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What exactly is tofu, and how do you use it?

  1. More and more people are intensively concerned with the health of their food, and often protein sources other than meat or fish play an important role in this. Tofu is one of the products that is regularly chosen as a meat substitute.

  1. But what exactly is this soy product, and is it indeed as healthy as is often thought? In this article, we look at what soy benefits you and how you can properly incorporate it into your meals. We also give you a number of recipes as inspiration!

  2. But what exactly is this soy product, and is it indeed as healthy as is often thought? In this article we look at what soy benefits you and how you can properly incorporate it into your meals. We also give you a number of recipes as inspiration!

What is tofu?

  1. Tofu is a protein-rich product originally from Asia. The name tofu is mainly used in Japan; in Indonesia the food is called tahoe, a name that you will also encounter in the Netherlands. Tofu is made by curdling soy milk - similar to the cheese production process.

  2. Tofu is a protein-rich product originally from Asia. The name tofu is mainly used in Japan; in Indonesia the food is called tahoe, a name that you will also encounter in the Netherlands. Tofu is made by curdling soymilk - similar to the cheese production process.

  1. There are several variants. You probably know the â € ˜normalâ € ™ firm tofu, but there is also the softer silk tofu, which has a slightly softer texture. All variants have a fairly neutral taste and can therefore be used in countless different dishes, especially if they are marinated, for example.

Is tofu healthy?

  1. The precise health value of the meat substitute is currently a fair amount of discussion. It is certain that the product has quite a few advantages. It contains relatively few calories, while it is rich in proteins (with all essential amino acids), important minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium and vitamins B1, B2 and B3.

  2. There is a fair amount of discussion going on these days about the precise health value of the meat substitute. It is certain that the product has quite a few advantages. It contains relatively few calories, while it is rich in proteins (with all essential amino acids), important minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium and vitamins B1, B2 and B3.

  1. However, there are also some downsides to the product. For example, it contains phytoestrogens, substances that mimic the effect of the hormone estrogen and could therefore cause a hormonal imbalance in the body. Research is still underway, but for now it seems that with moderate consumption you absolutely do not have to worry.

  2. However, there are also some drawbacks associated with the product. For example, it contains phytoestrogens, substances that mimic the effect of the hormone estrogen and could therefore cause a hormonal imbalance in the body. Research is still underway, but for now it seems that with moderate consumption you absolutely do not have to worry.

Tofu for vegetarians

  1. Despite its possible drawbacks, tofu can play a role in a balanced diet. Especially for vegetarians and vegans, who can easily get complete proteins in this way. It also contains other important substances that most people get a lot from meat, such as iron and vitamin B1.

  2. Despite its potential drawbacks, tofu can play a role in a balanced diet. Especially for vegetarians and vegans, who can easily get complete proteins in this way. It also contains other important substances that most people get a lot from meat, such as iron and vitamin B1.

  1. It is of course important to take the possible disadvantages into account. Preferably buy tofu from an organic brand; this way you can be sure that the genes of the soy have not been tampered with and that no chemicals have been used. Continue to eat the product in moderation. An occasional serving is fine, but large amounts of soy products on a daily basis probably aren't healthy.

  2. It is of course important to take the possible disadvantages into account. Preferably buy tofu from an organic brand; this way you can be sure that the genes of the soy have not been tampered with and that no chemicals have been used. Continue to eat the product in moderation. An occasional serving is fine, but large amounts of soy products daily is probably not healthy.

How do you use tofu?

  1. But how exactly do you incorporate tofu into your meals? There are countless possibilities for this, mainly thanks to the neutral taste of the product. If you want to use individual pieces of tofu, the firm version is often the best choice. You can use it in stir-fry dishes - preferably marinated in soy sauce, for example - but also in curries and with noodles.

  2. But how exactly do you incorporate tofu into your meals? There are countless possibilities for this, mainly thanks to the neutral taste of the product. If you want to use individual pieces of tofu, the firm version is often the best choice. You can use it in stir-fry dishes, for example - preferably marinated in soy sauce, for example - but also in curries and noodles.

  1. Silk tofu is particularly suitable for dishes where the tofu has to be mixed with something, thanks to its softer texture. You can use it in soups, for example, but you can also puree it, for example for a healthy and protein-rich chocolate mousse!

Marinating Tofu

  1. A common complaint about tofu is that it has little flavor - and actually it is! You shouldn't just bake and eat tofu, you have to give it some flavor first. In Asian cuisines where it is traditionally used, the tofu is always marinated first before being used in a recipe.

