Tofu texture

579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
I have been using tofu more and more, I have successfuly used it by blending it and adding it to recipes but when I cook it alone( I sauteed it) it isn't a firm enough texture for me. Is there any way to make it firmer? I did drain it well on paper towels to get as much moisture out of it as possible.
 
205
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
If it will be disguised by sauce, you can freeze it; this gives it a chewy, spongy texture, but also turns it a strange yellowish colour.

You can drain it with a weight on top of it, but really, if you are starting with silken tofu (e.g. MoriNu) there's only so much you can do. Try to find the "cotton" kind of tofu instead. It's much firmer, pressed during manufacture I believe, and has a chewier, more toothsome bite to it. It will look more open-grained and spongy.
 
4,452
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Tofu, to my knowledge, comes in 4 degrees of firmness:

silken ---> soft ---> medium ---> firm

Firmness should be indicated on the front label.

FYI: its fat content ranges from 8% to at least 30%. ;)
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
The kind I used was extra firm. I drained it with weight too. I'll try freezing. Do you (I'm assuming yes) drain it and then freeze?
 
205
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Joined Jun 1, 2001
So it does, but the cotton tofu (which may not be labelled as such, but is easily identifiable by eye) is actually prepared differently, drained in the preparation wrapped in cotton fabric. It usually comes in "firm" and "extra firm." "Silken" is a style of tofu rather than a firmness, and is usually available in soft, firm and extra firm. Based on Svadis-I-can't-spell-your-name-sorry's results, I'd say he's got a silken-style tofu on his hands.

Re freezing: you don't have to drain it first. Drain it after it thaws; it's easier. I really think you'd be happier all round with the other kind of tofu, though. Or how about some nice tempeh? That's lovely stuff.
 
103
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Joined Jan 26, 2001
Nasoya makes extra firm and firm tofu which is excellent for stir fries. Also, White Wave baked tofu is great heated or cold on sandwiches, in stir fries, in recipes, fajitas, etc.

Drain slices of regular tofu (not silken) on clean white paper towels and weighed down
(a 28 oz can of tomatoes works well) for about twenty minutes.
 
579
10
Joined May 6, 2001
Thank you all. Compassrose, you were right, I did use silken extra firm. Don't worry about the spelling. :D (btw, I'm a "she" not a "he")
 
62
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Joined Jun 19, 2001
For soups, I'll use the TOFU as is, just cube it, and toss it in. But let's say I wanna "stir fry" it with some ground pork and chinese dried mushrooms or better yet, some sort of seafood hot pot, the tofu is always deep fried and drained on a paper towel before using. **** ,I'm getting hungry now. :(
Hope that helps.
 
332
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Joined Jan 26, 2001
That's where the dilemna is. If people try eating tofu to substitute for chicken, they will forever be disappointed. I have had more success in presenting tofu as tofu, with its slightly creamy soft texture, and going from there. Instead of it being the firmest ingredient, add others. Add crunchiness like bean sprouts and barely cooked vegetables, nuts and seeds. Once people are used to the texture, it becomes easier.

I have this great book called "This Can't Be Tofu : 75 Recipes to Cook Something You Never Thought You Would--And Love Every Bite," by Deborah Madison. Several recipes in there utitlize what tofu is rather than what it is not.

I hadn't heard of cotton tofu before, though, and will have to try it. Does it fry more easily?

~~Shimmer~~
 
579
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Joined May 6, 2001
Thanks Live To Cook, I already have her "Enchanted Broccoli Forrest Cookbook", and I've been meaning to pick up Moosewood.
 
356
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Joined Aug 23, 2000
As far as cookbooks to stretch your tofu repertoire, I'd re-recommend one of my favorites, Sundays at Moosewood. A delightful vegeterian meander through the world's cuisines, from British Isles (tofu pot pie) through Indian and Asian standards.
 
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