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What’s Tofu? – Panlasang Pinoy

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Strong, white, and with a wide range of textures, it is among the most adaptable substances in Asian delicacies. It’s an important instance of a plant-based protein; many vegans and vegetarians incorporate it into their dishes as a great substitute to meat and fish. However even meat eaters can discover nice pleasure on this small however mighty ingredient. Tofu is an excellent meal in itself, that you would be able to take pleasure in with all of your family members.

what is tofu

The place does it come from?

Tofu is the product of condensed soy milk that’s then pressed into block shapes and made to chill down. The method of curdling and solidifying soy milk is just like how cheese is made, too! The title itself comes from the Japanese phrase tōfu. This in flip comes from the Mandarin doufu, which implies “bean curd” or “bean ferment.” 

Its historical past is sophisticated and tangled. There are three theories as to how the ingredient got here to be. Nevertheless, the commonest takes place within the Han Dynasty, when a Chinese language prince supposedly found the ingredient. One other concept suspects that it was unintentionally found. Rumor has it {that a} chef unintentionally combined a batch of contemporary soy milk with impure sea salt known as nigari. As a result of the ocean salt was nonetheless impure, its ranges of calcium and magnesium salts would have been excessive. This could be sufficient for the soy milk to curdle, reaching the gel-like consistency we affiliate with immediately.

sliced tofu

It got here to Japan afterwards by means of the Zen Buddhist monks within the eighth century. The truth is, the guide Tofu Hyakuchin from the Edo interval lists 100 methods to prepare dinner the ingredient! Chinese language immigrants from the Fujian province additionally started introducing it to Southeast Asian international locations, like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, amongst others. The demand and use of grew in Asian international locations rapidly, with an increasing number of cuisines incorporating it into their meals.

However its rise didn’t attain the West till the Sixties, the place extra Western international locations started expressing curiosity in Asian delicacies, wholesome dwelling, and vegetarianism. Due to stated curiosity, it grew to become extra widespread, to the purpose that a wide range of pre-packed tofu might be present in supermarkets throughout these international locations now.


Tofu is available in a myriad of types and textures. Usually, you may divide into “contemporary” or “processed.” The previous comes straight from the product of curdling soy milk, whereas the latter comes from contemporary tofu itself. However inside these two classes, there are additionally completely different variations that you would be able to take pleasure in, relying in your choice!


silken tofu

Contemporary tofu can both come unpressed or pressed. The previous normally has additional mushy or mushy consistencies. One other title for additional mushy tofu is sundubu in Korean. You normally eat additional mushy with little to no seasoning. Its consistency is watery, unfastened and mushy. It crumbles nearly instantly, and is pretty just like cottage cheese.


This can be known as “silken tofu.” Though the mushy selection is extra compact than sundubu, this variant incorporates a excessive moisture content material, and remains to be fairly delicate in comparison with the agency ones. In lots of vegan merchandise, it’s silken tofu that works because the substitute for milk, cheese, and different dairy, in addition to eggs. 

organic tofu

One other type of mushy tofu is douhua. Douhua is a well-liked breakfast in China, cooked akin to silken however left for a bit longer earlier than serving. There’s some debate as as to if or not we are able to truly contemplate douhua as a sort of tofu or a meals in its personal proper. Nevertheless, its consistency and technique of cooking are similar to the ingredient. Different variations of sentimental tofu embody black douhua (which stems from black soybeans) or edamame tofu in Japan, which is a lightweight inexperienced coloration.


True to its title, pressed tofu refers back to the ones that has been pressed and hardened into the block form we all know tofu to take. Agency tofu has the feel of uncooked meat, which is why that is essentially the most generally used sort of tofu when on the lookout for meat substitutes. Though chewy and fairly agency, it nonetheless has a excessive moisture content material. It isn’t as crumbly as mushy tofu, and is unquestionably much more compact.

firm tofu

Additional Agency

This sort of tofu, then again, incorporates the least quantity of moisture. It will probably both be agency like cooked meat or have a rubbery texture. You’ll be able to serve this additional agency sort of tofu chilly, stir fried, and even added to soup –– the chances are countless!

