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Tofu basics and recipes

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Old 06-11-2004, 08:08 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Tofu basics and recipes


There are two basic types of tofu: regular (sometimes called Chinese tofu) and silken (Japanese tofu). Both are available in regular fat versions (approximately 50% CFF) or reduced-fat versions (approximately 25% CFF) which may be suited those concerned about the amount of fat in their diet.

Both regular and silken tofu come in three varieties: soft, firm, and extra-firm. The firmer the tofu, the less apt it is to fall apart. However, even extra-firm silken tofu is more likely to break up than even firm regular when handled a lot. (IE, in stir fries, you'll need to be very gentle if using silken tofu.) Likewise, soft regular tofu will not get as creamy and smooth as silken.

Firm and extra-firm regular tofu are good for things such as baked or broiled tofu slices or "cutlets", in stir-fries or lightly pan-fried. Regular tofu seems to be better for freezing. Once thawed, and pressed, it readily absorbs a marinade, and has a nice chewy texture.

Silken tofu has a texture similar to a custard. It is ideal in anything pureed, such as puddings, smoothies, dressings, dips, mock cheese fillings (ie, in lasagna), etc. The firm and extra-firm silken tofu also work well in dishes such as tofu scramble. It can be sliced and baked, but needs to be handled gently or it will break up.

A coomon silken tofu is Mori-Nu, which comes in the aseptic packages. It has a long shelf life and doesn't need to be refrigerated until you actually open the package. It is the only tofu that can be eaten right from the package without any cooking.

Also available is savory baked tofu. These products have a nice "chew", and are great for sandwiches, or to toss into things like stir fries, soups, or salads.

Pressing the tofu

Split the block of tofu lengthwise. lay several layers of paper towel on a flat surface; place the tofu cut side down on the towels, put another couple of layers of paper towel on top, cover with something flat and rigid like a cutting board with a large can of tomatoes or such on top for weight.

Let the tofu sit for 45 minutes or longer so that the excess water in the tofu is pressed out which will help to make it chewier and less likely to crumble. It can then be grilled or baked, or cut up for use in stir-fries. If marinating, it is better to press the tofu first as this seems to allow the marinade to be absorbed better by the tofu.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:09 AM   #2
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Default Incredible tofu pudding

Originally posted by VOW


1 pkg silken soft tofu
1 pkg silken firm tofu
(try to get low fat, if you can!)
1/2 cup Soy Slender soymilk drink (chocolate flavor)
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa
3 pkt Splenda, or 2 pkt Stevia
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, MELTED

Put all ingredients in food processor and buzz until ingredients are thoroughly blended.

Makes 4 servings, about 1 cup each.

Nutritional Data:
145 calories per serving
51 cals from fat
6 g fat
70 mg cholesterol
13 g carbohydrate
2 g fiber
11 g protein
4% calcium
13% iron

"This stuff is so good, I eat it for BREAKFAST!" - VOW
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:10 AM   #3
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Lightbulb Tofu Burgers

(makes 4 patties)

2 packages of firm tofu
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp of green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
dash of pepper

Cut tofu into large pieces and drain well for at least 20 minutes. After the tofu is drained mash it up in a large bowl (do not puree).

In a frying pan melt the butter and then add the onion and green pepper - cook over medium heat until the onion becomes soft. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of mashed tofu. Add the bread crumbs, spices, parsley and egg and mix well.

Divide mixture into four portions and spoon onto a greased baking sheet. Form into large patties.

Bake at 350f for 25 minutes.

Serve on wholewheat buns with a side salad if desired.
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Old 06-11-2004, 08:11 AM   #4
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Default Teriyaki Tofu

(serves 4)

1 package of firm tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup carrots, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 cup dailin radish, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 cup onions, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup red and green peppers, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup snow peas
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups of teriyaki sauce, thick style

In a large frying pan or a wok, saute the onion, garlic, giner, carrots and daikon radish in the vegetable oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Add the peppers and the tofu to the pan and saute for 3 minutes. Add the Teriyaki sauce, snow peas, bean sprouts and cilantro (or parsley) and stir well to mix ingredients.

Cove the pan/wok and let everything simmer for about 2 minutes, remove from heat and serve over rice.
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Old 06-13-2004, 01:58 AM   #5
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Default Vietnamese Lettuce Rolls with Spicy Grilled Tofu

I made this from Cooking Light the other day, it was really great. It takes a little advanced planning, but the result is well worth it.

Vietnamese Lettuce Rolls with Spicy Grilled Tofu

This dish contrasts warm and cold sensations, along with firm, soft, and crunchy textures. The tofu is pressed before grilling so that it becomes firmer. Because they're more flexible, the top halves of lettuce leaves make better wrappers than the bottom halves.


