Lets talk about tofu for a minute. What is it exactly? Its actually coagulated soy milk pressed into blocks. In most peoples book, thats strike one; anything with coagulated in the description tends to be off-putting. The word tofu comes from the Chinese doufu which is bean plus curdled or fermented strike two. Tofu by itself, in flavor and texture, is well, just kind of meh.
Tofu is an excellent source of protein, is low in calories and has very little fat. Its popularity in Asian countries directly coincides with the spread of Buddhism and vegetarianism dating back to A.D. 710. Many of us who like to eat a vegetarian meal on occasion may have stir-fried chunks of tofu with some veggies, added some soy sauce and called it good, even though it really wasnt. I have yet to meet anyone even a hard-core vegan who actually enjoys the taste and texture of tofu by itself.
But with its status as the seemingly perfect veggie protein source, what can be done to make it more appealing to our Western palates?
A lot, actually. Tofu is the perfect sponge to soak up any flavor that you have a yearning for. It comes in different textures (firm and silken) which adds to its versatility. Its inexpensive and easy to work with. All good reasons to give tofu another chance to prove itself worthy. Below are several recipes featuring both firm and silken tofu, and you will see how easy and delicious it can be to add this odd food source to your life.