When you’re already overwhelmed, don’t neglect: all of the sorts of tofu I’ve listed now solely check with the “contemporary tofu” variant! There’s nonetheless the processed tofu you may attempt to take pleasure in.


Processed tofu refers back to the merchandise you can also make from the contemporary tofu. In supermarkets and groceries, you may normally discover them labeled as pickled tofu, pungent tofu, and thousand layer tofu. Whether or not they’re fermented or frozen, processed tofu takes many types, accompanying a number of individuals’s taste preferences.

What’s your favourite sort of tofu?

How do you prepare dinner it?

From its humble origins in China, bean curd’s reputation solely grew over time, and has discovered a house in international locations not solely in Asia however worldwide. As we talked about earlier, tofu is a flexible and dynamic ingredient –– appropriate for nearly any sort of dish or delicacies! 

There are so some ways to prepare dinner tofu –– so many alternative recipes to strive! We Filipinos love tofu, or tokwa, as we all know it, and incorporate it into all kinds of dishes. Tofu is a superb meat substitute, absorbing the wealthy flavors that include lots of our foremost programs. However it’s additionally great by itself, and is nice in stir fry and different meals. Ever had crispy tofu pores and skin earlier than? With a pleasant Asian dipping sauce, this makes for an important appetizer or mild snack!

tofu block

The chewy texture of tofu goes nice in a number of traditional Filipino dishes. As an illustration, this pork adobo with tofu brings a scrumptious and barely more healthy twist to the standard recipe. Tofu works properly with pork, particularly for those who’re trying to cut back your personal meat consumption. On this recipe, we use much less of the purple pork meat and extra of the tofu with a view to keep a extra balanced food plan.

One of the crucial in style tokwa dishes in Filipino delicacies is, after all, the flavorful and scrumptious tokwa’t baboy. Tokwa’t baboy is a mixture of tofu and fatty pork stomach liempo served in a scrumptious mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. With different substances like onion, scallions, and peppercorn, tokwa’t baboy makes an important appetizer or aspect dish to meals like lugaw or arroz caldo. Its salty and bitter taste makes for a fancy and attractive chunk!

However for those who’re extra inclined to greens, tofu goes properly with them, too! Simply take a look at this Lumpiang Sariwa (Contemporary Spring Roll) recipe. On this recipe, tofu and the opposite greens make for a refreshing and scrumptious chunk. One other recipe to strive is that this tofu in black bean sauce, which is fast, easy, and oh so yummy!

However you don’t have to simply use bean curd in appetizers and foremost programs –– you can even use it in desserts! As talked about prior, tofu is usually a substitute to a number of milk and dairy merchandise. Utilizing it in dishes like Leche Flan can nonetheless offer you that consistency and style you’re after. And naturally, who can neglect the ever traditional taho? Sliced heat tofu served in a scrumptious candy syrup is a superb deal with for any time of day. Plus, it’s really easy to make at house, too!

With its versatility and reliability within the kitchen, tofu is an excellent companion to your eating desk in any method, form or type. Don’t be afraid to strive it together with your family members!

Is it wholesome?

The brief reply –– sure! Bean curd makes for not solely scrumptious however nutritious meals on the eating desk!

As a result of it’s a soy product, bean curd has a excessive quantity of legumes, which may also help cut back danger of coronary heart illness. Consuming a wholesome quantity of tofu additionally helps in lowering the danger of choose cancers, reminiscent of within the breast, prostate, and digestive system. Soy isoflavones current within the ingredient assist in sustaining blood sugar management –– good for diabetics! 

kinds of tofu

Tofu can also be an important supply of protein and incorporates all of the 9 important amino acids! It’s an important supply of iron and calcium, which may make your bones and physique wholesome and powerful.

There’s actually no shock as to why tofu has develop into such a preferred and beloved ingredient in a number of cuisines world wide. Its adaptability and numerous types make it appropriate for nearly any form of meal. Whereas it might be a humble ingredient, its taste can actually pack a punch, and might discover a house on any eating desk. And never solely is it scrumptious, it additionally works wonders to your well being.

For these on plant-based diets or trying to eat more healthy, tofu actually is the way in which to go. Don’t be afraid to strive it immediately!


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