Kitchen Tips

A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Tofu

Tofu is a quintessential part of any Asian cuisine and more so in the Korean cuisine. It is widely used in most of the dishes, especially the Korean vegetarian dishes that are quite popular.

It is known for its versatility and is packed with multiple health benefits, especially proteins which are the building blocks of our body. Let us demystify tofu and understand what is it used for, the different kinds of tofu and how it is used.

Korean Tofu is called Dubu and is widely used to make casseroles, kimchi, banchans and stews. It is also used in most Buddhist vegetarian cuisines across Korea.

Here’s a Quick and Easy guide to Using Tofu

So what is Tofu?

Tofu is nothing but Soy milk cheese. The milk is extracted from mature white soybeans that are boiled, curdled, and pressed, similar to dairy cheese. The soybeans are soaked and ground into slurry which is warmed with water, then strained to become soy milk.

soy milk - A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Tofu

Image Courtesy: Vincent Huang used under the Creative Commons Licence

How does Tofu look and taste?

Tofu is White, smooth, and wet just like cheese, however, its consistency varies from soft, smooth and spongy varieties. Upon frying or roasting it turns chewier.

Tofu barely has any flavour, it usually tastes bland when eaten directly.  But when added to dishes it takes on the flavour, making it immensely delicious.

Kinds of Tofu

Depending on the pressing technique and the water extracted from the soy milk, Tofu can be processed into different kinds.

Depending on the amount of water that is extracted from the tofu curds, fresh tofu can be divided into three main varieties. Fresh tofu is usually sold completely immersed in water to maintain its moisture content.

Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu is undrained and non-pressed tofu that contains the highest moisture content. It is produced by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. Silken tofu is available in several consistencies, including soft and firm, but all silken tofu are more delicate than regular firm tofu and has different culinary uses. You can try our Kimchi and soft silken tofu soup.

silken tofu - A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Tofu

Image Courtesy: Edsel Little used under the Creative Commons Licence

Firm Tofu

Firm tofu has the firmness of raw meat but bounces back readily when pressed. The texture is similar to that of a custard. The skin has the pattern of the muslin used to drain it and is slightly more resilient to damage than its inside.

firm tofu - A Quick and Easy Guide to Using Tofu

Image Courtesy: Jenny Hones used under the Creative Commons Licence

Other kinds of tofu include extra firm tofu, processed tofu, pickled tofu, Dried tofu, fried and frozen tofu.

Quick Note:

If you are allergic to soy milk and soy products, you should not use Tofu.

Become a pro at using tofu with our Quick and Easy Guide to Using Tofu. Here are Top 10 Tofu Dishes with a Twist.

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