Summary: A low-calorie, high-protein, cholesterol-free food made from curdled soy milk. It is creamy white with a sliceable firmness that varies from soft to firm. Tofu should be kept refrigerated: the water it is packed in should be changed daily.
Definition: Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. So popular, in fact, that it is celebrated with its own annual festival and has almost become synonymous with vegetarianism itself. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store.
Types of tofu
There are two main kinds of tofu, silken or soft tofu, and firm or regular tofu. Learn more about cooking with firm and silken tofu here.
Cooking with Tofu
When cooking with firm tofu, you will usually want to drain and press the tofu first, and some recipes will tell you to freeze and thaw your tofu. See how to press tofu and more tofu cooking tips here. Need some more help cooking tofu? Watch this quick tofu video to learn how to press tofu and see a few ways to use silken and firm tofu.