Vegetarian
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Tofu Tips


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I was veg before and went back to meat now and I going veg again.  I have never used tofu; any tips on using it and cooking with it?

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You can put small cubes of firm tofu in miso soup mix which is sold at most grocery stores. The soup mix on its own is very low calorie (approx. 25 per packet) while also being healthy. The tofu makes it more substantial.

The other thing I like to do is stir fry it in a small amount of olive oil and either eat it on its own or serve it with vegetables over rice. You can find easy recipes online.

And lastly, this will sound weird, but my brother was lactose intolerant for a while and my mum would make chocolate pudding using firm tofu, soy milk (or skim milk for you), chocolate chips and vanilla... its actually really tasty! If you don't tell people what they're eating they like it! If you tell them its tofu, though, people seem to lose interest. Once again, I'm sure you can find a recipe online.

Good luck!

If you enter tofu in the search engine and click forums, there are 100 hits with lots of info.

Personally I like faux egg salad.  Just take your favourite egg salad recipe and replace the eggs with finely cut up firm tofu.  Put it in the fridge overnight to sit and when you make your sandwich you won't even know there is no eggs in it.

Thanks! I did a google search last night, but cooking with tofu seems somewhat intimidating.  I feel like I don't know what I am doing.  I will give it a shot, and see how it turns out.Smile

#4  
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Buy firm tofu, cut it up into small chunks and brown it, then add to a stir fry.  I think the "slimy tofu" problem people sometimes have is due to using silken tofu or soft tofu, they have their place, but not in my stir fries!  Also, you might want to try some of the baked, flavored tofus out there.  They are a bit more money, but a good starting out point.  Again, I would definitely cut them into small pieces and brown them, then use them in a dish. 

Here's a recipe that is a favorite in my household.  Uses flaved baked tofu and also edamame.  It is low cal and pretty easy to make:

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/9356

try leaving it in eggs for a while after draining it, and then cutting it into cubes and frying it

http://101cookbooks.com/

Seriously go here, tonnes of really great recipes. The focus is veggies, and health.

I've found the best way to get rid of that weird tofu texture is to freeze the tofu (firm, NOT silken) in the package overnight. Then thaw it the next day (in the fridge, or in a bowl of hot water) and drain out the liquid. Once the liquid is drained, put the tofu between two clean towels and stack some cookbooks or something on top of it to press the tofu, for about 15-30 minutes. This will get rid of that extra moisture, leaving empty spaces in the tofu so that it will soak up more flavors.


Hope this helps!

I find tofu very very bland so personally I put some flour on a plate, sprinkle it with some pepper, mixed herbs and chilli powder and mix it up.  Then put the tofu in it and give it a good coating and then cook on baking paper in a fry pan so the coating stays on it.  I find that gives it some flavour without adding lots of calories and then I either add it hot to things or let it cool and add it to salads.  I find it unflavoured to be really boring.

#9  
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I'm not sure about how to cook it, but for those of you who haven't tried it and think that it would be bland and tasteless, I want to reassure you by letting you know that tofu can be seasoned just the same as any meat can be seasoned. I tried my first bite of tofu as part of an oriental stir-fry dish, and I found it to be quiet wonderful. However, I think it would be impossible for me to become a vegan, I think I have to have some form of meat at every meal, even if it's bacon bits on a salad.

Diana thanks for the web siteCool

no problem, glad to help. There is some really great recipes there... i get an email everytime she has something new on there too. Some are better than others but isnt that always the case with recipes??

I second the 101cookbooks.com recommendation. Great healthy recipes--including some recipes for healthier versions of yummy baked goods! Her latest carrot cake recipe is one I'm dying to try.


My favorite tofu recipe involves draining the tofu then popping it in the freezer overnight. I then let it thaw the next day, slice it into strips and marinate it in an airtight container with some soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar. I then just arrange it all on a nonstick baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until crispy. It's a great snack!

I like to add raw cashews to my tofu stir fry to give it a little extra crunch, you just add them into the frying pan about the same time as the vegies so they get cooked a little. i agree with most everyone that you need to use Firm or Extra Firm tofu. Sometimes, you can even find it pre-cubed. Also, I like to use toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil or veg oil, it gives the tofu a neat nutty taste....but a little goes a long way. 

Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Takes 10 mins to assemble then chill in fridge

3/4 cup sugar
1 pound silken tofu
8 ounces high-quality chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings (to decorate).

1. In a small scan put sugar & 3/4 cup water.  Heat gently to dissolve, boil briefly and leave to cool.

2. Put all other ingredients except the decoration into a blender and purée.  Pour into 4 or 6  ramekins and chill 30 minutes or longer. Decorate with with chocolate shavings before serving.

