with baking paper and put in a hot oven which has been preheated at about 180 C. If you would like the tofu to be crispy the trick is to lightly toss the tofu in cornstarch prior to putting in the oven. You can also do this cornstarch trick when pan frying tofu.
To Saute Tofu
You’re pretty much doing the above but instead adding the tofu on a frying pan. The tofu only needs a few minutes on each side before it is cooked. I find with the small amount of oil I use in the pan that there is no need for cornstarch, it will be crispy enough.
How To Use Soft Or Silken Tofu
This type of tofu is the most watery. You’ll still want to drain and press it. It is less rigid than the firm tofu and can be pureed and added to smoothies, desserts (mousse recipe below), soups, dips and more for creaminess. Vegans for a scrambled egg (see recipe below) alternative often use it. I enjoy this and will add turmeric for the yellow effect. If you have a recipe you want to make dairy free you also consider using this tofu.
Tofu Chocolate Mousse Recipe
100 grams roughly chopped dark chocolate (I used dairy free)
340 grams silken tofu, drained
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool at room temperature.
- Place the tofu, maple syrup and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and blend until combined.
- Scoop the mixture into 3 ramekins and refrigerate for 60 minutes or longer
- To serve, garnish with your choice of toppings. Ideas include raspberries, blackberries, cacao nibs, and shredded coconut.
This mousse is rich, velvety smooth, creamy, and unbelievably easy. It is vegan, gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free. Perfect as a snack or even as an indulgent breakfast. I love it. You really can’t taste it is tofu.
Tofu Scramble Recipe
100 grams firm tofu
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt & pepper to taste
- Chop the tofu and use a fork to crumble it into bite-sized pieces.
- Add some olive oil to a frying pan and when it’s hot, add the tofu and the rest of the ingredients. Stir until well combined and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve with vegetables or on toast for breakfast or a light meal.