The following blog was written by James, one of our produce department associates.
I have to start by saying that I am not a vegetarian, but a man that is on the lookout for better tasting, body nourishing food. Historically I know the bad rap that tofu gets such as the “what is it” to the texture or taste. Personally I was one who agreed until I got the guts to try it for myself.
At first, the texture got to me as I ate it plain. From that point, I decided that I wouldn’t try it again but after talking to a few co-workers and doing a little research, I was ready to have a second go at it. Proudly, that “go at it” was a few weeks ago and now I try my best once a week to replace a meat dish with that of tofu. I have ongoing aspirations move “the sub” to a couple times a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love my beef, chicken, and fish but tofu is now on my list
My research surfaced these facts I thought were important and wanted to share. Originating in ancient China some 2,000 years ago, tofu (bean curd) is a food made by coagulating soy juice and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Chinese legend ascribes its invention to prince Liu An of China (179–122 BC) and its production technique was than introduced into Korea then to Japan during the Nara period. The spread likely coincided with the spread of Buddhism because it is an important source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism. Today it remains a staple in many of these East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Fresh tofu has a subtle flavor and is extremely versatile lending itself to sweet or savory dishes. It is most often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish or tastes of the consumer.
Tofu has a low calorie count, relatively large amounts of protein, and little fat. It is high in iron and depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, may also be high in calcium and/or magnesium. The beauty of cooking with tofu it that it can have as much flavor as you want it to. Add anything you want like barbeque sauces, rubs, or blend silken tofu with berries for smoothies or desserts. It is a great way to add variety to your diet and feel great about what you’re eating. Take it for me, I love big flavors and I can as much as I want with tofu.
So, to all my meat lovers and new vegetarians out there, I dare you to try tofu and I know you will embrace it as I did. I mean, try it cold in a salad or in a hot meal, but take a chance. I have a good tip when it comes to cooking. It works better if you cut the tofu in cubes then pan fry it before adding your flavor or marinate to it. Not to brag, but the best tofu around is in our produce department. Locally made, organic, firm, and tasty, Gary at Fresh Tofu Inc in Allentown, PA has made a masterpiece. Below is a recipe I’d like to share. Please stop me in the department and let me know how you made out or if you want to share a recipe of your own. Thanks and enjoy…
If you like baked tofu or barbecue tofu, try this easy sweet and spicy baked tofu recipe.
In a baking dish, whisk together all ingredients and add tofu, coating well. Marinate at least one hour.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, tossing occasionally to bake tofu evenly