There are many types of tofu. Each one of these types has its own specific benefits and/or challenges. What is tofu? By definition, tofu is any edible product containing soy – these may include milk, meat, and eggs – that has been textured so that it holds a shape when heated, although the product is usually intact upon cooking. Tofu can come in many different textures, including firm, moist, and soft. Firm tofu (often called chewy tofu) is frequently used in recipes calling for sauces to hold the vegetables or meat apart during a main dish; sometimes the word “toro” (meaning “hard”) is used to describe firm tofu. Here is a brief look at the more common types of tofu in North America.
- Silken tofu
- Medium tofu
- Firm tofu
- Extra-firm tofu
Block tofu is made by pressing the pressed center from liquid soybeans and then drying and dehydrating it to make a block of moisture. It is the thinnest type of tofu, with a soft texture similar to mashed potatoes. Block tofu is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great alternative for protein-rich diets like vegetarian or vegan diets. It also holds its shape well when dehydrated, which can be an advantage when making jerky.
Blended tofu is created by mixing soy milk with tofu and pressing it to achieve the desired texture. It has no taste or scent, and there are virtually no nutrients saved during the pressing process. Blended tofu is usually very watery and has little if any texture. It is excellent for use in recipes where you want the tofu to retain its shape. For example, blended tofu is great in casseroles or chili. It holds its shape well when baked, unlike firm tofu that tends to crumble when baking.
Silken tofu is slightly harder than firm tofu but still has a medium texture. Silken tofu is mostly used as a meat substitute due to its excellent health benefits. Soy milk is sometimes added to soybeans to give them a creamy texture, however, soy milk itself may not have cholesterol in it. The silken tofu is also high in protein, much higher than regular tofu, and a great source of healthy fats.
What is Medium Tofu? It is a popular Internet term used to describe tofu that has been ground or pressed for greater texture and thickness. So what is Medium Tofu exactly? How does it differ from regular tofu? The answer depends on who you ask. Many vegetarians and vegans consider themselves to be mediums because they usually eat products that have been compressed somewhat. However, non-vegetarians often describe the texture as being more like regular tofu but using a different term. So it is probably best to describe it as a food product that has had some amount of additional ingredients added to it to give it a texture somewhat like that of regular tofu.
Medium tofu is a vegetarian product with some water, fat, sugar, or other additives added to increase its texture. Medium tofu is a popular trend among Asian restaurants, where chefs will sometimes use this product in place of regular tofu and who sometimes use it in place of ground beef. It is also used to create different textures in sauces, such as adding shrimp or chicken (or even just a little bit of vegetables) to products that would otherwise only have meat as an ingredient. Because it can withstand being stored in a fridge for some time after it is made, medium tofu can be enjoyed by everyone.
Firm tofu is one of the most popular types of tofu. It has a medium texture and is rich in protein and calcium. Firm tofu can be flavored with a variety of things including sauces, salt, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, mustard, or honey. This type of tofu usually does not fall apart when cooked into a stir-fry, unlike some other types of tofu that are more sensitive to frying. Firm tofu tends to keep its shape after being cooked. Also, it can withstand higher temperatures better than some other types of tofu due to its large size.
Firm tofu is the most common type of tofu. The texture is more like that of regular tofu, with a slight waffle-like quality. Although firm tofu is more firm, it is much higher in protein content. As with regular tofu, the moisture is extracted during the pressing process, resulting in a silky texture and flavor.
Extra-firm tofu is a good option if you prefer a textured texture. It tends to hold its shape and has a good texture, but it does not have as much flavor as other types of tofu. If you are looking to make vegan versions of your favorite Asian foods, then this may be your best option. Look for high-gluten ingredients if you are trying to bake with this product. The silken texture can be a bonus if you are trying to make bread or crackers.
If you are looking for tofu recipes, look no further! We have a number of fantastic vegan recipe ideas to help you turn out tasty and nutritious food that the whole family will love. Check out our recipe ideas for firm tofu, blended tofu, and silken tofu. No matter what type you choose, the great texture and versatility of soy will add a new dimension to your favorite dishes. Check out the recipes below and find yourself getting creative!
Silken Tofu This is often called “the new veggie” because it offers many of the same benefits as firm tofu but has a significantly lower trans fat content. While it does have a slightly higher water content than firm tofu, the silken is completely smooth and has a nice consistency similar to cream cheese. Because it has higher water content, it can create beautiful sauces or dressings for vegetables, cakes, or even desserts. If you are planning on baking silken tofu, be sure to use a silken nutritional label when adding it to your diet.
Kinugushi (Kuromame) Tofu – This type of silken tofu is harvested from a type of green mountain Kuro. It contains lots of nutrients, including calcium, iron, and vitamin B-12. It has a milder flavor, so much so that many people say it tastes like chicken! The most commonly served version of kinugushi is sweetened with sugar or served as a side salad. It is also used in a wonderful deep-fried wonton that simmers in a sweet sauce.
The next time you are looking for a delicious healthy salad to bring to a party or you are looking for a great side dish to make for dinner, why not try one of these two great recipes? Try adding some extra-firm tofu to your diet today and find out what all the fuss is about! No calorie counting here!