Why You Should Eat TOFU and Simple Tofu Recipe

Cubes of Tofu
Cubes of Tofu | Source

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Brief Story of TOFU

Beancurd actually comes from two words; bean means soya bean and curd means coagulating soya milk and pressing the resulting curds into soft delicate white blocks.

The word "tofu" originated from the Japanese while "doufu" was from the Chinese.

Beancurd was first found in China during the Han Dynasty.

Beancurd is a healthy food which is versatile and full of nutrition value such as water soluble vitamins, minerals and proteins.

It is a traditional Chinese belief that beancurd helps to enhance skin smoothness and fairness.

Therefore, majority pregnant mothers include beancurd as one of the healthy food for pregnant women.

Normally, mothers-to-be consume soya milk and beancurd in order to have smooth and fair skin babies.

Reasons to eat TOFU

Beancurd is good and healthy for us. It is included in the healthy food pyramid and proven that it helps to lose weight.

However, not everyone likes its' taste. Some people find it too bland.

The best way to get rid of the blandness is frying which instantly changes its texture and taste. The soft type becomes hard and crisp.

Here are TO 10 Reasons why you should eat TOFU:

  1. Reduce breast cancer risk
  2. Lower bad cholesterol level (LDL )
  3. Relief menopause since oesterogen stops to function
  4. Reduce obesity
  5. Healthy diet for diabetic patients
  6. Promote healthy and fair skin
  7. Ideal food for weight watchers
  8. Low in calories and fat
  9. Reduce cardiovascular diseases ( heart disease )
  10. Easy to cook!

How TOFU was made

  • In the olden days, beancurd were sold in cloth-lined wooden trays in which they were made.
  • These beancurd were usually sold in blocks or squares.
  • Nowadays, fresh beancurd are sold in tubes, plastic tubs or pre-packed.
  • Each packing is enough for 2 servings.

Types of TOFU

There are various of beancurd sold in the market, such as; JAPANESE EGG TOFU

  • Japanese egg tofu for braise or steam dishes
  • Japanese egg tofu (beancurd) is different from others because eggs are added to provide tantalizing taste rather than bland.
  • It is a perfect ingredient for steamboat.

soft tofu, very delicate and breaks apart easily
soft tofu, very delicate and breaks apart easily | Source

Soft Tofu

  • fresh and soft tofu for soups,
  • Soft tofu (beancurd) are especially suitable for light, clear soups as they are soft, smooth and easily digested.

Pressed Tofu with 5 spice
Pressed Tofu with 5 spice | Source

Pressed Tofu

  • pressed tofu for stir fry or deep fried,
  • Pressed tofu (beancurd) are usually square and have firm texture.
  • These beancurd contain less water, not fragile and can be cut into slices or cubes without breaking them apart.

Firm Tofu, quite solid and a little dry
Firm Tofu, quite solid and a little dry | Source

Firm Tofu

  • firm tofu for stuffing with minced meat or fish which are usually deep fried or boil in soup also known as "Yong Tau Fu"
  • This is popular in supermarket is the deep fried beancurd in cubes or squares.
  • This type is crusty on the outer surface but full of pores inside, which means, the inside is almost empty. It is perfect for minced pork or fish paste stuffing.
  • Many people prefers to dip them into chilli sauce for spicy taste.

Fried Tofu puff, empty contents and puffy
Fried Tofu puff, empty contents and puffy | Source

Fried beancurd puff

  1. fried beancurd puff for curries, soups, rojak and "Bak Kut Teh" also known as "Meat Bone Tea"
  2. They are dried beancurd where the inner contents are dried to the core.

    Beancurd uffs are super absorbent, similar to a sponge that sucks up any sauces, gravy or soups quickly.

Dried tofu, specially made for STINKY TOFU
Dried tofu, specially made for STINKY TOFU | Source

Fermented Tofu

  • Have you heard a tofu (beancurd) that smells like rotten garbage?
  • Yes, it is "Smelly / Stinky Tofu". It is a fermented tofu with a strong foul smell.
  • The brine to produce "Smelly Tofu" includes fermented milk, vegetables, meat, dried shrimps, mustard green, bamboo shoots and Chinese herbs which takes up several months to fermenate.
  • It is a popular snack in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
  • However, not everyone could tolerate the foul smell. It is commonly sold in fried form accompanied with chilli sauce or hoisin sauce.

Tips to cook TOFU

  • Fried beancurd should be done quickly over high heat, Once the beancurd turns golden brown, remove and drain the oil on paper towel. Eat while it is hot and crispy.
  • For braised dishes, beancurd should be added lastly so that it will not break into pieces while stirring.
  • Beancurd, whether fresh or pressed will turn sour if left unattended in warm or hot heat. Even though the beancurd turn sour, it is not poisonous or stale. Some people fry or braise them in order to cover up the foul smell.
  • The best way to keep them fresh is refrigerate them once you made the purchase. Use them by the second day for freshness.

Steam Beancurd with Meat Patties
Steam Beancurd with Meat Patties

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 4 persons


  • 100g minced prawns
  • 1 tube Jap .egg beancurd, sliced thickly
  • 100g minced pork
  • 100g minced chicken
  • 5 slices carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk spring onion, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp chicken granule/stock

Steam Beancurd with Meat Patties


  1. Decorate sliced beancurd on a plate attractively.
  2. Mix all meats together. Mix well.
  3. Add in diced carrots, onion, spring onion and seasoning.
  4. Stir until all well combined.
  5. Scoop 1 tsp of mixed meat and roll into a small ball.
  6. Flatten slightly.
  7. Place it on top of each beancurd.
  8. Steam for 3-5 min or until meat is cooked.

© 2010 peachy

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Comments 4 comments

Natalia 2 years ago

Because of your post, I made this last night! But do you know how to choose beuarncd sheets which can totally dissolve in the soup? (I prefer it dissolved :D) Eversince I started making this, I've never come across any which can... I would ask the seller each time I buy the sheets, whom would always tell me "yes" but all I get are disappointments one after another...(I usually put them in the beginning--all ingrediants dumped in and boiled for 3 0r 4hrs in my slow cooker)

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home Author

beancurd sheets .... I soak them into water first,. When your dish is almost cooked, dump them in.

Au fait profile image

Au fait 19 months ago from North Texas

Tofu is so versatile. I've eaten it made by some wonderful cooks who made it seem like fish or chicken and who could tell the difference?

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 19 months ago from Home Sweet Home Author

true, hard to taste the differences, but i love tofu with dried shrimps

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