Tofu is a staple ingredient in Asian cooking, offering a high protein solution without the need for meat or fish. If you are a fan of tofu or are intrigued about how it is used then we have the information you need, along with 5 delicious tofu dishes that you can try. Read on to find out more!
The Origin of Tofu
Tofu is said to date back over 2000 years and is made from bean curd. It was first used in Chinese cooking, later spreading across Asia and becoming a popular staple in Asian cuisine. Each region and country that makes tofu has its own specific recipe and methods resulting in options that vary in both taste and texture, Southwestern tofu scramble has been around for ages, with many people choosing to discard eggs in favour of tofu.
Tofu and Your Health
The great thing about tofu is that it is really good for your health, especially if you are trying to cut down on meat and fish without increasing your dairy intake. Some of the key benefits tofu offers include:
· Reducing Your Cholesterol – if your cholesterol is high and you are keen to reduce it then tofu is an excellent choice. This awesome ingredient is rich in isoflavones and helps to reduce the LDL in your body, helping you to focus on a heart healthy lifestyle.
· Increasing Antioxidants That Protect You – if you are keen to remain as youthful as possible then tofu can help as it is high in antioxidants and can not only stop you from aging as fast as you are but also repair some of the damage that you have already done to your skin.
· Promoting a Healthy Plant Based Diet – if you are keen to follow a vegan or plant-based diet then tofu is a great choice as it offers a complete protein solution. This means that it holds all the amino acids needed to help your body grow and repair itself as well as keeping your immune system in great shape.
· Supporting Blood Sugar Needs – finally, tofu is also known to reduce fasting blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, helping you to regulate your blood sugars better and reduce your cholesterol levels – perfect for diabetics or anyone who is pre-diabetic or just worried about maintaining their blood sugar levels.
Different Types of Tofu
Before you check out our favourite tofu dishes, take a moment to learn more about the different types of tofu so that you can select the right option for your recipes:
· Silken Tofu – this tofu is very soft and falls apart when held. It has a similar consistency to burrata and can be used as a replacement for cheeses, cream and even scrambled eggs.
· Regular Tofu – regular style tofu is soft and absorbs flavours well, making it the perfect addition to stew or soup recipes. It can also be spread easily and is another tofu that can be scrambled as an egg replacement.
· Firm Tofu – when you head to the supermarket, you will typically find firm tofu for sale. It is simple to hop and works well when fried or when put in casseroles and stews. You can buy it flavoured or dry it and flavour it yourself.
· Extra Firm Tofu – taking up a level from firm, extra firm tofu comes with a drier and denser texture. It’s not great at absorbing flavours but it is good when fried.
5 Delicious Tofu Dishes
Now you know everything you need to know about tofu, it’s time to start adding it into your weekly menu! We’ve shared our top 5 delicious tofu dishes below to help you get started!
Tofu Pad Thai
Tofu pad thai is a meal that many of us love as it is simple, tasty and speedy to make. Simply prepare your vegetables, sauce and noodles as usual and sub firm tofu for the meat or fish you’d normally use. Cut the tofu into small, bite sized pieces and throw it in the wok for a minute or two before adding the rest of the ingredients. It’s a great dish that is made quickly and results in high levels of taste and satisfaction!
Tofu Spring Rolls
Tofu is also a great ingredient in snack foods like spring rolls. All you need to do is chop it finely along with your other chosen vegetables and rice and then gently fill your spring roll wrappers before cooking them and eating. You can also use this method for summer rolls, using rice wrappers that need to be quickly soaked rather than cooked, making your time in the kitchen as short as possible.
Tofu scramble has been around for ages, with many people choosing to discard eggs in favour of tofu. You’ll need regular or silken tofu and all of your favourite spices. Simply mix together without breaking the tofu ip too much and then sear it in a well-oiled pan for the best results. You can serve it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and change your spices each time to keep it interesting!
Tofu Miso Soup
Miso soup has a delicious and powerful flavour that is achieved by combining broth with fish flakes and seaweed. If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet then you can sub the fish flakes for a fish-free option. Many people add tofu into their miso soup to make it more filling and to allow the flavours of the broth to meld with the tofu for a truly tasty result. Finish your bowl off with fresh spring onions for a clean finish to the dish.
Tofu isn’t just great for savoury dishes – you can enjoy tofu desserts too! Tofu cheesecake uses silken tofu along with milk, cream and sugar as well as any other flavours you want and sets well when put onto your chosen biscuit base.
Try Tofu and Change the Way You Eat
It’s clear that tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used to create sweet and savoury meals. We love the fact that you can swap it for meat, cheese and eggs without any concerns about damaging your health as well as enjoying the new texture it offers.
We also love that it comes with so many health benefits, including lowering your cholesterol and improving your overall heart health. Why not dig in to one of our 5 delicious tofu dishes and improve your health today!