Tofu is one of the best additions to a healthy diet as it is a potent source of protein, especially if you are vegan. A staple in Asian cuisine, this plant-based superfood is rich in amino acids, has zero cholesterol, and low in saturated fats.
No doubt, it is healthy. But is it delicious? Do not be left wondering about what does tofu taste like. In this article, we’ll discuss the flavor you can expect from tofu and the ways to make it more delicious if you don’t want its taste as it is.
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What is Tofu?
Bean curd or tofu is one of the most popular in vegan and vegetarian diets. It is made of condensed soymilk, which is pressed into solid blocks, similar to the way cheese is made. It is from China, which explains why it is one of the staple ingredients in Chinese food.
It is also worth noting that there are different types of tofu, which will have an impact on its flavor. It can be fresh, soft, silken, dried, fried, or fermented, among others. There are also various ways to prepare and cook tofu, which will affect the way it tastes.
What Does Tofu Taste Like?
Most foodies will agree that when eaten on its own, plain tofu is bland and tasteless. However, there are three things that will change this:
- Sensitivity to Taste: For most people who will eat tofu for the first time, it is tasteless. However, there are some who are sensitive to glutamates. In this case, you will notice that it is slightly unpleasant in flavor, which makes it important to prepare it the right way.
- Type of Tofu: The specific type of tofu that you will eat will also affect its flavor. Softer tofu tends to have a sweeter flavor, which is why it is commonly used in desserts. Firmer tofu, which is for frying, has an umami flavor. Smelly or stinky tofu, meanwhile, has the strongest flavor. This is fermented, which is the one responsible for its strong flavor.
- Cooking Tofu: You can use tofu in several dishes. People add different seasonings and ingredients, which is the reason why the taste will vary depending on the food that is cooked. Because of the absorbent properties, it will captivate any flavor.
In most dishes, tofu is slightly sweet and salty. It has no overwhelming flavor, except when it is fermented, making it easy to introduce to your taste buds.
Secrets to Better Tasting Tofu
If you are not compelled to taste tofu, don’t worry. You are not alone! There are many people who are hesitant to take a bite. The texture can be quite gross for some. The secret to making tofu tasty is to cook it the right way.
Tofu has lots of water, which is why you need to press it properly. This process gets rid of the excess water in the tofu, making it easy to absorb whatever flavor is found in the ingredients you will use. To do this, cut tofu into small chunks and lay it out in paper towels. Place a heavy object on the top and leave it on its own for half an hour to drain.
Marinating tofu is one of the best ways to incorporate mouthwatering flavors. Otherwise, it is bland. Do not use oil when marinating as it won’t react well with water. Citrus juice, soy sauce, and vinegar are some of the best options.
After marinating the tofu, you can broil and grill it. You can also sprinkle it with cornstarch and fry. Use canola oil to make it healthier. You can also use red pepper to spice it up. For those who prefer sweeter flavors, tofu also makes a healthy and delicious addition to smoothies and puddings.
On its own, tofu is tasteless. When cooked, it is slightly sweet and salty. However, this will still depend on the ingredients you will use. Tofu absorbs the flavor of what you will cook it with, which is the one responsible for the variation of its taste in different dishes.