Cooking at home is not just cheaper and safer than eating out or ordering in, it’s also definitely a healthier lifestyle choice. Preparing food needn’t be an elaborate affair. Just a few of our simple strategies can help you crack the toughest recipes. We bring you a series of articles with tips and tricks for the kitchen, so you can learn how to cook like a pro and avoid the mistakes that haunt rookies and seasoned chefs, alike.
Tofu, also called bean curd, is a popular meat and dairy substitute. It has relatively low fat content, is high in iron and protein, low in calories, and acceptable in a vegan diet. A single serving of tofu provides 9.2g protein, or 18.3 percent of the daily RDA, and it comes virtually free of saturated fat (less than one gram). Because of its high protein, low-fat content, it is excellent as a diet food.
Read on for suggestions on the tools, techniques and ingredients needed to whip up a batch of picture-perfect and healthy tofu:
- The Perfect Pan: While a cast iron skillet is ideal, if it hasn’t been perfectly seasoned before use, you will end up with most of the tofu stuck to the pan. That means less to eat and more effort to scrub off while doing the dishes. A non-stick or ceramic pan is best, and ensure that you pick the right size so that you don’t crowd the pan and end up with soggy tofu.
- A Skilful Spatula: A silicone or heat-proof spatula will be more flexible and efficient than a wooden one while a metal spatula is avoidable.
- Best Under Pressure: Tofu usually comes packed in containers with water for freshness, and to last longer. Whether you plan to fry, bake or roast it, drain it before using, then place it between two paper towels or cloth napkin-lined plates and apply pressure to squeeze out all the moisture. Do this repeatedly after changing the paper towels/cloth napkins until the tofu is as dry as a bone.
- Heat Up: If you plan to sauté the tofu, using high heat will brown it so that it gets nice and toasty outside but stays creamy inside.
- Be Bold: Since tofu is bland, feel free to create bold flavors that are acidic and dominating. The great thing is that it absorbs marinades easily so even a short soak in your choice of seasoning will yield rich results.
- Beyond Boundaries: Just because it is an Asian cuisine staple, don’t restrict yourself to cooking with just soy sauce and rice vinegar. Think of tofu as a blank canvas and use it to express your creativity in the kitchen. Think of it as any other protein and let that, along with your imaginative taste buds, guide you.
- Oil Aboard: To avoid sticking, use a fair bit of either vegetable oil or heart-healthy canola.