We love tofu. Who doesn’t? This soy bean product invented by the Chinese over 2,000 years ago is versatile and goes well in so many different cooking styles. It doesn’t hurt that it’s low-calorie and jam-packed with protein, iron and calcium.
Made from soybeans, these silky soft white blocks are high in healthy fats, including the sought-after omega-3 fatty acids. Isoflavones in soy products have also been linked to a lower risk of osteoporosis, and consumption of soy products have been associated with a decreased risk of obesity.
The best thing? Tofu is cheap, filling, and tastes absolutely great (when you know what to do with it, that is). Here are 10 ways to tofu up your life:
We’ll kick off our tofu recipe list with this classic Japanese tofu dish that requires zero cooking skills. All you need to do is prop out the tofu from the box, sprinkle some dried bonito flakes, chopped scallion, grated ginger, and pour over a couple tablespoons of soy sauce. This is lip-smackingly good and so so simple to make. Get recipe here (although you barely need one).
2. Tofu Egg(less) Salad
If you love egg salad but can’t be bothered boiling and peeling so many eggs just to make a tiny bowl of it, this recipe will save the day. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, but you’ll definitely love it. The flavour comes real close to an authentic egg salad, but the tofu makes it extra fluffy while the spices and mustard add a kick to the recipe. Add some celery to make it crunchy. Get recipe here.
3. Stir-Fried Tofu and Broccoli
Some days you can’t beat a good stir-fry over a steaming plate of rice. And this is as good a stir-fry as any, where the crunchiness of the green florets complement the soft, flavour-soaked tofu perfectly. Besides the health benefits you’ll be getting from the tofu, you’ll also be loading up essential nutrients that broccoli is known for. Its high amounts of fibre makes your time on the loo a bit more easier. This recipe takes very little time to whip up but is lipsmakingly good.
4. Tofu Chocolate Mousse
Bet you didn’t think you could make dessert with tofu. But you can, and it’s actually really really good. If you don’t believe us, whip this up at your next dinner party and see if anyone could tell the difference. All you’d hear would be how absolutely silky and decadent the mousse is, and nobody would guess that no an ounce of cream made its way in. This recipe calls for only two ingredients — silken tofu and dark chocolate. The method? Combine everything in a blender / mixer. Talk about easy.
5. Tofu Burgers
Vegetarians would love this recipe and we trust that even meat lovers wouldn’t scoff (too much) at it. This is because the tofu burger patties are stuffed to the brim with a cacophony of flavours, from the fragrant coriander leaves, onions, kaffir lime leaves to the spicy paprika powder. Cheddar is also part of the ingredients list, which we think adds a nice depth of flavour. Try the recipe here.
6. Steamed Tofu with Minced Meat
This is perhaps one of my favourite orders at a typical Chinese restaurant, but you could make it at home pretty easily too. All it calls for is some minced meat (of your choice), onions, green onions, garlic and some sauces. It’s delicious paired with brown rice, or you could try eating it in a lettuce wrap! Recipe here.
7. Strawberry Tofu Smoothie
Mmhmm… tofu is indeed versatile. This recipe makes a very rich and creamy glass to quench your thirst and hunger. The recipe itself calls for heavy cream, but if you’re looking to cut the calories, you’ll be happy to know that switching to soy or almond milk would still get you delicious smoothies, thanks to the tart frozen strawberries. If you’re feeling it, you could also add in a banana. Recipe here.
8. Tofu Curry
This isn’t all that innovative, but makes a great bowl of comfort food. As the flavours of the curry seep into the tofu, you’d be digging into the pot for more. Recipe here.
9. Secretly Creamy Pesto Pasta
This pesto pasta is sinfully creamy, but the creaminess comes not from dairy, but from tofu! Recipe calls for arugula, almonds, parmesan, garlic, and lemon juice, which are all nutritionally dense ingredients. Use brown pasta for the best health benefits. If you don’t want to eat pasta, try this over julienned / spiralised zucchini. You’ll love it. Recipe here.
10. Tofu with Snow Peas in Soy-Vinegar Glaze
This recipe is testimony that tofu can a great vehicle to deliver explosive flavours to your tastebuds if you know how to use it. Stir-fried with garlic, shallots, snow peas, and sugar snap peas, along with a delicious concoction of sauces and chili flakes, this tofu will do great with both brown rice or in a wrap. We like the bit at the end where you add a knob of butter to make it extra creamy and rich. (Just in case you’re wondering, no, butter isn’t evil).