What’s Tofu? – Panlasang Pinoy

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Strong, white, and with quite a lot of textures, it is likely one of the most adaptable substances in Asian delicacies. It’s an awesome instance of a plant-based protein; many vegans and vegetarians incorporate it into their dishes as substitute to meat and fish. However even meat eaters can discover nice pleasure on this small however mighty ingredient. Tofu is a superb meal in itself, that you could 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 principle 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 is able to be sufficient for the soy milk to curdle, reaching the gel-like consistency we affiliate with right now.

sliced tofu

It got here to Japan afterwards by the use of the Zen Buddhist monks within the eighth century. In actual fact, the e book 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 nations, like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, amongst others. The demand and use of grew in Asian nations rapidly, with an increasing number of cuisines incorporating it into their meals.

However its rise didn’t attain the West till the Nineteen Sixties, the place extra Western nations started expressing curiosity in Asian delicacies, wholesome residing, and vegetarianism. Due to mentioned curiosity, it turned extra widespread, to the purpose that quite a lot of pre-packed tofu may be present in supermarkets throughout these nations now.


Tofu is available in a myriad of varieties and textures. Usually, you’ll be able to 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 could take pleasure in, relying in your desire!


silken tofu

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


This may also be known as “silken tofu.” Though the tender selection is extra compact than sundubu, this variant accommodates a excessive moisture content material, and continues 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 tender 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 whether or not we are able to really take into account douhua as a kind 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 embrace black douhua (which stems from black soybeans) or edamame tofu in Japan, which is a lightweight inexperienced colour.


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 probably the most generally used kind of tofu when in search of meat substitutes. Though chewy and slightly agency, it nonetheless has a excessive moisture content material. It isn’t as crumbly as tender tofu, and is unquestionably much more compact.

firm tofu

Additional Agency

This type of tofu, then again, accommodates the least quantity of moisture. It will probably both be agency like cooked meat or have a rubbery texture. You may serve this further agency kind of tofu chilly, stir fried, and even added to soup –– the chances are countless!

In the event you’re already overwhelmed, don’t overlook: all of the sorts of tofu I’ve listed now solely consult with the “contemporary tofu” variant! There’s nonetheless the processed tofu you’ll be able to attempt to take pleasure in.


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

What’s your favourite kind 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 nations not solely in Asia however worldwide. As we talked about earlier, tofu is a flexible and dynamic ingredient –– appropriate for nearly any kind of dish or delicacies! 

There are so some ways to prepare dinner tofu –– so many various recipes to attempt! 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 primary programs. Nevertheless it’s additionally fantastic 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 awesome appetizer or mild snack!

tofu block

The chewy texture of tofu goes nice in a number of basic Filipino dishes. As an example, this pork adobo with tofu brings a scrumptious and barely more healthy twist to the normal recipe. Tofu works nicely with pork, particularly if you happen to’re trying to scale back your personal meat consumption. On this recipe, we use much less of the crimson pork meat and extra of the tofu so as to preserve a extra balanced weight loss plan.

One of the common tokwa dishes in Filipino delicacies is, in fact, the flavorful and scrumptious tokwa’t baboy. Tokwa’t baboy is a mix 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 awesome appetizer or facet dish to meals like lugaw or arroz caldo. Its salty and bitter taste makes for a posh and attractive chew!

However if you happen to’re extra inclined to greens, tofu goes nicely 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 chew. One other recipe to attempt is that this tofu in black bean sauce, which is fast, easy, and oh so yummy!

However you don’t have to only use bean curd in appetizers and primary programs –– you too can use it in desserts! As talked about prior, tofu generally is a substitute to a number of milk and dairy merchandise. Utilizing it in dishes like Leche Flan can nonetheless provide you with that consistency and style you’re after. And naturally, who can overlook the ever basic 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 residence, too!

With its versatility and reliability within the kitchen, tofu is a superb companion to your eating desk in any approach, form or kind. Don’t be afraid to attempt 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 will help scale back danger of coronary heart illness. Consuming a wholesome quantity of tofu additionally helps in decreasing the chance of choose cancers, corresponding to within the breast, prostate, and digestive system. Soy isoflavones current within the ingredient assist in sustaining blood sugar management –– excellent for diabetics! 

kinds of tofu

Tofu can also be an awesome supply of protein and accommodates all of the 9 important amino acids! It’s an awesome 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 turn out to be such a well-liked and beloved ingredient in a number of cuisines all over the world. Its adaptability and numerous varieties make it appropriate for nearly any form of meal. Whereas it could be a humble ingredient, its taste can actually pack a punch, and may discover a residence 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 best way to go. Don’t be afraid to attempt it right now!

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