Perhaps tofu is one of the world’s most discriminated foods in the world. Some people may even shake their heads or stick out their tongue in disgust upon the mention of “tofu”. Personally, I am not also a fan of tofu although I eat them occasionally.
But I am not the type who pukes at the sight of tofu – at least I can say I somewhat appreciate tofu unlike other people. Then again, it’s just me – I am speaking based on personal experience.
I am no vegetarian. As I mentioned, I appreciate tofu although it is not my favorite food. But I still recommend you try it. In fact, there are a lot of tofu recipes you might like and enjoy. If you still don’t like to have a taste of it, at least we’ll just give you an idea of how it tastes like.
So, what does tofu really taste like?
If someone tells you that tofu has no flavor, believe them because it’s somewhat true. Or rather, it can vary depending on your personal taste. For some, they usually describe its taste as a combination of sweet and salty.
On the other hand, others may describe the taste as sweet with a touch of nuttiness, while some may notice some bitterness in it. In my case, it tastes like soy milk. After all, tofu is also made from soybeans, right?
However, we should be extra careful when storing tofu. As you may have guessed, improper storage can affect tofu’s taste. For one, you can buy packed tofu in your local groceries. Usually, these packed tofus contain water in order to preserve its freshness for as long.
In case you are not going to use the entire pack, make sure to change the water every day to maintain its freshness. However, if the tofu already smells or tastes unusual, don’t risk it – throw it away. You can always buy another pack any time if you want.
Because tofu is not as tasty as real meat, you would have to do something to make it tolerable enough to eat. On the contrary, you can still enjoy its natural taste depending on how do you cook tofu. For example, one way to cook it is by searing it – crunchy on the outside and somewhat mushy and sweet on the inside.
Why many people dislike tofu
Tofu is like a sponge – it can absorb the flavors you mix it with. Whether you add salt, soy sauce, chili sauce, or any other seasonings, it can make your tofu dishes more flavorful and yummy. For better results, you can marinate your tofu in soy sauce, salt, or other flavoring of choice before cooking it.
Usually, we are instructed to drain the tofu first before cutting into pieces and cooking it as per recipe dictates it. Basically, many tofu recipes only require a few minutes of cooking time. You will just sear it a bit or mix it with other ingredients like vegetables – and voila, instant meal!
However, most tofu recipes do not require marinating or adding spices on the tofu to make it more flavorful. In effect, a lot of people still won’t appreciate the taste of tofu. It’s actually a major mistake not to add some kind of flavoring to tofu aside from the other ingredients mixed to it.
On the other hand, recipes usually instruct adding or rubbing seasonings to real meat like chicken or pork. But why not on tofu? Just because it is often associated as a “healthier” alternative meat does it mean it should already be served bland? No wonder a lot of people are not fans of this soy-based dish.
Enjoying your tofu
As mentioned, there are many ways to enjoy tofu. How to make tofu taste good? It is important to add some flavor to it. A marinating mix of oil, soy sauce, and some choice of herbs and spices are enough to bring out tofu’s taste to a whole new level.
After pressing the water out of the tofu, add the marinating mix with it, store the marinated tofu in a Zip-Loc bag, and take it out when it’s ready to cook. You can also simply season it with salt and pepper and then sear it. The result is a simple yet delectable crispy tofu dish – crunchy on the outside and soft and full of flavor on the inside.
It is also important to consider your tofu’s serving size. To maximize the flavor, make sure to cut into bite-sized squares or strips. Cutting into smaller sizes will also help absorb the flavor and make the tofu tastier. For sandwiches, it is advisable to cut it into thin slices. Remember, a chunky burger patty looks good on a bun – an entire block of tofu on a sandwich does not.
Anyway, tofu not only can be cooked with vegetables. In fact, tofu can replace meat in your sandwich (just make sure to use a thin slice of tofu). You can also cut fried tofu cubes into your salad or enjoy it as is. For the latter, you can also enjoy with your dip of choice – wasabi, cheese, garlic mayo… the choices are endless!
You can get your kids help you with preparing your tofu, too. For a fun and healthy dinner, you can use cookie cutters to cut tofu into fun shapes. You can also make crispy nuggets out of tofu paired with their favorite dips. Your children will surely love it and ask for more!
See, there is no reason not to eat tofu. First of all, do not expect it to taste like chicken or your favorite burger because it does not. Secondly, tofu should be prepared the right way. To enjoy eating tofu, you can add flavorings to it – even salting it will already suffice.
More importantly, tofu is good for our health. It is low in calories and high in protein. That is why tofu is a great meat alternative among vegetarians and those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.