Originating from ancient China, tofu is a bean curd that is derived from soy milk and is a main source of food in the diet of Asian culture. Today though, this vegetarian staple can be found in just about any food market or restaurant all over the world. Although most know what it is, many do not know that this protein packed alternative to meat is very easy to prepare. With endless possible recipes, one of the most popular is marinating and then baking the tofu. Below are detailed instructions on how to purchase, prepare, and bake tofu so that you can begin to enjoy this deliciously wonderful food.
Choosing and Buying Tofu
When purchasing tofu, knowledge of the right kind to use in a recipe is a very important key to a successful meal. There are typically three types which are tub tofu, brick tofu, and Silken tofu. Some come in a variety of flavors, but if you are just starting out it is best to go with just the plain.
Tofu that is found in a tub is usually packed in water and is commonly found in most all supermarkets. This kind of tofu comes in different levels of firmness from very soft to very firm. However, even the most firm of tub tofu is still very soft. The next kind of tofu, which is often requested in many recipes, is the Silken tofu. Smooth and very soft, this tofu is the main ingredient in spreads and desserts. Lastly, brick tofu, as the name implies, is the tofu that is best suited for baking or grilling. This type of tofu is packaged in paper and then vacuumed sealed. With a density of super mega firm, this tofu is easy to cube or slice. To discover more about the different types of tofu that are available for purchase, visit www.morinu.com.
Preparing Tofu for Baking
Once you have unpacked the tofu, all excess water will need to be drained from the food. Wrap in paper towels and weigh down (careful not to disrupt the integrity of the tofu’s structure) for about 30 minutes. Once this step has been completed flavoring needs to be decided, especially if the tofu has none. Since plain tofu does not really have any kind of taste at all, the sky is the limit when seasoning. No matter what kind of flavor you introduce, just know that each and every morsel or tofu will become fully infused. If marination is chosen, just slice or cube, depending on your preference and let the tofu rest in the marinade for at least 8 hours. Make sure to turn pieces over half way through the process.
With marination out of the way, it is now time to put the tofu in the oven to bake. First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and then place the cubed or sliced tofu in a pan that has either been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray or oiled with olive oil. With the tofu placed side by side, bake in the oven for 30 to 45 minutes. You will want to turn the pieces every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. Once the tofu is out of the oven, serve it over salads, as an appetizer, or even as the focal point of a main course. Not only will your friends and family love it, but your mouth will love it too. Also, you body will thank you for making a great healthy decision. For more information on tofu recipes that are just waiting to be prepared, go to www.nasoya.com.