1 (16-ounce) package water-packed firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon chile paste with garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1 head romaine lettuce
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
36 small mint leaves
36 (2-inch) strips julienne-cut carrot
12 basil leaves

Cut tofu crosswise into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Place tofu slices on several layers of heavy-duty paper towels. Cover tofu with additional paper towels. Place a cutting board on top of tofu; place a cast-iron skillet on top of cutting board. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Tofu is ready when a slice bends easily without tearing or crumbling.) Arrange tofu in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine juice and the next 6 ingredients (juice through garlic) in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring until honey dissolves. Pour over tofu. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Prepare grill.

Remove tofu from dish, and reserve marinade. Coat tofu with cooking spray. Place tofu on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until browned.

Remove 12 large outer leaves from lettuce head; reserve remaining lettuce for another use. Remove bottom half of each lettuce leaf; reserve for another use. Place 1 tofu slice on each lettuce leaf top. Top each leaf top with 2 teaspoons cilantro, 3/4 teaspoon peanuts, 3 mint leaves, 3 carrot strips, and 1 basil leaf. Wrap leaf around toppings. Serve with reserved marinade.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 lettuce rolls and about 1/4 cup sauce)

CALORIES 294 (29% from fat); FAT 9.5g (satfat 1.5g); MONOFAT 2.5g; POLYFAT 4.9g; PROTEIN 14.8g; CARBOHYDRATE 44.9g; FIBER 2.8g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; IRON 3.5mg; SODIUM 334mg; CALCIUM 157mg
Cooking Light, JUNE 2003
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Old 06-28-2004, 01:21 AM   #6
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Default Marinated Tofu with Mongolian BBQ Sauce

Mongolian BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup low sodium tamari sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup sake
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup ketchup
pinch ground coriander
pinch ground ginger
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
1/4 cup minced leeks
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. low sodium tamari sauce

In a large saucepan, combine 1/2 cup tamari sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sake, and 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil. Add ketchup, corander, ground ginger and red chili flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine leeks, garlic, fresh ginger, the 2 tablespoons water, and the 2 tablespoons tamari sauce. Add to cooked mixture and stir until combined. Pour into a jar.

Cover and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.



To make the Marinated Tofu:

16 oz firm organic tofu, cut into 8 slices
1 cup Mongolian BBQ Sauce

Lay tofu slices flat in a shallow glass baking dish. Add sauce, cover and marinate 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

Serves 8
70 calories
4 g fat
2 g carbs
7 g protein


I haven't tried this recipe, but plan to. It's the one recipe I've seen that will convince me to try tofu

It is from Canyon Ranch Cooks
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default

If you freeze a brick of tofu and then fully defrost it, it will have a somewhat meatier texture (that is, chewier) when cooked. There are a lot of ways to take advantage of the texture of tofu, but one really kid-friendly way is to crumble it as you would feta cheese, into medium-sized chunks. Spray a broiler pan with olive oil spray, and spread the tofu in a semi-single layer. Season it with garlic powder and hot pepper flakes to taste, or use any Italian seasonings you like best (note: fresh herbs will not stand up to broiling, but can be added later). Broil the tofu for 15 minutes until evenly browned, watching so it doesn't burn. Then add it to prepared or homemade tomato sauce and toss with pasta for a really delicious protein-rich pasta dish without the fat of meat sauce.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:01 PM   #8
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Smile An easy one to start with

Baked tofu

Marinade:

6 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic


Slice tofu into about half inch slices. and then place slices very close together on nonstick baking tray. Pour the marinade over the tofu slices.
(No need to marinate aheas of time )

Bake for about 1/2 hour at 400 degrees F. Tofu turns out crispy on the outside but soft inside.

Serve on salad or as a sandwich with lettuce and tomato
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Old 03-23-2005, 12:21 AM   #9
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Default

One of my favorite ways to prepare tofu is like this...

Scrambled Tofu

1 block firm tofu, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 bag of tater tots, baked until reallllllly crispy
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
Other veggies as desired
Brewer's Yeast to taste
McKay's Chicken Seasoning to taste

Smash tofu in a skillet with a fork until it resembles scrambled eggs. Add seasonings, water and veggies (but not the tater tots) and simmer until most of the water is gone. Add the baked tater tots, cut in half. When the water is completely absorbed, serve with fresh tomato or roll up in tortillas with ketchup or salsa to make really yummy breakfast burritos.

