Tofu is an important part of many vegetarian and vegan diets, used mainly as a meat replacement. It is rich in essential amino acids making it a good protein source for those who do not eat any animal proteins. However, as it is also low in saturated fat, (about 5%), has no cholesterol and only very low amounts of sodium, it is also ideal for people with high blood pressure and others on low salt diets. So why is tofu not more popular?
The main disadvantage of tofu is its boring, bland taste and rubbery texture. This can be overcome by utilising tofu’s ability to act as a sponge, soaking up the flavours around it. The way to tastier tofu dishes lies with the creative addition of flavourings, such as garlic, ginger, chilli, lemon-grass and fresh herbs or with the use of marinades.
Marinades for tofu are quick to make but are best planned with some fore-thought. Although if you are in a rush, tofu can be marinaded for 20 minutes, ideally it should be left soaking overnight to achieve the most flavour.
Marinades can be made from the ingredients in your cupboard. Experiment with different combinations from oyster sauce, garlic, soy sauce, coconut cream, sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, lemon grass, herbs and spices.
If you prefer to follow a recipe, try this for a subtle, light taste;
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 cloves crushed garlic
mix with 1 teaspoon sugar
Here is another interesting marinade to try;
1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons shoyu
half a teaspoon chopped rosemary
mix together with oil and pepper to taste
The marinaded tofu can then be cooked by grilling, baking or stir frying. Serve with vegetables, salad, noodles or rice for a tasty, meat-free nutritious meal.