  2. A common complaint about tofu is that it has little flavor - and actually it is! You should not just bake and eat tofu, you have to give it some flavor first. In Asian cuisines where it is traditionally used, the tofu is always marinated first before being used in a recipe.

  1. To marinate your tofu, it is best to slice or dice it first. That way, the outer surface of the tofu becomes much larger, so your marinade is absorbed much better.

  2. To marinate your tofu, it is best to slice or dice it first. That way, the outer surface of the tofu becomes much larger, so your marinade absorbs much better.

  1. Note that marinating takes time, so you have to start your tofu dish on time! For example, a 1 cm thick piece of tofu may take 2-3 hours for your marinade to fully absorb, but there are also chefs who recommend overnight marinating.

  2. Note that marinating takes time, so you have to start your tofu dish on time! For example, a 1 cm thick piece of tofu will take 2-3 hours for your marinade to soak in completely, but there are also chefs who recommend overnight marinating.

  1. Tip 1: would you like to marinate a larger piece? Then poke a few holes in it with a fork before placing the piece in the marinade, so that the marinade is well absorbed by the tofu.

  1. Tip 2: do not use oil in your marinade! Because there is a lot of moisture in tofu, oil in your marinade will help coat your tofu, preventing it from absorbing flavors. If you do need oil with the tofu, for example because you want to fry or grill it, we recommend that you only start with oil after marinating.

  1. Tip 3: if you want to flavor the tofu with herbs and spices, you do need a liquid guide. For Asian flavors we recommend soy sauce or rice vinegar, but lemon juice or (rice) wine also works well. Even water is a great flavor companion for marinades!

  1. Tip 4: if you add something with sugars to your marinade, such as honey, syrup, hoisin sauce, etc., your tofu will get a crispy crust! This is because the sugars crystallize when the marinated tofu heats up. Make sure you don't let the tofu get too hot and don't bake it on a high heat, because burnt sugar is bitter and not tasty.

  1. These marinade tips also apply especially to the hard variety of tofu. If you use silk tofu, you often use it pureed or in soups. Then it absorbs the flavor of your dish by itself!

  1. The great thing about tofu is that anything is possible! It can absorb all kinds of flavors, so you have all the freedom in the world to choose the best marinade for your tofu dish. In general, it is best to ensure that your tofu flavor matches the rest of the dish.

  1. To give you some inspiration, we've taken a number of world cuisines below and given an example of a marinade for each of them. Don't be afraid to experiment yourself!

Baking Tofu

  1. Many tofu dishes require you to fry the tofu. Even if you get to work yourself and start experimenting in the kitchen, you will often want to bake your tofu. To get you started, we'll first explain how to bake your marinated tofu, then we'll give you a few recipes for inspiration afterwards.

  1. Because tofu contains so much moisture, it is not always easy to fry your cubes nice and crispy. A very important step before you start baking is therefore pat dry! Wrap a tea towel around your tofu and press it to squeeze out as much water as possible. Do this before putting the tofu in the marinade, otherwise you will also squeeze out the marinade.

  1. Another way to bake tofu crispy is by adding a crispy layer yourself. You can do this, for example, by breading it, but also by using the tip we gave under the heading Tofu marinating - a marinade with sugar.

  1. Baking tofu is then very easy, you put it in a pan as you would with meat and bake it nice and brown.

Tofu recipes

  1. Once you've mastered the basics of baking and marinating tofu, you can start making all kinds of delicious recipes. We've collected a few different recipes here, but everything is possible!

  1. A nice easy recipe to start with. This recipe is quick to prepare and can also be done if you don't have a very extensive range of herbs, because it also works great with a ready-to-use spice paste from a good brand!

  1. Ingredients (for 2 persons):

  1. A delicious casserole always works well, and it's a totally different way to use tofu! You can make this recipe with sweet potato or with 'regular' potato, whatever you like best.

  1. Ingredients (for 2 persons):

  1. For the casserole:

  1. For the sauce:

  1. A dessert to round off these recipes. The soft silk tofu is ideal for this delicious chocolate mousse!

  1. Ingredients:

No tofu burgers

  1. We do advise you not to eat too many of the soy-based burgers that you find on the vegetarian shelves in the supermarket. These burgers also contain tofu, but often combined with countless artificial flavors that don't make your body happy.

  1. Do you want to combine more with your proteins? Then make your own vegetarian burgers, or opt for other soy products, such as tempeh or miso. These fermented products have a completely different taste and are at least as healthy as the regular tofu!



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