ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tofu or Beancurd, History, Uses and Recipes

Updated on April 19, 2020

Definition and History

There are different ways to name one same product well known in the west as Tofu ( this is actually the japanese name). The english term is Beancurd and has been used since 1840. But was is Tofu or Beancurd? Well, very simple: Tofu is a food made of fermented soy milk. The process is similar to making cheese: soy milk (made from soybeans) is filtered, bolied and curled, then pressed to form tofu.

This is one of China major contributions to the World. The soybean is a plant that has been cultivated in China for thousands of years and a lot of soybean products are important elements on chinese diet. There are different theories about how Tofu was originated: The first theory says that tofu was invented in northern China by a prince member of the Han Dynasty around the year 164 BC. The second one says it was accidentally discovered when boiled ground soybeans was mixed with impure salt; this produced a Tofu-like gel. The last theory says that the ancient chinese learned the curd process fron mongolians or east indians.

Tofu and the production technique was then introduced into Korea and then to Japan during the Nara period around the 8 century. It was also spread to other parts of East Asia, this coincided with the spread of Buddishm and it is an important element in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddishm.

Nutrition and Health

 Tofu is highly nutritious and low in fat and sugar, it is much healthier than meat, fish and less expensive too!!!  As a vegetable protein, It contains eight essencial aminoacids, vitamins A and B.  Is free from cholesterol and is recomended for people with heart disease or high blood pressure.  Tofu is also very easy to digest, so is ideal for infants, sick and elderly people .

Here I got the nutrition  facts for raw tofu (100gr; 3.5 oz):

Energy                  318 kj (76 kcal)

Carbohidrates       1.9 gr

Fat                         4.8 gr

Protein                    8.1 gr


Types of Tofu

 These are basic types of tofu  (not all of them are available here in the West):

Soft or Silken Tofu: It has a delicate texture, is creamy and white. It is mainly steamed or added to soups.  Is also used to make desserts or even ice cream.

Firm Tofu: Is the most common type of tofu and very popular for everyday use.  Is also white and soft but more robust than silken tofu. 

Deep Fried Tofu:  Fresh firm tofu cut into cubes then deep fried until light brown.  It puffs during cooking and has a crispy golden skin, but underneath stays white and soft.  It is used as fresh tofu in soups, casseroles and stir fries. 

Pressed Tofu: Is fresh tofu that has been compressed until almost all the liquids are gone.  Then is usually marinated in soy sauce an some spices giving it a brown color in the outside but still white in the inside.  It is usually cut into slices and stir fried.

Because tofu is so soft, is important to cook it with strong flavors such as garlic, ginger, chiles, soy sauce.  All the types of tofu listed above absorb the flavors of the other ingredientsthey are cooked with .





A few recipes

Yudofu, Japanese Tofu Hot Pot


  • 2 blocks cotton tofu
  • 6 inches konbu (kelp)

For dipping sauce:

  • 2 cups dashi soup (a soup made with bonito flakes)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin

For toppings:

  • katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • chopped scallions or green onion
  • grated ginger


Clean the konbu with wet towel. Put the konbu and 5 cups of water in a donabe (earthenware pot) and leave it for a few hours. Cut tofu into small blocks. Put the donabe over low heat at the table. Add tofu in the pot and cook until hot. Combine the dashi soup, soy sauce, and mirin in a sauce pan and heat to make a dipping sauce. Pour the dipping sauce into individual serving bowls. Add some topping in the bowl and dip hot tofu in the sauce.
*Makes 4 servings

Spicy Tofu Stir Fry This spicy stir-fry is made with pressed tofu, chili sauce, and nuts. If pressed tofu isn't available, feel free to substitute extra firm tofu.


  • 1/2 package (300 grams) Superior Pressed Tofu*
  • 3 cups vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts or cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot and spicy chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cold water


Cube tofu and vegetables into 1/4" cubes. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry vegetables for 2 minutes or until half cooked. Add tofu, and stir fry for another 1 minute until heated through. Add sauce and cook until sauce has thickens. Add more water if necessary. Toss in peanuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.



This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)