Tofu is manufactured from soya beans. The beans are ground into an emulsion, then curdled with salt or a mild acid. The very mild flavour characteristic of tofu makes it an extremely versatile product which can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Tofu contains more protein and less fat per one gram than any other food and is low in calories. It contains the eight essential amino acids and is easily digestible. Traditionally it is one of the first solid foods given to babies in China and Japan.
Tofu is usually packed in water and should always be packed in water in the fridge. Firm tofu is best deep-fried, added to flans or quiches or eaten raw with soya sauce. The softer tofu can be used in sweeter cheese cakes or whips, or as a substitute for cottage cheese. To drain, place between two clean tea-towels and press down with a weight for about 30 minutes.
Deep fried Tofu
Drain 445g (16oz) tofu well using the above method.
Cut into 4 and dust with seasoned flour.
Whisk 1-2 eggs and dip tofu in them.
Drop into 55g (2oz) bread crumbs and turn.
Drain and serve with hot tomato sauce.
Blend 300g (10oz)silken tofu with 30ml lemon juice, 15-30ml (1fl 0z) sunflower oil and 1 clove crushed garlic.
Season to taste.
Add ½ tsp each of finely ground yellow mustard seed and black peppercorns with 2 tsp shoyu.
Millet and Tofu Patties
Heat 1 tsp oil and gently fry 75g (3oz) millet grains until lightly brown.
Pour on 425ml (¾ pint) boiling water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until millet is soft.
Leave to cool.
Blend millet, 150g (5oz) silken tofu and 2tbsp shoyu to a thick paste in a liquidiser .
Season well and add 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley.
Chill overnight in a fridge.
Mushroom in Tofu…an interesting side salad
Toss 350g (12oz) sliced button mushrooms in 1 tbsp oil with 1 clove of crushed garlic.
Toast 50g (2oz) shelled walnuts under a hot grill.
Mix together 150g (5oz) silken tofu and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Stir into mushroom slices.
Mix in 3-4 spring onions (sliced) and garnish with toasted walnuts.
Tofu Tamale Pie…a quick satisfying casserole
Chop 2 onions and 2 green peppers.
Mince 3 cloves garlic.
Put in a casserole dish with 680g (24oz) tofu, 900g (32oz) tomatoes, 340g (12oz) sweet corn, 200ml (1/3 pint) water , 2 tbsp chilli powder, 2 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tsp cumin and 140g (5oz) maize flour.
Bake at 350°F/180°C (gas mark 4) for 1 hour.
Tofu burgers – simple to make, tasty to eat!
Drain 900g (32oz) tofu then knead for a few minutes.
Add 4 and a half tbsp grated carrot, 1 small onion, chopped, 2 tbsp sea salt and 2 tbsp raisins.
Knead together to mix.
Shape into burgers and deep fry.
Tofu Guacamole…a delicious dip or salad dressing
Shallow Fried Tofu Steaks
Slice 450g (16oz) tofu into soya sauce.
Leave to soak on each side for a couple of minutes.
Dip in flour and fry for a few minutes on each side until browned.
Tofu and Tomato Flan
Make up 225g (8oz) short crust pastry.
Drain 170g (6oz) cooked chives, 1tbsp chopped parsley and 285g (10oz) tofu, well mashed.
Season to taste.
Roll out pastry and use to line a medium sized flan dish.
Pour in tofu mix. Decorate with tomato rings and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake at 400°F/200°C (gas mark 6) for 20-30 minutes.
Fry 2 sliced onions and 1 large red pepper, sliced with 1 clove crushed garlic.
When soft, put half the mixture into a small oven proof dish.
Arrange 100g (3.5oz) cooked sweet corn over the vegetable stock.
Add soya sauce and seasoning and pour over the mixture.
Sprinkle with 55g (2oz) pumpkin seeds.
Bake at 180°C/350°F (gas mark 4) for 30 minutes.
Press 455g (16oz) tofu to dry.
Cut into cubes and lightly fry, turning frequently.
Stir into 575ml (1 pint) curry sauce.
Slice an apple and toss in lemon juice.
Scatter over curry with sunflower seeds.
Make 225g (8oz) pastry.
Finely chop 170g (6oz) leeks.
Steam until just tender (don’t over steam).
Beat 2 large eggs with 170g (6oz) mashed tofu to make a smooth, creamy mix.
Add seasoning and pinch of tarragon and basil. Line a medium size flan dish with pastry and bake blind at 400°F/200°C for 10 minutes.
Put leeks in pastry case, top with tomato slices and pour on tofu mix.
Reduce oven temperature 350°F/180°C (gas mark 4) and cook for 30 minutes more.
And some tasty sweets:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (gas mark 4).
Melt 100g (3.5oz) butter, 1 tsp honey and 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar.
Bring to the boil and stir in 225g (8oz) rolled oat flakes.
Press the mix into a flan ring and bake for 15-20 minutes.
To make the filling, blend together 300g (10oz) silken tofu, 100g (3.5oz) cottage cheese, 2 peeled bananas, 2 tbsp honey and the juice and rind of half a lemon.
Pour into flan case.
Chill for 24 hours before serving.
Tofu Cream pie
Mix together 225g (8oz) whole meal flour, pinch seasalt and one quarter tsp cinnamon.
Work in 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp water and half tbsp of honey.
Press into pie dish and bake at 350°F/180°C (gas mark 4) for 10 minutes.
Blend together 455g (16oz) tofu with 4 tbsp water, 170g (6oz) honey, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 2.5 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp grated lemon rind and ¼ tsp sea salt.
Pour into pastry case and continue cooking for 1 hour.
Tofu Maple Fruit Whip
Carob/ Chocolate Cake
Blend 200g (8oz) honey or sugar, 200ml (1/3 pint) oil, 450g (16oz) tofu, 1 tsp vanilla essence.
Add 300g (10oz) plain flour and 170g (6oz) carob or cocoa powder.
Bake in greased tin at 180°C/350°F (gas mark 4) for approx 30 minutes.