Time to talk about TOFU.
Why do we love tofu? Tofu is a really good source of protein, tryptophan, manganese, and iron. It’s also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, copper, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol free.
Tofu is made from the curd of soybean milk. But before you say ewww, know that that’s what cheese is made from- curds of cow milk. So don’t ewww me.
The goods: Regular intake of tofu can lower total cholesterol by as much as 30%, lower triglyceride levels in the blood and reduce blood clots. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and is associated with lower rates of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Best of all, tofu is pretty tasteless so it absorbs flavor from whatever you cook it with.
If you’re not yet a tofu lover, believe me, I understand. It’s definitely a little foreign at first and it is kind of an acquired taste/texture. But it is a really versatile food and you can make so many different recipes with it– Here is an AMAZING one from Whole Foods;
It’s so good that I can assure you you won’t think twice about skipping the meat— even YOU, gentlemen.
Golden Sesame Tofu
14-oz. extra firm tofu
1/4 cup cornstarch
Canola or peanut oil, for frying
2 tbsp. agave nectar (for vegans) or honey
3 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger root
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp. mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Dusting of crushed red chili flakes, to taste
Directions: Heat a fry pan over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and toast until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and place sesame seeds in small bowl to cool.
Remove tofu from package and drain. Press the tofu gently between the palms of your hands to squeeze out water, then wrap the tofu in paper towels, place it on a plate, then put a another plate on top of it. Place a 28-oz. can of tomatoes or a cast iron fry pan on the plate. This will press out any remaining water from the tofu. Let sit for 20 minutes or so.
Unwrap the tofu and slice into eight rectangular slices. To make even slices, I slice the block of tofu in half, then half each half, and then half each quarter. Make sense? Then dust the slices with tofu evenly with cornstarch on all sides.
Heat about 2 tbsp. of oil in your fry pan over medium high heat. Add the tofu slices, but don’t crowd the pan. You might have to fry in batches. Fry until the tofu is a light golden color, approximately 2 minutes, then turn the tofu over to cook another 2 minutes on the other side. Remove to drain on paper towels. If frying in batches, add more oil to the pan. Note: it is normal for the tofu to splatter, so wear an apron if you don’t want to ruin your clothes.
While the tofu is frying, stir together the agave nectar/honey, soy sauce, gingerroot, sesame oil, mirin and garlic together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place tofu in glass container to hold. Pour sauce over tofu and turn to coat. Dust tofu with toasted sesame seeds and turn again to coat. Season with crushed red chili flakes. Can be served warm or chilled.
Add it to a salad or enjoy over rice with veggies, or just dig in on its own. And welcome to your new tofu addiction.