The Wonderful World of Tofu

Tofu is obtained by heating soy milk with coagulants: the milk solidifies and tofu is formed. Depending on the production technology and types of coagulants, tofu may have a different texture. Chinese hard tofu: Firm, rough in texture but smooth after being cooked, Chinese tofu is sold in an aqueous solution. It can be marinated, frozen, pan-fried and grilled. Usually sold in cartons. Silky tofu: Flawlessly smooth, silky and tender, perfect for salads, soups, purees and sauces. It can also be baked and fried. Silky tofu is sold in boxes. When closed, it can be stored for a long time at room temperature, and when opened – only 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Marinated baked tofu: In health food stores and Asian markets, you can buy different types of marinated baked tofu. It is made from Chinese hard tofu using spices and seasonings: sesame seeds, peanuts, barbecue sauce, etc. This type of tofu tastes like meat. Before cooking, it is good to soak it in a small amount of sesame or peanut oil, then it will better reveal its taste and aroma. Marinated baked tofu is perfect for Asian pasta dishes, veggie dumplings and rolls. frozen tofu: Japanese frozen tofu has a spongy texture and quite specific taste. Falling in love with this variety of tofu at first sight is very difficult. If necessary, it is better to freeze the tofu yourself in a marinade with seasonings. It is better not to deep-fry frozen tofu, as it absorbs oil very well and turns out to be very fatty. And it doesn’t make puree either. Tofu and other soy products are often used in veggie burgers and hot dogs. Children just love them. Buying and Storing Tofu The freshness of the tofu is just as important as the freshness of the milk. When buying, be sure to look at the production date, keep the opened package only in the refrigerator. Chinese tofu should be stored in a small amount of water and be sure to change the water every day. Fresh tofu has a pleasant sweet aroma and mild nutty flavor. If the tofu has a sour smell, then it is no longer fresh and should be thrown away. Removing excess moisture Dry the tofu before cooking. To do this, place a few paper towels on a cutting board, cut the tofu into wide slices, place on the towels, and pat dry. This method is ideal for tender, silky tofu. And if you are going to fry Chinese tofu, to dry it out, you will need to do the following: cover the tofu with a paper towel, place something heavy on top, such as a can of canned tomatoes, and, holding it, drain the escaping liquid into the sink. Tofu pretreatment Many recipes call for lightly deep-fried tofu. The cheese, fried in oil, acquires an attractive golden color and an interesting texture. After roasting, the cheese can be pickled or cooked on a broiler, and then added to salads or vegetable stews. Another way to firm up your tofu is to soak the pieces of tofu in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. In both cases, the proteins thicken, and the cheese does not fall apart during further cooking. Source: Translation: Lakshmi

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