People assume I know how to cook everything since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen but to there surprise I’m just like everyone else and I have so many foods I have yet to try and so many more to master. I’m still nervous cooking new foods especially things like lamb and tofu. These are both foods I love to order when I go out to eat but making them at home is very intimidating.

Tofu is my favorite addition to Asian dishes. I  love the texture and way it picks up the flavor in whatever sauce you add it to.  It’s also a great protein substitute for vegetarians, vegans or people who have trouble chewing meat.

Earlier this month my husband was traveling for work and I had time and no critiquing audience to try to prepare tofu on my own (two musts for a new food item). There are three main types of tofu available (firm, extra firm and silken).Not knowing what to buy I went with a firm tofu from Trader Joe’s. I was lucky because my check out clerk saw it and gave me some tips on her favorite way to prepare it.  Since I was a new tofu cook I went with her suggestions. I was told to first cover it in paper town and a plate to get all the water out (I ended up doing this a few times until the tofu felt dry) and then cook it in a pan without oil. I was worried it would stick but just like she told me it didn’t. I cooked it on each side until slightly browned and then tossed it with brown rice, broccoli, snap peas and soyaki sauce. To my excitement my whipped up meal of the vegetables left in the fridge, brown rice and tofu was tasty, simple and a definite remake for when my husband is here (finished dish pictured). I’m happy I tackled my first encounter with cooking tofu. Just like anything with cooking the more I prepare and cook it the more creative and confident I am with it.

Tofu’s Health benefits

  • Rich source of isoflavones (may help reduce the risk of cancer and osteoporosis)
  • lean protein source (low in fat and calories and cholesterol free)
  • good calcium source
  • 1/2 cup of tofu (~4 ounces) contains ~94 calories (4 ounces of ground beef is ~330 calories), 10 grams of protein and 227mg calcium

I’m ready to try more tofu recipes. Any suggestions? (Aunt Nancy I’m sure you have some good ones)

1 reply
  1. nancy postorino reeves
    nancy postorino reeves says:

    You're right – I have a GREAT recipe for Tofu! Carmelized Golden Tofu. Basically you saute dried slabs of extra firm tofu in olive oil until golden brown (this may take a while). Once it's golden, add 1-2 T brown sugar dissolved in 3 T tamari (or soy) sauce and 1/4 C water. Cook until the sauce is thick and shiny. Remove from heat and let it stand for about 10 minutes. While the tofu is resting, make a stir fry with your favorite vegetables (we like broccoli, onions, red peppers and mushrooms). Cut the tofu into cubes and add. Serve with (brown) rice. This is based on the Recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Debra Madison. It's very good.


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