Because of today's trend towards healthy eating, meat is no longer the cornerstone of protein nutrition. Enter tofu.
The Chinese have been using tofu for some 2000 years, since the Taoist times of the Han dynasty. From China, tofu was brought to Japan and Korea many, many, many years later. Today, billions of Asians eat tofu. It could be fresh, dried, frozen, smoked and whether it is prepared boiled, steamed, fried, baked and shaped to imitate that of animal meat, tofu is no longer relegated as a novelty food especially by the western world.
As a drink its whey is comparably healthy because tofu is natural, free from cholesterol, very low in saturated fats and carbos, but rich in calcium, and other important vitamins and minerals.
Tofu maybe prepared in its original form, marinated and also smoked, and used in dishes in its fried, or even grilled and stewed forms. Tofu in its silken version is ideal food combination that's great with soups, dressings, dips and yes, hear this, in ice creams. As a meat extender, tofu also goes into burgers, pates, or incorporated into salamis.
Tofu is best eaten when fresh as with any other food item. It remains fresh in water for a week but it becomes more concentrated as days move on.
But how do we get the most out of tofu in terms of flavor? With a little ingenuity, tofu ca be prepared as a substitute for beef in lasagna and ravioli or why not as a complement to a tuna and veggie salads? It can also be utilized as a great base for quiches, flans and loaves. Tofu goes well with sprinkling of sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper after it is fried or steamed or get it in as a meat extension for spring rolls which I did yesterday.
In the form of soy cheese or bean curd, tofu can be obtained anywhere in Asia, perhaps, a little easier to find now in the west. It is healthy, inexpensive and can be made elegant as a dish or as an extender.