What is Tofu? Plus, a Very Simple Tofu and Couscous Stir-fry

I’ll be the first to admit uncooked tofu looks and feels absolutely disgusting. I love tofu in P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps and in Thai curry recipes-basically anytime someone ELSE makes it for me. So I thought: Its time for me to give it a try!
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To all you tofu newbies, don’t be scared away. I’ve done my research and had a few trial runs. Here are some general tofu-to-knows:

What is tofu?
Tofu is simply soy milk coagulated into bean curds and then pressed into a block. YUM, right? I promise it’s better than it sounds!

Where can I find tofu in the grocery store?
All grocery stores are different but typically tofu is in the refrigerated produce section next to the other “non meat” products. At Meijer, you can find tofu in the produce section near the hummus and the artisan cheeses.

Which kind should I buy?
There are several kinds of tofu you can buy: silken, soft, medium and extra firm. Which one you buy depends on what you’re making. Silken tofu is best used for sauces, creams, batters and in baking. Soft tofu is better for tofu scrambles like this one. I bought the extra firm tofu for the recipe below.

Um…Is this water normal?
The tofu floating in a water/jelly like substance surprised me at first but Google quickly assured me, “the water helps keep up its bulk and form. Tofu sold this way has a fresher taste and better consistency than tofu packed without water in aseptic packaging.” Phew!

How long does it last?
Tofu typically lasts 3-5 days after opening.  Fresh tofu does not really smell, so if your tofu smells/tastes sour then it’s no bueno.
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Tofu Couscous Stir-fry

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz extra firm tofu
2 handfuls of spinach
1 garlic clove chopped
4 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
10 oz couscous

Method

  1. Pour one cup of lightly salted boiling water or stock over 1 cup couscous. Cover and allow the couscous to swell for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the tofu in batches of 1 in. squares, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside
  3. Add spinach to stir-fry pan and cook until leaves are tender. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and then add garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in chili sauce and soy sauce and bring to a boil.
  6. Return the tofu and spinach to the pan and toss gently until coated in sauce. Serve immediately over couscous.

This is a modified recipe from Vegetarian Made Simple 

 

 

 

 

 

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