You can of course use fresh veggies instead of canned, but sometimes I'm all about convenience. If you want to use fresh potatoes instead of frozen, I would suggest boiling, dicing and then frying them until pretty crisp in a little bit of olive oil. You want them crisp because of the moisture that is still in with the tofu when you add the potatoes.


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Old 04-11-2005, 01:47 PM   #10
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Talking success!

i'm pleased to announce that, for the first time ever, i cooked successfully with tofu. my neighbor and some other assorted pals and i had an impromptu cookout this weekend-- let me tell you, it was meat-o-rific-- i was craving something meat-y, but not interested in actual meat-- ribs and sausage, thanks but no thanks-- so picked up some (firm)tofu to grill. whipped up a marinade (similar to the one listed above) with soy sauce, rice vinegar, a little brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and sriracha (http://www.huyfong.com/frames/fr_sriracha.htm). let it sit in the marinade and plopped it on the grill. while grilling, i made a reduction from the extra marinade. mmmmm. i was so pleased with it, i plan on trying things with tofu more often!
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:43 PM   #11
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Default continued adventures in tofu cookery

i was flipping through my moosewood cookbook last night to try and come up with something 'meatloafy' to go with the mashed potatoes i had been craving. the cookbook had a recipe for mushroom pecan 'burgers' that i turned into a 'meatloaf'. i mixed mushrooms, spices, onion, toasted pecans, brown rice, rolled oats, and one cake of firm tofu together, packed the whole thing into a loaf pan, topped it with a low-fat mushroom gravy i made, and baked it for 1/2 hour. mmmm. good with the mashed pots (just pots, salt and pepper, and a little garlic-infused buttermilk), yummy local grainy bread, and a green salad. a little mushy last night, but perfect as leftovers today. i think i'll add some veggies to the mix next time-- grated beets or carrots, eggplant, peas-- and adjust the dry ingredients as needed. yay tofu!
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:09 PM   #12
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Default more fun with tofu

made great baked tofu cubes last night to toss in salads etc for the week-

1 cake extra firm tofu- pressed
cut the cake into cubes and marinate for at least 30 minutes in a mix of:
braggs liquid aminos (or soy sauce/tamari) (3ish TB)
sesame oil (about 1 1/2 TB)
a sprinkle of sesame seeds
a few grates of freash ginger
thai hot peppers/red pepper flakes

place the tofu on a lightly oiled/'pammed' baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. stir once and try to flip most of the pieces over- cook for another 10 - 15 minutes.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:33 PM   #13
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Default Mushroom Stroganoff

(originally posted by TobeyToe)

Makes 6 servings

8 oz Portabella mushrooms
8 oz Shiitake mushrooms
8 oz Button mushrooms
1 large onion, sliced in rings
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 o/z skilen lite tofu
1 cup FF sour cream
2 tbls. all purpose flour
12 oz linguini
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 yellow pepper (sliced)

1. Spary large saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Cook onion, garlic,mushrooms (reserving a few mushroom slices) in oil for 10 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Stir in dill weed, salt & pepper.

2. As mushrooms are cooking, place tofu, sour cream, milk and flour in blender. Cover and blend on medium until smooth. Stir tofu mixture over mushroom mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened.

3. Place this entire mixture over hot cooked linguini.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:36 PM   #14
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Default Eggless Egg Salad

(originally posted by TobeyToe)
Makes three cup servings.

1 package Lite Silken tofu
1 Tbsp ultra low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. mustard (yellow or Dijon - depending on your preference)
tsp dill weed
2 Tbsp. each diced celery & onion
1 tsp parsley, chopped
Dash of paprika and pepper to taste

Crumble tofu into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine mayo and dill. Mix thoroughly andpour over crumbled tofu. Add celery, onion, parsley, paprika and pepper. Mix thoroughly.Refrigerate approx. 30 min. to allow flavors to meld.

This is really good served in a whole wheat pita.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:38 PM   #15
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Default Fresh Fruit Salad With Tofu Whip

(originally posted by 3fc member TobeyToe)
Serves: 6

1 medium bowl of fresh fruit salad
4 large strawberries, stems removed
2 medium ripe peaches, peeled and pitted (necatrines also work)
1 1/2 pounds lite Silken Tofu
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. Prepare a fresh fruit salad and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. In a food processor, puree the strawberries and peaches until they reach a thick, liquid consistency. Add the tofu, blend until fully combined.

3. Add the powdered sugar, blend until smooth.

4. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and chill for 2 hours, or overnight. Serve in individual dessert dishes, and garnish with whole strawberries.

This will keep in the refrigerator for one week.
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