Tofu is basically bean curd, and made in a similar way to cheese. Due to rainforest destruction issues, ensure the tofu you choose is organic and sustainably sourced (some companies are now producing it in Europe). There are several types of tofu, this post focuses on recipes made from firm tofu. This is a more solid tofu that is cut or broken into chunks to use in place of proteins like chicken, usually for savoury recipes like curries and stir-fries etc. You can freeze it, but it does change the texture and taste, once cooked. Tofu has no taste, but absorbs the flavours of what it’s cooked with. Once open, keep in the fridge in a covered container and replace with fresh water, and use up within a few days. Recycle any packaging with household waste or at grocery bag recycling bins.
Black Pepper Tofu and Green Beans (Short Girl, Tall Order) is a nice blend of high quality protein and fresh veggies. The recipe also uses shallots and soy sauce and spices of peppercorn and ginger, in sesame oil. Top with Thai basil.
Soy foods have their controversies with some. You’ll always find doctors and nutritionists disagreeing on whether it’s good or bad. The truth is that everything is bad in excess, so focus on balance. Some people suggest not eating too much soy if you have issues with hormonal cancers, yet others say it’s good to eat. People in Asia have been eating tofu and soy for thousands of years, and have far lower rates of cancers than people in western countries. That ‘s often due to them eating far less meat and dairy (due to no ‘crash of oestrogen’ at menopause, women in Japan don’t even get hot flashes – there is not even a translation for the phrase!
Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu (Crowded Kitchen) is a fusion recipe of Japanese teriyaki with tropical pineapple. With rice and nuts, this is the perfect tofu starter recipe, and easy to make too.
Sweet & Sour Tofu Skewers (So Vegan) is an ideal way to use tofu, as the firmness can replace the meat. These are made with a tasty blend of fresh and juiced pineapples, fresh peppers, onion and tomato, in a sauce of maple syrup, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar.
Make Your Own Fermented Tofu
This recipe for Chao (fermented tofu) by Full of Plants, is ideal if you fancy having a go at making your own tofu. This Vietnamese-inspired dish can be used to add umami taste and ‘cheesiness’ to vegan recipes. Use it in soups, marinades or as a dipping sauce.