Tofu 101: A Guide to Tofu's Different Textures and Recipes

A guide to tofu's different texture and ways to prepare tofu.

What is tofu?

Tofu. [toh-foo] NOUN: Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made from soybeans, water,and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades.

Selecting Tofu: Not all tofu is the same.

How to choose the right tofu:

  1. Soft Tofu: Soft tofu is not pressed, but made using a thicker coagulant. It has a delicate body and a mild, milky flavor making it great alternative for dairy and eggs in desserts and baked goods that also works well in savory dishes
    Best Use: Blended into smoothies, pureed, or used to replace egg or dairy products in desserts and baked goods.
  2. Medium Tofu: Medium-firm tofu has a rougher texture than soft—curds are visible—but will still crack with handling. It has moderate moisture content, and is good choice for dishes that don't require much manipulation, like braising or boiling. Because there is more whey in medium-firm tofu, it may break up during stir-frying or pan frying.
    Best use: Braising or boiling. Good for making soups, dressings and dips.
  3. Firm Tofu: The most popular firmness for tofu beginners! The curds are tight and visible. Holds up well to frying and grilling.
    Best use: Stir fry, pan fried, deep fried, baked, scrambled or any meat alternative option in any meals.
  4. Extra Firm Tofu: The firmest of all tofu that contains, 8g of protein per serving! Consistency makes it suitable for heartier dishes and replacing meat. Firm tofu and Extra firm tofu can be used interchangeably in many recipes
    Best use: Similar to extra firm tofu, it’s great for meat replacement due to it’s “meatier” consistency.

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