South Beach Diet - What do YOU do with Tofu???

View Full Version : What do YOU do with Tofu???

11-04-2004, 10:32 AM
Seriously, someone at the Daily Dish is psychic...I was planning on posting a thread about how to use tofu today, and look at what was in my mailbox:

How to Cook with Tofu

This Daily Dish is part of a series on kitchen basics.

Tofu is made from curdled soy milk, a liquid extracted from ground, cooked soybeans. Tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be either the blandest or the tastiest part of a dish, depending on how it's used. Its numerous varieties make it an ideal replacement for animal products in both savory and sweet dishes.

Tofu comes in two types—silken and normal. Silken tofu tends to be more slimy because it's not as pressed as normal tofu and, therefore, contains more moisture. Silken tofu is ideal for baking, smoothies, or for other times when you would desire a smoother consistency. Normal tofu is the kind that you would typically buy in the grocery store.

Both silken and normal tofu come in varying levels of firmness: soft, firm, and extra firm. The firmer the tofu, the less moisture it contains and the more marinade it will be able to absorb. Even so, since tofu comes packaged in water, it's always a good idea to remove excess moisture before use by pressing your tofu. To do this, cut the block into four slices, wrap with paper towels, and lay them under a heavy object (like a cutting board). Leave it for thirty minutes and the paper towels will absorb the excess water. Don't bother pressing soft tofu, as it will just fall apart.

The kind of tofu you use depends on what you plan to cook. Both soft and silken tofus are good blended into baked goods or fruit smoothies. Firm and extra-firm tofu can be used as a meat replacement in any dish, from a stir-fry to cacciatore. You can fry tofu in oil or broil it in the oven to create a crunchy, golden-brown skin; you can scramble tofu to make an omelet; and you can even use tofu to make cheesecake. Whatever you choose to do, don't be afraid to experiment.

For more kitchen tips, visit The South Beach Kitchen section of the Web site!

So, this gives me some ideas about preparation, but I'm lacking in what kind of sauce to use...what to put with the tofu...does anyone have a time-tested recipe that they love? Help? :?:

11-04-2004, 11:20 AM
What do I do with tofu?

Walk right by it in the grocery store Blech!

I've tryed but cannot acquire a taste for it.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.


11-04-2004, 11:40 AM
Well, these days I usually buy it, keep it for two weeks and then throw it out. I know it is supposed to be good for you but.....even my Girls won't eat it!

I used to have a Chinese recipe with eggplant, lean ground pork, garlic, black bean sauce and cubes of tofu which was pretty tasty but I can't find the darn thing! I have used it to make garlic mayonnaise but can't find that recipe either!

11-04-2004, 11:58 AM
:lol3: Ah now, girls...the thing about tofu is that it takes on the taste of anything it is soaked in. Of course, if you don't press it, and you don't put it in a sauce that is good, it tastes yucky! Kind of like eggplant. ;)

I have had it several times and loved it, but have no clue how to make it at home so I'll like it. I know it's easy to mess up, so I don't want to try something I'll hate... Someone must have a good recipe... fess up! :D

11-04-2004, 12:47 PM
I avoid it too.

11-04-2004, 01:23 PM
General hints with tofu chinese style-it's not a requirement, but it does take away some of the raw beany flavor of fresh tofu.
When you take it out of the package, soak it in some boiling water or at least really hot for a few minutes. I usually soak the tofu when I start to cook it, then chop up all the vegetables and gather together all the other ingredients. Then drain the chunk of tofu in a colander, then chop it up however the directions say.

These are the recipes I could find on the net that I have used pretty frequently. When I get home, I'll dig up my really cool cookbooks and post the rest.

Mapo tofu- You can adjust the chile paste according to taste.
3 cakes regular tofu (medium firmness)
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp salted black beans- I use black bean paste instead, less salt.
1 Tbsp chili paste
3 Tbsp stock (chicken broth)
1 leek or 3 green onions
Freshly ground Szechuan pepper

1 1/2 Tbsp starch
2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Oil for Stir-frying

Mix marinade ingredients. Marinate pork for about 20 minutes.
Cut the bean curd into 1/2 inch (1 cm) square cubes, and blanch (drop into boiling water) for 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and drain.
Chop leeks or green onions into short lengths.
Heat wok and add oil. When oil is ready, add the marinated pork. Stir-fry pork until the color darkens. Add salt and stir. Add the salted black beans. Mash the beans with a cooking ladle until they blend in well with the meat. Add the chili paste, then the stock, bean curd, and leek or green onions.
Turn down the heat. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
While cooking, mix cornstarch, water, and soy sauce together. Add to wok and stir gently. Serve with freshly ground Szechuan pepper.

Spinach and bean curd soup

You can also add some frozen seafood-in the Asian market they sale a 1 pound bag of mixed seafood of shrimp, scallops, fish and squid. I usually add half a bag to my soup and it tastes so good, instead of the ham.

