Moving towards an eco-friendly and healthier lifestyle, many people are going vegan nowadays. However, veganism is not an easy journey; what about when you crave scrambled eggs or a crispy fried piece of chicken. How would you satisfy your meaty cravings?
Well, vegan or not, tofu, whether regular or silken tofu, is healthier meat and even an egg alternative that tastes even better when thoughtfully incorporated into perfected silken tofu recipes.
Although people find tofu bland, it is extremely easy to cook and can be made into heavenly sweet and savory dishes that will make flavors explode in your mouth with every bite. Even if your kids get fussy over a plant-based diet, silken tofu is going to make them want more!
Many of you might already be familiar with tofu, its types, and what you can turn it into. However, for those who do not, scroll until the end, so you get to make a vegan-friendly, tofu-Licious cuisine this weekend and impress your family.
- Silken Tofu- What is it?
- Is Tofu Good for you?
- Where to buy silken tofu from?
- What brand of silken tofu should you use?
- How to drain silken tofu?
- What to make with silken tofu?
- The ultimate silken tofu recipes
- Vegan Pizza with Spinach, Olive and Silken Tofu
- All for silken tofu, silken tofu for all!
Silken Tofu- What is it?
Fry it, cook it, or toss it in the oven; you can have all the fun with tofu.
Tofu has been a part of the culinary world for centuries. However, it has been highly misunderstood and has always sparked controversial debates. Because with tofu, either you like it or do not know how to cook it, there is no between.
Even before you embarked on your “my food is grown and not born” journey, you would have taken the tofu out of the veggies in your Chinese food labeling them “useless,” but veganism brought it back in your life, this time forever.
How was tofu discovered?
Native to the lands of China and now easily available around the world, tofu can be traced back to almost 2000 years. It is a famous Chinese rumor that someone accidentally mixed a batch of fresh soymilk with nigari, which is extracted from seawater.
How is Tofu made?
Tofu is made from condensed soymilk (from soybeans blended in water, heated, and then thickened pressed into white blocks. The process of making tofu is similar to making cheese.
High in proteins while low in calories (only 70kCal) and saturated fats, tofu is a nutrient-dense food that is safe for human consumption and comes in two different kinds, regular tofu, and silken tofu.
Types of Tofu:
Regular Tofu: more common than silken tofu, regular tofu is a bean curd or Chinese style tofu readily available in stores. You will find it stored in a plastic container in the refrigerator section of the grocery store you love to shop from.
Silken Tofu: Japanese style tofu, it is great to use in silken tofu recipes that require a creamy, smooth texture like salads, scrambled eggs, cheesecake, or mousse. You will find silken tofu in the non-refrigerator part of the grocery store, packed in aseptic containers with a shelf life of a year or so. Silken tofu is never pressed hence has the highest water content.
Silken tofu and regular tofu both come in different textures inconsistencies based on the amount of water retained in them;
- Soft silken tofu: it is extremely delicate and difficult to handle; it is impossible to pick it up without breaking it with your hands. You need to use a spoon carefully. However, it gives the creamiest texture. It is best used in desserts and soups.
- Medium silken tofu: slightly more rigid than soft tofu, it is still very similar to handling and usage.
- Firm silken tofu: Tender but firmer than soft and medium tofu; it allows easier handling and can be used as a creamy dressing for pizzas (vegan tofu mozzarella), Chinese cold dishes, and salad.
- Extra-firm silken tofu: similar to a Jell-O inconsistency, it does not break easily. Ideal for braising and stewing into recipes.
Soft and medium silken tofu is great for desserts and soup, while for a stir-fry or baked tofu, you need to go for firm or extra-firm. To fall in love with it, you need to choose the right tofu partner for your silken tofu recipe.
Is Tofu Good for you?
If you consider weight loss or a vegan diet, tofu can be a great source and substitute with high protein-low calorie content. Silken tofu is made from soybeans. Apart from being versatile, it has many health benefits. The soybeans are rich in isoflavone and phenolic acids that are naturally occurring plant compounds. These compounds have been linked to lowering the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer; however, more research is being done so that you can freely enjoy silken tofu recipes without any health concerns.
The claim that tofu helps in weight loss is backed by science and research; in many books, case studies have shown that consuming tofu/silken tofu daily has led to a loss of 2.5-3 pounds over four years.
Albeit its nutritional facts, tofu can cause problems in a few people, for which you can always consult your healthcare provider.
Where to buy silken tofu from?
Time to go for some silken tofu grocery shopping!
Silken tofu is readily available in the nearby grocery stores. However, if you are having difficulty finding it, here are a few options that you can look into;
- Asian Markets
- Local health food stores
The grocery store might not have a separate section or aisle for tofu. Hence when you go shopping for it, look into the organic foods sections for silken tofu, as it is stored in containers without refrigerators.
What brand of silken tofu should you use?
With tofu, do your research first!
It is not difficult to find silken tofu in a grocery store, and the challenging part is to find the right brand. Because nothing can go wrong with a silken tofu recipe but you.
Here are some recommended silken tofu brands:
Mori-Nu Organic Silken Tofu: with its smooth, creamy texture and requires no refrigeration, it is a non-GMO, gluten-free, organic brand that tofu-lovers swear by. It is easy to use and readily available on Amazon. We recommend this product to be used in desserts, as a salad dressing or in soup, whichever you are bound to fall in love with it.
House Food Tofu Mix: This can be used in various tofu-based dishes, from sweet to savory; this is a gluten-free, fresh tofu product made in Japan. We recommend this product to meet all the guidelines and easily available in stores and online on Amazon.
