Happy Herbivore Blog

What is Tofu? (The Big Tofu Post)

Posted by: Lindsay S. Nixon |

Category: FAQ

Hi. I'm Scott. (you know, "Mr. Happy Herbivore"). My wife makes fun of me for how much I like tofu. Tofu is stupendously awesome! Here is my post on why tofu rocks...with added videos from Lindsay.

5 Interesting Tofu Facts:

  1. The Chinese having been making Tofu for over 2000 years.
  2. The process for making Tofu is very similar to making cheese where soy milk is coagulated with vinegar, calcium sulfate or lemon juice.
  3. "Soybeans can product over 33 percent more protein from an acre of land than any other known crop."1
  4. Tofu is meant to be eaten within hours of being made; so you can imagine the quality difference from what we get in the supermarket.
  5. In Japan, there are Tofu restaurants were the entire menu focuses on incorporating Tofu into dishes. As an example, see Kyotofu's menu which is located in NYC.

What is Tofu?

How is it made? Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk into curds. These curds are then put into forms and pressed to create a large block of tofu. The large block is then cut into smaller blocks and packaged in filtered water.

Types of Tofu:

There are three types of tofu generally available in the United States: silken tofu, firm tofu, and extra firm tofu. Each of these types of tofu are general made they same way except the firmer the tofu the longer it is pressed.

There are three main varieties of soybeans; immature soybeans are green and typically sold precooked as Edamame, mature soybeans are white, and dried soybeans.

Nutrition: Soy is considered the only complete vegetable protein because it has all 8 of the essential amino acids that cannot be created from other compounds in the human body. Tofu is also very high in protein and low in calories.

What about GMO? Most Tofu and other soy products sold to humans are non-GMO. They feed all the GMO soybeans to animals so as long as you don't eat animals you're cool.

Hodo Soy Beanery Founder Minh Tsai has made this great video about Tofu and is part of the inspiration for putting together a great guide to Tofu.

The Re-education of Tofu: Hodo Soy Beanery from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

The Best "Cheezy" Video on making Tofu.

The music is classic. If your gangsta like me there is also a Wu-Tang version.

Oh yeah, Japanese people are awesome: cooking with dog; not literally!

How to Press Tofu, How to Bake Tofu -- and other cooking tips:

1. The Book of Tofu (Reference for previous statement)

How do you tofu? Any tips? Fave ways to eat it?

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