Tofu doesn’t look appetizing when you first see it, but don’t let appearances fool you. Tofu is a versatile item that can be used in almost any type of meal, from appetizers to even dessert. You can cook it in any way you like, by broiling, frying, stewing, or even simply adding it to dips. The wonderful thing about tofu is its ability to soak up the flavors of the ingredients cooked with it. Tofu is also very nutritious; it contains no cholesterol and is a good source of protein and iron. It can also be a source of calcium, which prevents osteoporosis. Though originally from China, tofu became popular in Japan when it was used as a meat substitute to the Buddhist temple diet. The use spread to the general population.
How tofu is made
Tofu is made through a process similar to that in making cheese, except it uses soy milk. The dried soybeans are soaked, ground, boiled, and strained to make soymilk.It is then curdled by adding different coagulants. The tofu’s end texture depends on what coagulants are used at this stage. It can range from being soft and fine tender to brittle and tender. The curd is then separated and processed depending on what sort of tofu is desired. Making tofu produces edible by-products like yuba (tofu skin), which is part of a variety of Japanese dishes, and okara, the protein left from squeezing out soy milk from the beans.
Tofu can either be silken or regular. Silken tofu is often freshly made tofu, and has a softer consistency. This kind of tofu is good for dips and sauces. One example of using siken tofu is hiyayakko, a summer dish which is served with freshly grated ginger, scallions, and soy sauce. Regular tofu, on the other hand, is firm and good for general cooking. This type of tofu is often sold submerged in water to keep it from drying.