Cooking with Tofu?


mamaluv
on Feb 06, 2009 @ 11:51 am

I'd like to try cooking with tofu, but my first few attempts have been less than stellar. Tips anyone?

If you have any great recipes, email them to me and we will feature some of them in an upcoming article!
 

17 Replies


Bubblybunny
no recipes per se, but... on Feb 07, 2009 @ 12:48 am

I love tofu and my favourite is the soft silky kind. I usually buy the brand Vita from Loblaw. This brand offers several different firmness and the softest one should be the purple trim one.

You can hide...um, I mean, use...the soft tofu anywhere. Try cutting them into small cubes and throw them into your chicken soup or vegetable soup. Soft tofu is softer than jello, so cut carefully and stir gently. If you are making lasagna, stir a bit into your sauce (replace the meat) until it's all broken and well mixed. This is a great way to serve them to people who say they don't like tofu. Tofu really has no taste, it's the consistency that most people don't like. Soft tofu can be easily hidden into many things you make. Also, if you like cream soup (eg. cream of mushroom, clam chowder, etc), you can stir in soft tofu and no one will be able to tell!!

If you are looking to eat tofu b/c you like tofu, you can buy the medium/firm and cut them into strips. Make your stir-fry as you always do and about 5 min before it's done, toss in the tofu and just heat it up.

If you go to Chinatown, you can buy tofu there that comes in plastic containers. These are about medium in firmness and they are shaped in rectangular blocks. Cut the tofu into rectangular slices, 1-1.5 cm in thickness. Then pan fried them with a bit of oil, soya sauce until golden brown on both sides. Drizzle with a little bit of sesame oil before serving.

You can also buy pre-fried tofu (2" cubes or balls) from Chinatown. Wash them in hot water and squeeze out the excess water. Then cut them into smaller piece and toss them in stir-fries (as above). My hubby doesn't like tofu but he loves these fried ones in stir-fry.

Store unused tofu (non-fried) in the fridge, completely submerged in water. Change the water once a day and use within the week. If you buy the pre-fried tofu, make sure you use within a few days of purchase, even if the package is not opened. They go moldy very quickly.

Sorry I don't really have any recipes you can post. I just throw tofu into my cooking whenever I can. If I think of anything, I'll be sure to send the recipe your way!! Perhaps you can try a few of these ideas and come up with a great recipe!
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mamaluv
Thanks BB! on Feb 10, 2009 @ 10:25 pm

Some great ideas there! I will definitely give it a try.
:)
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Ali de Bold
Really helpful BB! on Feb 11, 2009 @ 11:47 am

I find that tofu is always soggy when I make it. If I have it elsewhere they are able to get it into these nice firm cubes but mine are watery and crumbly. I guess it is better to fry them separately vs. adding them into a mixture at the end?
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MizzRobin
great tips on Feb 11, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

Great tips BB! I have had people make me tofu before and whenever I try it tastes like nothing and the consistency is off. I am definitely going to give your tips a try! Thanks!
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Bubblybunny
buy firm tofu on Feb 11, 2009 @ 07:19 pm

If you are looking to cube your tofu, buy the firm ones. I just like the soft because it tastes so smooth and silky. You can't go wrong with frying the tofu. :P If you are stirring the tofu into a dish, just make sure you add it at the very end. You don't really need to "cook" it, just heat it up quickly and the tofu shouldn't fall apart. Cooking with tofu is just like baking: tweak your techniques and recipes until you find something you like. If you like tofu, don't give up on the cooking. It's a healthy way to add protein into your diet and it's cheap. :P
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everestwater123
tofu on Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:55 am

I love tofu and eat it as often as I can.

After workout morning Smoothie:

1-2 servings

- 1/2 pack of dessert tofu (in mango)
- 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup of frozen peaches
- 1/2 cup of orange juice
- a banana
- water *optional (depends on the consistensy of the smoothie)

Put it all in a blender until everything is to your liking. Add more water if you think its too thick. I suggest getting frozen fruits as they tend to be more ripe and substitute ice cubes. The dessert tofu is a healthier alternative to milk/yogurt AND you have almost half of your daily fruits/veggie intake.

I haven't mastered the skill of cooking tofu, so I usually get Pete's Tofu szechuan style which I'm sure you can get it most groceries. Add in frozen veggies in a non-stick skillet with the tofus. Heat it up in medium until they're all mixed and ready to eat.
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mamaluv
as a substitute for ground beef? on Feb 12, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

I would like to use it in spaghetti sauces, lasagne, etc., but due to the veggie-hating nature of my husband, it has to look convincing. Can I crumble-fry a type of tofu so it resembles ground beef? I'm sure hiding smooth tofu in lasagne would work, but my hubby will clue in to the meatless-ness of it if he doesn't see those telltale ground beef crumbles in the sauce ;)

Everest - that smoothie looks amazing!
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Bubblybunny
vegetarian ground beef on Feb 12, 2009 @ 12:35 pm

Isn't vegetarian ground beef made of soy protein or something?

I tried stirring the soft tofu in my spaghetti sauces for pasta and lasagna instead of using ground beef. I tried to pass that off as "cottage cheese" to trick my husband into eating it. When he didn't say anything about my "cottage cheese", I thought it worked. I asked him about it after dinner, he said he knew it wasn't cottage cheese but he didn't know what it was. He said he ate it anyway b/c he didn't mind it. He doesn't like eating tofu for the sake of eating tofu. So I guess my trick kind of worked.

Mamaluv, maybe for your husband, you can mix in the cottage cheese along with the soft tofu. Hopefully he won't be able to tell the difference. Heehee...

I have to say though, having real meat in spaghetti sauce and lasagna makes a huge difference in taste. We'll do vegetarian but we prefer it with meat. :)
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Ali de Bold
Haha! on Feb 12, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

BB, you are devious, girl! That's hilarious.
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Nessie
cooking with beef substitute on Feb 13, 2009 @ 02:32 pm

I sometimes use a beef substitute from loblaws. It looks convincing, but you can for sure tell it isn't beef! So be careful, he will probably tell the difference mamaluv! I personally didn't enjoy it as much in my lasagne or my pasta sauce. However I do use tofu in my stir fries and enjoy it that way. I alsoget the banana tofu cups as a healthy snack. i agree that firm is the best, to avoid sogginess.
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