Tofu is a product of controversy. Some people love it and cook it in different ways, the second part does not understand at all what is happening and how one can love it. Therefore, a brief reference to what it is in general and the fastest way to cook it is tofu-“steak”.
Tofu is inexpensive and manages to be the perfect base to try a dozen new recipes. With tofu recipes, it will be easier for vegans and vegetarians to fend off the question “where do you get protein?”. 100 g of soy cheese contains 8 to 18 g of protein, about the same as 250 ml of yogurt or 1 can of tuna. Plus, tofu has a low calorie content and increased compatibility with products. Soft, neutral in taste, it can be an appetizer, side dish, main course or dessert. Sweet, spicy, salty, spicy, whatever you want.
Tofu is called “soy cheese” or “bean curd”. It has a neutral, that is, almost absent taste, for which it can be called a clean slate in cooking. Like a sponge, it absorbs the aroma of any spice, seasoning or sauce.
This soy cheese has multiple textures ranging from soft to firm. It is made by curdling soy milk. Magnesium chloride, citric acid or calcium sulfate are used as a coagulant – nothing critical, criminal for health or harmful. The resulting curd mass is pressed.
The result is a product rich in high-quality vegetable protein with a full range of essential amino acids. It is low-calorie and devoid of a number of negative consequences from overconsumption of animal protein and other meat and dairy production lobbies.
Where to buy tofu
Usually, tofu is sold in supermarket refrigerated display cases, in containers soaked in water, or in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. It is easy to miss among cow feta cheeses and cheeses, as the line is always not very wide. In our area, the so-called “Western” tofu, more dense (firm tofu), is common. In China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and a number of other countries in Southeast Asia, the birthplace of tofu, there are a dozen more types of soy cheeses, including soft, “silk” tofu (silk tofu). It is even lower in calories, contains more water, and is more commonly used in soups, sauces, and desserts. I choose national producers who produce tofu with a short shelf life. “As fresh” for 6-12 months is not my option.
Dense tofu is similar in texture to mozzarella cheese or even harder, and often crumbles. Tofu is used as the main protein ingredient in soups, as a substitute for cow’s milk curd in salads and desserts, fried, baked, grilled.
To preserve its beneficial properties, I recommend excluding deep-fried tofu or too intense frying in a large amount of oil from the diet.
How to cook tofu “steak” with mushrooms
It probably tastes more like bruschetta or a slice of bread for a sandwich. But some vegan lyrics and the fact of high protein and voila. Tofu transforms from an appetizer into a main course on its own. With a good garnish.
300 g tofu (one medium vacuum pack)
1/2 tsp dry ground garlic
freshly ground black pepper
300-400 g mushrooms (oyster mushrooms or wild mushrooms)
3 garlic cloves
Cut the tofu lengthwise into 2 or 3 serving “steaks”, depending on the piece. 200 g is 2 pieces, 300-350 g is divided by 3. Season the tofu with freshly ground black pepper and dry garlic, add 1 tsp. soy sauce. Heat up quite a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Lay spices down. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat until the tofu is browned. While frying, season the second side with pepper and garlic and add soy sauce again. Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes until the second side is browned.
While the tofu is frying, peel and finely chop 3 garlic cloves and an onion. Transfer the tofu to a plate, pour a little olive oil into a preheated pan and sauté the onion and garlic. Literally 1 minute for the onion to become opaque and flavor to go. Add chopped mushrooms. Cook together for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt. I like to spice it up with spicy dry chili. Spoon the hot mushrooms over the tofu and serve immediately.
*pictured asparagus quickly poached in olive oil. Any greens are always a good addition. You can also stew some spinach.
Fried tofu with guacamole
300 g tofu (one medium vacuum pack)
spices* (use your two favorite types, excluding dried herbs. My favorite is freshly ground black pepper + dry garlic, paprika + chili or turmeric + white pepper)
1/2 tsp paprika
a pinch of chili
a pinch of sugar
1/2-1 garlic clove or just a little sweet onion (ideally a shallot, but white or purple sweet will do)
a few sprigs of cilantro or mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Delicious guacamole is obtained only from ripe avocados. If the avocado is still hard and the flesh does not look like butter, and the pulp cubes cannot be mashed, there will be no guacamole, but a compromise. It is better to choose ready-to-eat or wait until the avocado ripens at home and make it delicious for sure.
Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit. Without peeling the avocado, make longitudinal cuts, then draw a knife across. Running a spoon along the peel, remove the cubes. Mix in finely chopped cilantro, minced onion, or minced/pressed garlic. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil.
Cut the tofu lengthwise into 2 or 3 serving “steaks”, depending on the piece. 200 g is 2 pieces, 300-350 g is divided by 3. Season the tofu with paprika and chili, drizzle with soy sauce and add quite a bit (literally 20 grains) of sugar. Heat up quite a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Lay spices down. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat until the tofu is browned. While frying, pepper and paprika the second side and again add soy sauce and a drop of sugar. Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes until the second side is browned. Spread guacamole over tofu and serve immediately.
Any stir fry is a super addition.