If you are reading this article, it means you’re looking for the answers to what does tofu tastes like. If you heard about Tofu and never plucked up the courage to try it, then the article is really going to help you today.
For many people in the world, tofu is considered to be an exotic ingredient that they really don’t want to add to their palette. However, Tofu is multi-nutrient and high in plant-based protein that can be easily substituted with meat in your daily meals.
If health and fitness are what you look for, then you can easily find hundreds of ways to add Tofu and its nutrition to your day-to-day diet that has grown significantly over the last decade.
Stick around to know more about Tofu and how effectively you can add Tofu to your daily diet.
What is Tofu?
Before diving deep into answering what does tofu taste like – let’s begin with some basics first.
Tofu is high in protein content as it is a product of soy milk that is usually curdled and pressed to shape the tiny blocks of tofu. Originating from China, tofu is an essential ingredient of the cuisine in Southeast Asian and East Asian countries.
Tofu is formed when the soybeans are soaked in water until they are twice the original size. With this increase in the size of soybeans, they are then crushed to prepare a liquid. The liquid is what we know as soymilk. Soymilk is then curdled and then pressed to form tofu blocks. However, it can be given many other shapes as well, depending on the purpose of the product.
What does tofu taste like?
As it comes from soymilk as a secondary product, it’s obvious that it doesn’t have its own taste. It tastes exotically similar to beans, which are usually mild. Also, it comes with water that helps tofu to keep hydrated.
Because of the spongy texture, tofu isn’t likely to be appetizing and tempting, but with the remarkable absorption of flavors of seasoning and sauces, tofu is a unique selection for many recipes. That’s why you can add tofu easily to your meals without expecting a change in the overall structure and texture of the recipe.
Accurate preparation can give tofu a crunchy, soft, savory, or sweet taste, while it can also be taken raw, which is an addition to the sweet and creamy texture of the food. Cooking tofu will infuse some mouth-water flavors if it is properly cooked.
Does tofu taste like cheese?
If you have ever tried making cottage cheese, it’s no surprise that you have followed the same process as that of tofu, where the only difference is the preparation of soymilk. This is why a myriad of people think that tofu may taste like cheese.
However, both have a difference in texture as day and night where connoisseurs can notice the change in taste in a blink. However, tofu can be used instead of feta cheese in salads and more as it combines nicely with the taste of any recipe.
On blending tofu with other mild ingredients, its taste stands out strikingly. Try adding tofu to your whipped dips next time when you plan something different for your guests.
Types of tofu
If it’s your first time that you need to buy tofu –it is going to be an overwhelming experience for you to encounter a vast assortment of tofu options that markets are littered with. The brands that produce various types of tofu have a significant market share that can’t be denied.
Whether you are out to purchase tofu to satiate your curiosity or you want to add tofu to your cuisine tonight, knowing what you are putting into your bucket in the first place, will definitely make the difference.
With that, let’s hover over some common types of tofu that you can stumble on.
Mild or Extra Firm Tofu
If you want your tofu dishes to exude versatility, then firm blocks or extra firm blocks of tofu are all that you need. It is an all-rounder type of tofu that can be fried, baked, steak cooked and can be eaten raw with salads as well. Due to its texture, the versatile tofu holds well in whatever you want it to be. So if you’re puzzled about which type to try first, firm tofu is a safe choice to get this time.
Soft and Medium Blocks
With a particularly smooth texture, disintegrating soft and medium blocks are comparatively easier than that of firm and extra firm tofu counterparts. This category contains a high water content that keeps them initially keeps them hydrated, but that content makes the blocks less suitable for panning or stir-frying.
If your dish can handle little manipulation of tofu, like cutting blocks into medium and small sizes, then Mori-Nu Silken is the right choice to go for.
Creamy and soft Silken tofu is an ideal ingredient for vegan mayonnaise and for those dairy-free cheesecakes. It can also be used as a base for soups, sauces, and dips that need a creamy texture.
Silken tofu is widely used in dessert recipes as it can be whipped with sugar easily to develop the texture of whipped cream or faux pie filling. It’s also served cold with grated ginger and soy sauce. In Japanese culture, it is thought to be a great appetizer.
We all come across days where we are too knackered to prepare a full meal. Fried tofu serves you perfectly when such days move around. These small blocks of tofu are fried and packed. Just open them up, toss them with your favorite sauce or seasoning in a pan and you are all set.
The tofu chunks are baked and packaged in airtight bags as a ready-to-eat product. It can also be used as a side dish with meals like sandwiches, salads, and casserole dishes. Baked tofu is easily available in many flavors, starting from teriyaki to Mexican flavors, giving you a wide range of options to choose from that best appeal to you.
How to flavor tofu?
Adding a richer flavor to your tofu can be a difficult task. But those with a significant understanding of cooking and flavoring complex dishes would find this bland product easy to compensate with mild flavors.
However, if you’re new to cooking, some common approaches should be kept in mind before you actually opt to cook tofu.
First of all, you should incorporate tofu in dishes that you are not only familiar with but relish as well. For example, if you cook a chicken-based recipe often, then try replacing tofu with chicken when you prepare the dish next time to incorporate tofu as a beginner.
Accommodating tofu in your familiar recipes can tell you the difference in taste, help you to understand the way it should be cooked, and how you can alter a recipe to fit tofu in its best form.
Secondly, beginners should count on pre-made sauces and seasoning to assist in experimenting with flavors with tofu. At times, at the very beginning, accommodating new flavors to the recipe with a wide range of spices can be confusing.
However, altering a recipe with every new element turns out to be disastrous sometimes.
How can you improve the taste of tofu?
As you know, tofu is a great taste absorber of flavors. So when you plan to make your most flavorful tofu, the ingredient and the cooking method you choose play a vital role in developing the overall taste of your tofu. Hence, there’s no harm in adhering to some tricks and tips beforehand.
As mentioned earlier, tofu is kept and packaged in water to keep it hydrated. So, to make it ready to absorb all the flavors from the recipe, you need to drain the water first.
Pressing it hard will help the tofu to remain in a definite shape and prepare it to absorb the flavors of the cooking ingredients and sauces.
After draining all the water, tofu tastes much better when it is marinated. But it takes more time to absorb flavors even after pressing. You can use water-based seasoning and juices for this purpose, but avoid using oils as they may not absorb because of the water-based tofu. Adding oil to marinades won’t help you much as water and oil do not mix well.
The next step after marinating is to sway with a blend of spices. Prefer your own method of cooking tofu and serving it as a main or side dish, or substitute it in a salad.
The last bite
Tofu can turn out to be the healthiest and tastiest protein to add up in your daily meals if it is cooked and flavored properly. Tofu can quickly fix your taste buds with a healthier notion, whether you use it as a base ingredient or alter your recipe to add nutrients to the product.
We hope you get all your answers along with what does tofu tastes like. Try any of the mentioned types or tofu adhering to the tips to shun any futuristic doubts about the taste.