How to Drain TofuNovember 13, 2023
Tofu is a popular meat substitute, not only for vegans and vegetarians, but for many people around the world. Packed with protein, its subtle flavour makes it an incredible main ingredient to use in cooking as it pairs well with lots of flavours. Here, HelloFresh looks into the world of tofu: how to cook it, drain it and serve it – before sharing some of the most delicious tofu recipes, made easier with HelloFresh.
What is tofu?
Tofu is a bean curd that derives from soya. It is created by curdling a portion of fresh soya milk and forming it into a solid block. The mixture is then cooled to form the structured block of tofu. This process is very similar to how dairy cheese is made.
What is tofu made of?
Tofu is mostly made from curdled soy milk which then forms the solid tofu block. However, Nigari (a mineral-rich coagulant) is also added to blocks of tofu to quicken the solidifying process of tofu and ensure it keeps its block shape. Many people include tofu as part of their diet due to how rich in protein it is. This is particularly important for those with a vegan or plant-based diet.
What does tofu taste like?
Tofu does not have any strong taste or flavouring. This is part of what makes it so useful in the kitchen, as it has the ability to take on a diverse range of flavours, depending on the cuisine you’re preparing. Tofu, in its pure form, possesses a subtle and delicate flavor reminiscent of beans, originating from its soybean composition. Tofu is excellent at absorbing flavours, and with the right seasoning, you can make it either savoury or sweet.
How to cook tofu
Tofu is an easy ingredient that can be prepared in many ways. You can blend it, bake it, fry it or roast it, depending on your dish. When buying tofu at the supermarket, you should consider the firmness that you need. You can often buy three types of tofu: silken, firm and extra firm – although there are several types available. Choose tofu according to your recipe. For example, when using tofu in a lasagna, opt for silken. However, if you’re using it as a meat substitute, go for a firmer block.
How to drain tofu
Blocks of tofu often contain lots of water, which will need to be squeezed out prior to cooking and eating. If you don’t, this could affect the tofu’s ability to absorb flavour, as well as the overall cooking. There are a number of ways you can “press” tofu to get rid of excess liquid.
How to press tofu
If you’re a tofu lover, it may be worth investing in an actual tofu press to seamlessly squeeze all of the water from your blocks. However, you can easily press your tofu without the use of machinery.
Use your hands to press lightly on the block and squeeze out excess juice. You can place a paper or kitchen towel over the tofu if you don’t wish to touch it directly. Make sure not to apply too much pressure, as this could cause the tofu to crumble and fall apart.
What to serve with tofu
While tofu on its own can be rather bland, it’s easy to spice up with sauces and sides. Cook tofu with some Korean spices and add it to a delicious bibimbap bowl. Fry up some tofu and add it to a ginger and garlic veggie stew. You could even grill tofu at your barbecues this summer.
Add some more tofu into your life, with these tasty ideas from HelloFresh.
- Miso Honeyed Tofu with Shiitake & Chestnut Mushroom Rice
- Spiced Tofu Sesame Rice Bowl with Garlic Tenderstem® and Pickled Carrot Ribbons
- Thai Style Crispy Tofu Red Curry with Charred Pepper and Garlic Rice
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