I've been veg for 6 years now, but have never been able to cook tofu (edibly!) until about last week... for things i want to cool with tofu, generally i cube it or cut it into strips... I drain the water, then add spices/and or some sauce, with it all over the sides of the tofu - put it in the frisge in the spices/sauce for about a hour.. afterwards, take it out of the sauce, and put it in a hot nonstick pan (i use well seasoned cast iron)  and leave it alone!  cook slightly more then you think you should, i like it to be a little "dryed out/over cooked" sort of feeling, which may not be the "right way" to do it, it works much better for me then not having the outside harden a litttle.  I flip it once it has a bit of bite to it, and then do the same thing on the other side, and the smaller sides if i can get them to stand up on the side....  

 

I seem to have the issue of poking at thigns in the pan and not being able to leave them alone, so cooking tofu this way makes this a practice in self control. Otherwise i end up with crumbeled fried tofu, instead of cooked up blocks. 

Original Post by reademil:

You can put small cubes of firm tofu in miso soup mix which is sold at most grocery stores. The soup mix on its own is very low calorie (approx. 25 per packet) while also being healthy. The tofu makes it more substantial.

The other thing I like to do is stir fry it in a small amount of olive oil and either eat it on its own or serve it with vegetables over rice. You can find easy recipes online.

And lastly, this will sound weird, but my brother was lactose intolerant for a while and my mum would make chocolate pudding using firm tofu, soy milk (or skim milk for you), chocolate chips and vanilla... its actually really tasty! If you don't tell people what they're eating they like it! If you tell them its tofu, though, people seem to lose interest. Once again, I'm sure you can find a recipe online.

Good luck!

i do not think it is weird - here in europe shops sell various soya based puddings and such and i bet they consist of prety much the same stuff:)

Original Post by mjaugustine:

I've found the best way to get rid of that weird tofu texture is to freeze the tofu (firm, NOT silken) in the package overnight. Then thaw it the next day (in the fridge, or in a bowl of hot water) and drain out the liquid. Once the liquid is drained, put the tofu between two clean towels and stack some cookbooks or something on top of it to press the tofu, for about 15-30 minutes. This will get rid of that extra moisture, leaving empty spaces in the tofu so that it will soak up more flavors.


Hope this helps!

 I second that.  Otherwise the tofu will be tasteless and won't take up the flavors of a marinade. 

Silken tofu can be good cooked, though.  Next time you are at PF Chang's, order coconut curry vegetables.  Those little cubes of delicious bliss are none other than stir fried silken tofu!!  I have almost mastered the art of cooking it myself.  At first, I tried to stir fry them, but they basically dissolved, so I tried again by baking them in the oven, and they came out almost perfect. 

There are some good flavored tofus out there (I've tried Nasoya's), or you could marinate it yourself in soy sauce or tamari and garlic (or whatever dressing or marinade you like) overnight in a plastic bag to give it more flavor. You can cube marinated extra-firm tofu and brush it with a little olive oil and then grill it on skewers with vegetable chunks for a vegetarian shish-kebab. That's a fun dish served over brown rice or couscous. 

I actually like plain firm or extra-firm tofu (make sure you get the kind prepared with calcium since you're going back to veg and calcium can be hard to get enough of unless you're supplementing or eating dairy or fortified foods), mixed with finely chopped red & green bell peppers (the sweet kind) and some celery and spread on whole-wheat bread or in a pita as a sort of mock egg-salad. It's also good over a salad of mixed greens or romaine lettuce. 

Hope these tips help! 

Here's an Asian way of eating tofu.

 

You submerge the firm tofu in boiling water until it's warm/hot. 

Slice them up to w/e size you want. Place them in dish.

Sprinkle special sauce that consists of scallions, soy sauce and whatever kind of pepper in powder form.

ENJOY! :D

 

Here's a link to chilled one with a nice picture of how it would look like. http://www.seasaltwithfood.com/2009/01/chille d-tofu-with-soy-sauce.html I prefer mine hot and warm, rather than chilled but that really is personal preference. You can add a bit of sesame oil if you want too. This is one of the best way to eat tofu, imo, since you don't add unnecessary fat and you don't destroy any nutrients in the process of cooking.

Tofu is really good when it's kind of crispy.  It's super satisfying because it gives you that protein, plus that crispiness that you crave from snack foods.

To start the process, bake it on a pan with cooking spray (no oil or anything, you can sprinkle salt/pepper on it though), at 350 for 15 minutes.  Take it out, and it's ready to be put in a pan coated with cooking spray with broccoli and coated with between 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese.  Saute it for 10 or so minutes on medium-high heat and it will be ready to eat and very yummy.

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