1/2 lb spinach, rinsed and stems removed
3/4 cup cooked chicken, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
6 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup bamboo shoots, cut into 1/4 inch dice
4 dried black mushrooms, soaked 20 minutes in hot water,stems removed,cut into 1/4 inch cubes
12 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes (tofu)
4 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in
4 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cooked ham, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 1 minute; rinse in cold water, squeeze dry and chop fine.
2. Bring stock to a boil; add chicken, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and bean curd; thicken with dissolved cornstarch.
3. Add spinach, bring to a boil; add salt and pepper, stir until well blended.
4. Sprinkle ham on top; garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

sauteed tofu with vegetables.
24 ounces firm tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, thinly sliced
6 medium mushrooms, sliced
1 small carrot, julienned
2 medium green bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sake or white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon gingerroot, grated
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water

1. Cut tofu crosswise into pieces the shape of French-fried potatoes.
2. Heat a wok, coat with oil and sprinkle on the salt. Add onion, then the mushrooms, stir-frying each over high heat for about 30 seconds.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Add carrot, green pepper and tofu in that order, sauteing each for about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add sake, soy sauce, ginger,sugar and water.
5. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Stir in dissolved cornstarch and simmer 30 seconds more.

Tofu Stir-Fry

2-3/4 Tbs. oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-3/4 lbs. firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
8 shallots or green onions, chopped
1/2 Chinese cabbage, shredded
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
2-3/4 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
Heat oil in a frying pan over a moderate to high heat. Sauté garlic; add tofu and cook for about 5 minutes, or until crispy. Add shallots or green onion, cabbage, red bell pepper, and tomato to pan; cook 3-4 minutes over high heat. Stir in soy sauce and Hoisin sauce. Top with fresh bean sprouts and serve with rice.

edited to add: here's a link to another thread about tofu.

11-04-2004, 02:04 PM
I enjoy tofu greatly in Asian food. Miso soup is good, as is shabu shabu. Back in the day, I used to marinate it in teriyaki sauce and fry it, completely sucking away any nutritional value it might have once had. :) I've tried using it in stir frys, but it always crumbles up on me...

11-04-2004, 03:36 PM
Sarah, those look great! Thanks so much for sharing them...I look forward to seeing more! And I'd be glad to copy them over the recipe forum if you want. :)

a broad abroad
11-04-2004, 03:43 PM
Sarah - thanks for the recipes. they all sound great!

11-04-2004, 04:12 PM
I like tofu to make smoothies, in stir fry and I have been known to put salt and pepper on it and just eat it that way. Somewhere around here, I have a recipe for cheese cake using tofu. Also, it is very soft and smooth and it would be fun to roll around in.


11-04-2004, 04:41 PM
Teri, you aren't using fermented tofu, are you? :lol: Actually, it does sound like it would be fun to roll around in!

Paris M
11-04-2004, 10:33 PM
I use silken tofu in smoothies and in a chocolate mousse created by Dana Carpender - it's excellent!

11-04-2004, 10:51 PM
No, it's not fermented tofu, but that doesn't sound like a bad idea...maybe in phase 2. It could be that I'm as strange as my husband accuses me of being, but it does look like it would be fun to roll around in. But I have thought about pudding, the same way. Anyway, I found a tofu cheesecake recipe online and am going to try it this week, making the appropriate phase 1 changes.


11-05-2004, 05:21 PM
Teri, you know I was teasing, right? :grouphug: I think we are all a little strange, and that's WONDERFUL!

Paris, welcome! :wave:

Will both of you post your recipes in the forum? I think we'd all like to try them...especially Ruth. Then she won't have to throw the tofu away. Ruth, maybe you and Lucy and Hershey can roll in it if you don't want to eat it! I've never seen anything a dog wasn't willing to roll in! :lol:

11-05-2004, 10:01 PM
I knew you were teasing! Strange can be good. :dizzy:


11-06-2004, 09:55 AM
I am horrible at translating my recipes but I will try.

Here is a recipe for a chicken and tofu "hot pot".

chicken breast sliced into 1/8 " chunks
2 cups of fresh chicken broth ( you can use veggie as well)
bok choy
one egg
firm tofu

In a frypan or wok heat up enough oil to coat pan (about 1/4 cup)
slice tofu into squares then half to form triangles
when oil is hot enough ( if it is too cold the tufo will absorb the oil)
fry tofu until brown on all sides
drain well on paper towels

slice, carrots and bok choy in long 1/8 " peices ( thin, but not slivered)
slice any type of mushroom you like as well as other veggies ( any kind works)
heat in the stock until tender.
In a bowl beat the one egg and drizzle it into the stock and veggies ( it should form ribbins and thicken the stock somewhat.
Add cooked chicken and tofu let simmer a few minutes.
salt and pepper to taste

you can add soy sauce, or a few drops of sesame seed oil.

Becareful of store bought stock. Try to get the ones that are not canned and look for reduced sodium and fat free.

I have experimented with this recipe by stirfying the veggies first and it was delicious.

This recipe originally used celophane noodles as well. I still use them on ocassion. But I find it still tasty without them.

11-06-2004, 04:35 PM
I only like tofu in two ways:
1. in my smoothies, with berries and stevia
2. in my tomato bisque, cooked in the soup and then blended to a creamy consistency

11-06-2004, 05:59 PM
The way I like it,is to see it in the bin,I would rather eat tripe.
Plus being hypothyroid soya is a no no.
Sandy :)