365 by Whole Foods Market: if you are looking for extra-firm fresh tofu, nothing is better than what this brand offers. This is a great product to use in your silken tofu recipes with zero cholesterol and high in minerals and vitamins.
Although there are a gazillion brands out there, each promising to be better than the other, it is always good to do your research before buying solidified. Look in for the ratings and review, and if you are willing, then try it for yourself; because everybody has different taste buds, you might love what I do not like.
How to drain silken tofu?
For a perfect, fail-proof recipe, drain the silken tofu, not yourself.
As already mentioned, silken tofu is difficult to pick by hand and can easily fall apart due to its delicate texture. Hence, pressing it to release the excess water can be even more challenging if you do not know the right technique, and it should be done with silken tofu as it will crumble further. Silken tofu only needs to be drained to release the extra moisture.
However, before we jump on how to press the tofu blocks, you must be wondering that why must we release the excess water?
Well, there are a few reasons to drain the silken tofu;
- It releases the excess water and moisture making it easier for the tofu to absorb the marinade or other ingredients in the recipe, to compliment the taste.
- The tofu turns crisp on frying after drained, and it takes less time to bake.
- After draining the tofu, the handling becomes easier.
To drain your silken tofu:
- Let it sit on a plate and weep for a couple of minutes; the excess liquid will start to pool around it. (Pro tip: you can also microwave it for 30-40 seconds if you are in a hurry)
- Once this happens, remove the excess water and then pat the silken tofu with a muslin cloth or a paper towel gently.
- There you go! You have drained silken tofu all ready to become extra flavorful.
**Draining silken tofu is only optional; the key is to learn which silken tofu recipes require it to be drained and dehydrated**.
What to make with silken tofu?
Now that you know your silken tofu inside out, it is time to learn about the food you can make with this versatile ingredient.
Silken tofu is just like an obedient kid, and it does whatever you want it to do. Fortunately, due to its bland taste, silken tofu can absorb flavor from sweet to sour and savory.
- Cakes and Desserts: we all know now that silken tofu has a creamy texture. Hence, it can be used in many desserts such as chocolate mousse, no-bake chocolate pies, and cakes like lemon and silken tofu cheesecake. You can pair it up with anything, and the result will be delicious.
- Dips, sauces, and seasoning: salads are your best friend when you are on a weight-loss journey, but eating them every day the same way, can be boring. To make your vegan food interesting, you can add silken tofu-based vegan dressing and condiments such as chipotle dressing, ranch sauce, vegetable dips, and sour cream.
- Starters and main courses: yes, you read that right. You can make a wholesome, healthy, and filling meal using silken tofu with soup as a starter and vegan pizza as the main dish.
- Side dishes: you can use silken tofu in the side dishes with stir-fried vegetables or in a simple coleslaw to go extra fancy with your meal.
The ultimate silken tofu recipes
Switch to a healthier lifestyle with silken tofu.
It is not difficult to cook, that is like the easiest part. But, deciding on what to cook that your fussy kids and tired spouse will eat after a hectic day without complaints is the hard part.
To make your meals healthy and super fun, that you can even store for a while for a time when you are in a no-cook mood, we have enlisted some mouthwatering silken tofu recipes that include desserts even to satisfy your sweet tooth and not let you gain weight.
- Vegan noodle soup with silken tofu
- Sweet and sour silken tofu
- Vegan pizza with spinach, olive, and silken tofu
- Silken tofu and chocolate mousse pie
- Pumpkin pie with silken tofu
- 5-minute silken tofu scramble
- Silken tofu with cauliflower
- Silken tofu ranch dressing
- Silken tofu berry smoothie
- Low fat lemon and silken tofu cheesecake
Here is a sneak peek of our most popular silken tofu recipe:
Vegan Pizza with Spinach, Olive and Silken Tofu
- 4-6 Oz firm or silken tofu and chop into ½ inch cubes
- ½ Cup Sliced fresh mushrooms
- ½ Cup Boiled spinach
- ½ Cup Olives
- ¼ Cup Vegan sausages (optional)
- ½ Cup Green bell pepper
- ½ Cup Red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 Dash of your favorite seasoning (I will go for dried Italiano)
- ½ tsp Mixed herbs
- ½ tsp Dried oregano
- ½ can refrigerate or store-bought thin pizza crust
- ¼ Cup BBQ or plain pizza sauce, but I made my own
- ¼ Cup Sautéed and diced cherry tomatoes
- ½ Onion, cut into thin slices
- ½ Cup Shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
For pizza sauce:
- Passata or ketchup
- Tomato Puree
- Black pepper
- Some BBQ sauce(optional)
- Garlic Granules
- Take a bowl and mix silken tofu with mushroom, oil, oregano, salt, and Italian seasoning. Cover and set aside. (You can put this in the refrigerator for about half an hour).
- Place the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 360 degrees.
- Take a pizza pan and spray it with oil or use a cooking spray.
- Takeout the pizza crust or dough and unroll it on the pan evenly. Spread it with your fingers at the edges. Bake for 8-10 minutes to get it nice and golden brown.
- Take it out of the oven, spread the pizza sauce, toss in the marinated tofu and mushrooms after discarding any liquid.
- Place the spinach, olives, and all other veggies and top them up with the cheesy goodness.
- Bake for around 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts, and then it is time to dig in!
Recipe to make pizza sauce from scratch (you can use the store-bought one; no judgments here!)
- Just add in all the ingredients and mix well!
All for silken tofu, silken tofu for all!
Let people remember you as a tofu master.
Next time you do not have to sweat about what to cook when your vegan or weight watcher friends and family come over, instead invite them over and surprise them with a decadent cuisine with the silken tofu recipes; that will leave them finger-licking!