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Tofu Recipes for Kids and Families

Updated on April 12, 2012

What is tofu? It is a tasty and economical food that is very easy to cook with and can be used in a variety of recipes. It has little flavor of its own, so it will take on the flavors of whatever sauces or spices you prepare it with. Tofu recipes are great for kids, because tofu has a mild flavor and easy-to-chew texture. Your whole family will enjoy it if you learn to prepare it well. Learn about some of the best tofu recipes to add to your weeknight cooking!

What is Tofu and What's So Great About it?

Tofu is a product made from soybeans. It has a soft, cheese-like consistency. It's inexpensive, easy to prepare, and nutritious. It's a great alternative to meat and it can be make quickly.

How Do I Know What Kind to Buy?

Tofu is usually packaged in the form of block. When you open the package, you will find that it is packed in water. Tofu is usually labeled as soft, firm, or extra firm. If you want something that will hold up to a stir-fry, use extra firm. You can sometimes find tofu that is pre-cut into cubes which are ready to use in a stir fry. You can also find silken tofu at the grocery store. This is a soft type of tofu that is called for in very specific recipes.

What Can I Do With Tofu?

There are thousands of tofu recipes. For simple, weeknight dinners, stir fries are an easy way to start. Because tofu has little flavor of its own, it will naturally take on the flavors in your dish. If you want to make a stir fry, simply stir fry your choice of vegetables, add cubed tofu and heat it through, then add your favorite stir fry sauce (either out of a bottle or from scratch). Serve over rice and you'll have a nutritious, inexpensive dinner in just about 15 minutes.

But I Don't Like the Consistency of Tofu!

If you don't care for the soft, somewhat "mushy" texture of tofu, there are things you can do to improve it. One way to improve the texture of tofu is to crisp it up by dredging tofu cubes in seasoned flour. Then fry it quickly in olive oil until golden. Drain it on a paper towel and add a little more salt and/or spices as desired. The tofu will be slightly crispy on the outside and very flavorful. It can be eaten on its own as a snack, or added to stir fries or other dishes in place of meat. The texture is much improved, although of course you have added a little bit of fat. Olive oil is recommended, since its a "healthier" fat.

Another way to use the crispy tofu is to make a gravy out of broth thickened with flour. Add your favorite seasonings, some veggies (frozen mixed veggies or fresh veggies of your choice), and the crispy tofu cubes. Serve over rice or noodles.

You can also slice a block of tofu into thin slices and fry them as directed above. Use the crispy, seasoned slices in a sandwich or wrap along with lettuce, tomato, and other veggies.

Once you have basics down, there are many tofu recipes available online or in cookbooks. Make tofu a regular part of your diet if you want to save time, money, and eat healthier.

Sage Carter shares ideas, information, and advice for better living. Visit her at


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