Tofu has been making its way into mainstream menus for a few years, but many people are still confused by this vegetarian classic. Is it a meat substitute? Is it a vegetable? Do you put it in a salad? The answer is that tofu is an extremely versatile food item that just about anyone can enjoy!
What is tofu?
Tofu is derived from soybeans, and made by pressing coagulated soy milk into flat, white blocks. It is a staple in most vegan and vegetarian diets due to its high protein content and nutritional value. This purely organic food is often used as a meat substitute in many recipes, and it is commonly found in East Asian and Southeast Asian dishes.
What are the common misconceptions?
One of the most common misconceptions about tofu is that it lacks taste. While it may not be bursting with flavor on its own, it has the ability to take on the flavor of other ingredients in the dish. Because of this, it can be used for just about anything! Add tofu to hearty soups and stews, and it will take on a savory, meat-like quality. Include it in a smoothie, and it adds texture to the fruity drink. Another benefit of tofu is its nutritional value: high in protein and amino acids while low in calories.
How do you use it?
Learning how to properly cook tofu is the first step towards enjoying it. There are tons of tips available, but the most useful is to press and drain out any excess water before cooking it. This allows it to better absorb the dish’s other ingredients, resulting in a bolder flavor and a more meat-like consistency. The tofu is then be ready to substitute meat in many dishes.
It is clear that tofu can be used beyond vegetarian and vegan diets. While everyone has different tastes and food preferences, there are ways to make tofu enjoyable for anyone. Its endless possibilities and ongoing list of health benefits should not only inspire, but encourage all to give it a try.