What is tofu?
Tofu is fast becoming recognised across the globe as an extremely versatile food, an excellent source of protein and a provider of many different health benefits. Here, we give you the detailed low-down on why so many people love it, what tofu is made from, how to prepare tofu, how to cook with tofu, how to store tofu and what the health benefits are of eating tofu. We’ve also given you some some quick and easy recipe ideas for how you can best use tofu to soak up lots of exciting flavours with some of our favorite Asian-inspired dishes.
Firstly, what exactly is tofu?
Tofu is a simple-to-prepare, nourishing soya food that can be used as a key ingredient in a wide number of tasty recipes. The origins of tofu date back to China over a thousand years ago – it’s been a key component in East Asian and South East Asian cuisine ever since. To this day, tofu is viewed as a common food that is both nourishing and inexpensive, and can be enjoyed by all.
How is tofu made?
Tofu is made first by curdling fresh soya milk. It’s then pressed into a solid block and cooled – a very similar method to producing dairy cheese. It’s made with significantly less processing than most soy burgers, and low-fat soy milk and is much closer to being categorised as “wholefoods” than soy protein concentrates.
Health benefits of tofu
Cauldron tofu is an excellent source of protein, calcium and iron, all of which are key to living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Our Organic Original Tofu block is also low in saturated fat, making it ideal for foodies, vegetarians and vegans alike. The great thing about tofu is it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. What more could you ask for!
Top tips for cooking with tofu
Tofu is a really versatile ingredient, best known for its amazing ability to absorb the flavours of the sauces, spices and marinades it’s paired with. Try slicing, marinating and grilling your tofu, or chop it into small pieces and fry until golden. However you decide to cook tofu, it’s delicious!
How To Prepare Tofu
Depending on your recipe, you may need to drain and press your tofu before cooking with it. If you’re planning on making a stir-fry dish, you’ll want the tofu to be as firm as you possible so it holds together better when frying. It will also make it easier for the tofu to absorb all the lovely flavours you are adding to your dish.
To prepare, we recommend pressing the tofu for 10 to 20 minutes – the longer you can press it for, the firmer the texture of your tofu will be. Remember to use plenty of layers of kitchen roll to soak up the water!
It’s a simple process – follow our step-by-step guide in the video below. The video also shows you how easy it is to marinate your prepared tofu, and how to store for another day.
Tofu: A Taste of the Orient
Now you know a little bit more about tofu, it’s time to start experimenting! Tofu is the ideal jumping off point for a number of Asia’s finest cuisines, so here are two of our favourite Asian-inspired tofu recipes for you to get started with.
Miso Soup recipe
A simple but tasty recipe idea with an authentic Japanese flavour. Low in saturated fat and ready in 15 minutes, it’s ideal as a super healthy mid-week meal.
• 250g Cauldron Organic Original Tofu, cubed
• 4tbsp Tamari (Japanese) soy sauce
• 4 tbsp rice wine
• 2 litres vegetable stock
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 4cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
• 1/2-1 red chilli, finely chopped
• 50g dried fine egg noodles
• 1 medium carrot, sliced into thin matchsticks
• 1 medium courgette, sliced into fine matchsticks.
• 4 spring onions, sliced into fine matchsticks,
• 2 level tsp miso paste
Drain the tofu and cut into small cubes. Mix the soy sauce and rice wine and pour over the cubed tofu. Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Put the stock, garlic, ginger and chilli into a large saucepan and simmer for 2-3 minutes then add the tofu with the remaining marinade to the saucepan and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the dried noodles and simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the carrot, courgette, spring onion and miso paste and heat for a final 2-3 minutes without allowing the soup to boil. For added minerals, serve garnished with shredded Japanese seaweed such as Hijiki or Nori.
Fried Tofu in Chinese Sesame Soy Sauce
A quick and authentic Chinese recipe. Based on the Japanese Agedashi dofu, this version uses Chinese-style tofu dressed in Chinese style sesame soy sauce. Easy to make, this dish is perfect as a starter, especially around Chinese New Year.
• 250g Cauldron Organic Original Tofu, drained well, cut into 2cm x 2cm cubes
• Glutinous rice flour for dusting (or potato starch or cornflour)
• 250ml groundnut oil
For the sauce
• 6 tbsp
• Light soy sauce
• 4 tbsp mirin
• 1 tsp caster sugar
For the garnish
• 1 tsp toasted white
• Sesame seeds
• 1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 small sheet of dried nori, Japanese seaweed, sliced
• 1-2 sprigs of coriander
Dip the tofu cubes into the glutinous rice flour, making sure each one is well coated. Dust off any excess and place on a plate.
Warm your wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Heat the oil to 180°C, or until a cube of bread fries golden and floats to the surface in just 10 seconds. Shallow fry the tofu cubes, in batches if necessary. Turn them over to ensure all the sides are golden, then soak up the excess oil on absorbent kitchen paper.
Add together all the sauce ingredients making sure the sugar has dissolved. Place the tofu pieces on a serving plate, dress with the sauce, then garnish with chilli, toasted sesame seeds and nori pieces, plus a sprig of coriander. Serve immediately. Delicious!Blog Posts