Choosing tofu for its health benefits is the first step you will take but following up with this step is what your attention should be always directed towards. There are different recipes that could be prepared with tofu and this adds to the benefits it carries because you will never get bored from eating the same thing all the time but could prepare it differently in so many ways to receive the nutrients and minerals it carries. Knowing more about the tips related to tofu when it comes to cooking it, realizing that there are some famous recipes done with it out there, as well as learning to prepare it, are all things which you should get the chance to know more about.
Cooking tofu is easy, you should first get started with knowing more about how you should press it and make it ready for the cooking phase, but other than that, you just have to choose the recipe that you are going to prepare. Tofu is an Asian type of food that carries different benefits for the body and that proves why most of the Asian people are considered those who tend to live up longer than the rest of the world and with good health conditions as well.
How to Cook Tofu?
There are a lot of things and tips to follow when it comes to cooking tofu but those tips should be always kept in mind in order to receive the nutrients and minerals this type of food could deliver and gain all the different benefits it could serve the body with. There are different benefits for tofu that act as enough reasons for you to eat tofu, such as being able to lower the risk of heart disease, being a good source of selenium and thus protecting the system from colon cancer as well as being able to protect the body from other types of cancer as well, retaining the elasticity of the skin as well as toning the facial muscles which in turn helps in slowing down the aging process, and finally reducing the percentage of hair loss.
These different benefits prove that tofu is one type of food that you could depend on for being healthier and for providing the body with its needs and this brings us to the part where we should help you to know how to cook tofu in the right and correct way; here are the tips according to POPSUGAR Fitness:
- First of all, you should always choose the right type of tofu according to the recipe you are going to prepare; some people might choose the type according to the number of calories they are allowed to eat as well. The types of tofu include the silken, the soft, the firm, extra firm, and even the super firm; the firmer the tofu is, the more calories and protein it will serve your body with.
- The next step is related to pressing the tofu which is considered important because even though the water that your tofu will be swimming in in order not to dry out is considered very important, it is still not needed when it comes to the cooking phase and you will need to get rid of it. Pressing the tofu should be gently done in order not to crumble it; you will first bring a piece of cloth and place it under your tofu on a cutting board on one end and then fold the towel on top of the tofu and place a plate above it then press gently to get the water out. Sometimes people leave another heavy thing on the plate and leave the tofu to bring out the water for a couple of minutes before coming back to check it.
- Cutting the tofu is considered an easy step that does not take much time but one which you will definitely need to go through and which will usually depend on the recipe you are preparing and the size of tofu that you will need. The small diced cubes of tofu are considered the best when it comes to marinating because they tend to hold the flavor better, and they are also considered good when it comes to sautéing and baking (although in this case you might want thinner slices for them to get baked and sautéed faster).
- There are different ways to eat tofu through; it could be eaten the way it is from the fridge, could be sautéed, could be baked, etc. but in order to get a different taste along with it, you should better marinate those cubes. It is important to know how these cubes should be marinated, all you have to do is prepare your sauce, pour it on your tofu, stir, and then leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight before you cook it or eat it the way it is.
- There are different tofu dishes out there to prepare but among the most famous and the ones which are considered easy to do is the sautéed tofu or the baked one and that is why you should know how to do both of them, which is considered easy and might not take more than 15 minutes with adding oil and stirring for the sautéed one and not more 35 minutes for the baked tofu with adding a little bit of maple syrup along with the usual cooking needs.
These are the different steps that you should be well aware of when it comes to cooking tofu and preparing it in the most easy ways by choosing the easy tofu recipes and which will at the same time provide your body with the needed nutrients and minerals that will add more benefits to the body and give it the chance to stay healthy.
General Tso’s Tofu
Among the best tofu recipes which you might come across and will need to learn is the Tso’s tofu. General Tso’s tofu is the dish that balances between spicy, sweet, and savory and at the same time manages to provide your body with the amount of protein needed; in other words we could say that the general Tso’s tofu dish is one that you could depend on and enjoy at the same time without feeling bad about what you are eating.
In order to prepare this tofu recipe which will not take more than 30 minutes from your time, you should follow those tips from minimalist baker and which will guide you to the right direction, all you have to know is that this dish could be served with brown rice or broccoli, it all depends on your needs and what you prefer the most.
The ingredients needed for tofu:
- 340 grams of extra firm tofu
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 or 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
The ingredients needed for the sauce:
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 large gloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water
In order to stir fry:
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 bundle of green onions (bulbs removed and roughly chopped)
- 4 to 7 dried red chilies (optional)
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Steps to follow:
- While you are leaving your tofu to be pressed in order for the water to come out, you will prepare the sauce by combining the sesame oil, cornstarch, minced garlic, rice vinegar, coconut sugar (if you are using this, make sure it is dissolved before proceeding) or maple syrup, tamari or soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and combine them well together.
- Heat a large metal or iron skillet on medium heat and during this time unwrap the tofu and cut it into small cubes.
- Add the tofu cubes to a large mixing bowl and pour tamari or soy sauce on top of it, add chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and combine them well. Leave this mixture for two to three minutes by stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the tofu to a large freezer bag and keep adding one tablespoon of cornstarch at a time and toss to coat the tofu cubes. Keep adding more and tossing until the tofu is coated with a gummy white layer; this will take about 5 tablespoons.
- Going back to the hot skillet that you have prepared, add 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil and let it warm for about 30 seconds then add the tofu to the pan.
- Cook the tofu on all the sides for about one minute until it turns golden in color, after it reaches this shade of brown, remove it from the pan and set it aside for some time.
- Increase the heat on the skillet to medium high, add one tablespoon of sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies to sauté for 1-2 minutes by stirring them frequently. Now add the sauce and the tofu and cook by stirring frequently in order to coat the tofu and vegetables, for about 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the sesame seeds, toss to coat.
Serve with rice or steamed broccoli if you are willing to eat it with any of these two side dishes.
The choice of sauce will always depend on you and the things you like the most but the ones considered best for tofu are those which have soy and marinara sauces in them. There are different recipes to choose from and different things to prepare, you just have to be well aware of the tips you need to follow when it comes to the pressing and preparation phase and know how the tofu should be cooked in general before you could move on to the specific recipe you want to cook. Always make sure you are choosing the right type of tofu, you are cutting it correctly in order to be ready to cook it.