HomeCOOKINGWhat's Tofu? - Panlasang Pinoy

What’s Tofu? – Panlasang Pinoy


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Strong, white, and with quite a lot 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 very good 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, which you could get pleasure from 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 much 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 most typical takes place within the Han Dynasty, when a Chinese language prince supposedly found the ingredient. One other principle suspects that it was by chance found. Rumor has it {that a} chef by chance blended a batch of recent 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 right now.

sliced tofu

It got here to Japan afterwards by means of the Zen Buddhist monks within the eighth century. Actually, 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 shortly, 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 international locations started expressing curiosity in Asian delicacies, wholesome residing, and vegetarianism. Due to mentioned curiosity, it grew to become extra widespread, to the purpose that quite a lot of pre-packed tofu may be present in supermarkets throughout these international locations now.


Tofu is available in a myriad of kinds and textures. Usually, you may divide into “recent” or “processed.” The previous comes straight from the product of curdling soy milk, whereas the latter comes from recent tofu itself. However inside these two classes, there are additionally completely different variations which you could get pleasure from, relying in your choice!


silken tofu

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


This can 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 may be some debate as as to whether or not we will truly take into account 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 soppy 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 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

Further Agency

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

If you happen to’re already overwhelmed, don’t overlook: all of the forms of tofu I’ve listed now solely check with the “recent tofu” variant! There’s nonetheless the processed tofu you may try to get pleasure from.


Processed tofu refers back to the merchandise you may make from the recent tofu. In supermarkets and groceries, you may often discover them labeled as pickled tofu, pungent tofu, and thousand layer tofu. Whether or not they’re fermented or frozen, processed tofu takes many kinds, accompanying a number of folks’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 various recipes to strive! We Filipinos love tofu, or tokwa, as we all know it, and incorporate it into all types of dishes. Tofu is a good meat substitute, absorbing the wealthy flavors that include lots of our fundamental programs. But it surely’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. For example, this pork adobo with tofu brings a scrumptious and barely more healthy twist to the standard recipe. Tofu works effectively with pork, particularly should you’re seeking to cut back your personal meat consumption. On this recipe, we use much less of the crimson pork meat and extra of the tofu with a view to preserve a extra balanced eating regimen.

Probably the most common tokwa dishes in Filipino delicacies is, in fact, 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 facet dish to meals like lugaw or arroz caldo. Its salty and bitter taste makes for a fancy and engaging chunk!

However should you’re extra inclined to greens, tofu goes effectively with them, too! Simply have 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 fundamental programs –– you may as well 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 provide you with that consistency and style you’re after. And naturally, who can overlook the ever traditional taho? Sliced heat tofu served in a scrumptious candy syrup is a good 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 a superb companion on your eating desk in any means, form or type. Don’t be afraid to strive it along 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 help cut back danger of coronary heart illness. Consuming a wholesome quantity of tofu additionally helps in decreasing the chance of choose cancers, similar 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 be an important supply of protein and accommodates 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 robust.

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

For these on plant-based diets or seeking to eat more healthy, tofu actually is the best way to go. Don’t be afraid to strive it right now!




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