Protein Week – Tofu
Not everyone likes tofu, in fact speak out loud that you are having tofu for dinner and all that is within earshot will shudder with fear.
Tofu has been said to taste like a sponge or cardboard, but I ask you, how many of you have sat down for a meal of a chux or a delivery box? Tofu for too long has been unfairly spoken ill of, sure for many vegetarians tofu is part of their staple diet but we know from experience, its anything but bland.
We here at Tarian have certainly tasted some bad tofu. Like anything there is the good and the bad but we have tasted more good than bad and are here to help you choose wisely when purchasing tofu for the next meal. There are many types of tofu available and this for starters this is where some confusion sets in. You will often find a recipe stating ‘tofu’ as an ingredient but when you get to the supermarket which one do you buy?
Guide to choosing the right tofu
Smoother, silkier, creamier; definitely not the tofu to use if making a stir-fry. This tofu is best used in desserts, spreads, baking, smoothies and chocolate mousse.
Similar consistency to silken but medium tofu holds its shape better. Press the excess water out and this tofu is ideal when making ricotta. You can fry, however be careful when cutting as it might just fall apart – you still need to handle it with care.
The ‘I can be used in anything’ tofu. This tofu has a firm structure the perfect tofu for scrambled or shallow frying. You can also marinate and add the slices to your daily sandwiches. It can also be baked in the oven and served as the Sunday roast. Note: Tofu should not be frozen; it dramatically changes the consistency due to the high water content.
This is a firm tofu with a dark crust that contains the smoked flavour. Ideal as a sandwich fillings or diced in salads.
Packaged baked tofu, which can be eaten straight from the packet without any prior heating. Marinated in flavours such as satay, Chinese or Japanese spices.
Usually found in Asian grocers, this tofu is perfect in laska and curries.
Protein in Tofu
A food earns complete protein status if it contains the nine essential amino acids the body needs to build the proteins that help maintain muscle, bone, and organs. The foods we consider complete proteins come from animal sources – meat, fish, and dairy while fruits, vegetables, and grains tend to be incomplete proteins.
Tofu is an exception. It is complete, though it’s not considered as high quality as animal sources. Despite what you hear, you don’t need to eat complete proteins at every meal. If you eat beans in one meal and later grains they are considered complementary and your body will be able to get the essential amino acids from both that it needs.
Using soy products as a source of protein is ideal for Tarian’s and if you are just exploring your journey, it lets you reduce your intake of meat which not only benefits your health (meat is high in saturated fat) but the environment too.
Dispel the myths
We hope our guide to tofu has enlightened you and more so, helped dispel some of those myths that tofu is tasteless. If you still think that way, well next time you are in town come on over for dinner – after all the way to change someone’s thought process about food is to cook for them!