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Tofu 101

Go from Confused to Connoisseur


2/11/2010 8:39:13 PM

RMPOKRZY's SparkPage
sometimes I actually crave tofu straight from the box. I've prepared it by the freeze-thaw method, baking, etc and love each way. MMMMM!
2/11/2010 12:51:59 PM

JMFOGARTY11's SparkPage
Well, I've had it before. Once not knowing...friends ordered Chinese takeout and I had the Lemon "Chicken"...could have sworn it was chicken...but it was made out of tofu as it was a vegetarian restaurant...wish I knew how they did it, it was amazing! I've had a couple other things unknowingly made with tofu & not bad...not sure I could do as well...anyone know good recipes, I mean tried and true that you have had....???
11/8/2009 9:34:13 PM

First of all, before you cook tofu, it's important to know some things about it. If you're looking for it as a meat substitute, you probably would like to have the extra firm, but that's usually not all it takes to take on that meaty kind of texture. I have a few suggestions..

The first is, freeze it. This makes it a lot firmer, once it's thawed. When it is thawed, slice it into 1/4 inch thick slices and set on several paper towels or a clean cloth. Put another cloth over the top and then find a nice cutting board to put over that..and find a heavy weight. Tomato cans will do. A skillet. Press the water out of it, for at least 1/2 an hour. It retains a LOT of water.

Finally, dry fry it in a non stick cooking pan. Resist any temptation to put oil in it. Just keep shaking the pan so it doesn't stick. Fry it till it's nice and golden brown on one side, than flip and repeat the process. NOW when you decide to add sauces or marinade, the tofu BECOMES the sauce. And the texture is wonderful.

I've been a veggie for 10+ years, and have learned a lot of things. Feel free to comment. Next lesson, Seitan???
11/8/2009 10:46:18 AM

ELGREENIE1's SparkPage
Dan Odea: Thanks for your balanced comments on soy and possible medical risks. I especially appreciate your references to the Mayo Clinic and This gives me ideas on how to research my concerns about soy products and breast cancer.
11/8/2009 10:03:57 AM

There's a lot of conflicting evidence about the relationship of soy and breast cancer. Since soy is almost a daily part of the Asian diet and the incidence of breast cancer is lower in countries such as Japan and China than in North America, this could be an indicator that soy has little effect in this regard.
10/30/2009 12:57:10 PM

ANNERS8's SparkPage
tofu rules. as far as soy being harmful to one's health... seems like there are risks and benefits to eating it - I'm not going to cut soy out of my diet. I just think everything, including soy, should be enjoyed in moderation!!
9/29/2009 6:39:47 PM

There may be studies showing that soy products hav negative health effects, but everyone agrees that saturated fats found in many meats are bad for you. Which is the lesser of two evils? Once you add in the ethical and environmental concerns involved in meat production the soybean curd doesn't look so bad. :)
8/22/2009 10:45:15 AM

*AMBER512's SparkPage
I stay away from soy. I probably wouldn't as much if I were in a different country, but certainly not here. I know there is some soy in some of the processed foods I eat, but I generally stay away from straight soy like tofu. Genetically modified foods aren't exactly my desire.
6/30/2009 1:32:07 AM

JULIEN*'s SparkPage
Thanks for the article! I've been eyeing the tofu in my store for a couple weeks now but I was a little wary to actually *try* it. I found a cool recipe where you marinade extra firm tofu in BBQ sauce and bake it in the oven. I think I'll try it for the 4th of July. : )
6/25/2009 9:18:42 AM

Soy products can be harmful to people at risk for breast cancer or with a history of breast cancer. For this reason it is a bit misleading to say "it won't harm you." There are studies which have shown a troubling connection between soy and certain cancers, so people should be aware of this.
5/15/2009 12:31:03 PM

Coolinjeans, correlation =/= causation.

You feel better eating only fermented soy, that's great! Tempeh is amazing stuff, for sure. YUM! You should absolutely do what is best for you and your health.

However, you have no proof, except your own anecdotal evidence, that soy "caused" your thyroid issue. Just because something happened at the same time as something else doesn't mean it caused that something to happen. It also doesn't mean it's applicable to the vast majority of the population.

Of course, there are a few places where this is not true. A bullet wound appearing after you're shot is one. So, sometimes the causation is readily apparent. This, I feel, is not one of those cases.

As for replacing eggs with tofu, I'm much too fond of chickens to ever eat their ill-gotten eggs again. Even "free-range" is not free enough, IMO.

Tofu scramble, FTW. :)
I'm moderate in my soy intake just because it's never great to eat too much of one thing - except maybe veggies and fruit! :)
5/15/2009 7:48:20 AM

The jury is still out about soy and thyroid problems. FYI soy has a weak estrogen-like behavior. In sensitive people or people on thyroid medication soy can have negative effects. There are studies supporting both sides of the question.

One thing you must do: know where your information comes from. For example, the Mayo Clinic says soy foods (not soy supplements!) are fine as long as you aren't taking any thyroid or hormone medication. If you do take such medication, wait at least four hours before eating soy. ASK.COM's medical board says there is evidence eating soy can be bad under certain circumstances. The "soy committee" (just another lobby) says it's fine. Certain individual doctors take one extreme stance or the other ("It's great for you!" or "Don't eat soy; it causes cancer etc!").

I don't think drinking a cup of soy milk a day is going to harm anyone except those on HRT or, in certain cases, with thyroid problems. I'm not a doctor, so ask your own doctor or dietician.
5/15/2009 7:38:51 AM

The other day I went hunting in Africa and shot a tofudebeest. Thanks, Mr. Larson!
3/20/2009 12:38:10 PM

What about all the evidence that soy damages the thyroid?
2/23/2009 10:12:25 AM

ORCA_0574's SparkPage
I love the IDEA of tofu but as I am very texture orientated... I can't take the texture. It's like eating globs of snot (sorry for the visual). I can consume it in "drink" form (aka- smoothies and such) and in something that is supposed to be smooth textured like "cheese"cake but to actually eat it as a meat substitute. I just can't do it. Of course, I have been a vegetarian for so long the actual meat substitue foods-quron, boca and such- sometimes gross me out too as they have too much of a "real meat" texture. Damned if I do and damned if I don't!! LOL

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