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Tofu: like or dislike?

Tofu.

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

I don't think anybody really loves tofu per se, because, let's face it, tofu really doesn't have much flavor. However, tofu acts like a sponge, absorbing any spicy or sweet or rich or tangy sauce you throw at it. And it's gluten-free, dairy-free, and super-high in calcium. You can blend it into a sauce, use it in place of meat in stir-fry dishes and soups, and even grill it and slather it with barbecue sauce. Call it bean curd, and your kids might not eat it, but that's what it is: curdled soybean milk that's coagulated, then pressed into a cake form. You can buy it soft (silken), firm, or extra firm. It's one of the world's healthiest foods, and I've always got some in my refrigerator.

Tofu: like or dislike?

Last week: spaghetti squash. Not universally beloved. Some said it's too sweet, too watery, too bland, too mushy. Others love it on its own as a vegetable, not so much as a substitute for pasta. I have a few spaghetti squash recipes coming up that just might change your mind if you haven't loved spaghetti squash before. And, will it help to know that our grandkids, who usually aren't big on vegetables, ate it up at Christmas dinner?

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Comments

I like it. I marinate cubed tofu in Char Siu sauce overnight. I put the cubes on a baking sheet in at 200° F oven for approximately six hours until they become "Chewy". They are a great vegetarian Char Siu substitute in Chinese fried rice and other dishes normally calling for diced Char Siu pork.

Like, so long as someone else prepares it.

I've used tofu as an ingredient for years in quiche, lasagna and even some desserts but could never get it to brown to use in a stir-fry until I discovered that dredging it in rice flour before frying does the trick. The tofu turns golden, the inside cooks and when I am done browning the tofu (in half an inch of oil) most of the oil is still left in the pan. We have tofu much more often now.

I like it, although I don't cook tofu nearly often enough. And a reader recently sent me a link to what she claims is the best ever tofu press, so I might have to purchase that and see if I can up my game on tofu a bit!

Love tofu.

It's like the vegetarian version of chicken - it takes on any flavor you throw at it. Can be used in *so* many ways.

I don't really like or dislike. I guess more dislike since I rarely use it in cooking. It's a texture thing with me - I think it's creepy :)

I didn't like spaghetti squash until I made a gratin (on my blog) using it. It was wonderful!

I like it. I only have one recipe, Tofu with Broccoli and Baby Bok Choi, that I cook at home. It has a lot of other flavorful ingredients in it's sauce.

I think the silken tofu is my favorite, and we usually eat it Japanese style, with shoyu and bonito flakes. Very cooling in the summer.

That's quite a sweeping statement,and from some comments you've received already, untrue. I love tofu. Well made tofu has a delicious, bean-y flavor and, depending on the type, a silky smooth or almost meat-like texture. There's sweet tofu that used to be sold by men on bicycles in China. I had a muti-course tofu meal in Kyoto, Japan, that is something I still dream about. I love tofu!

I like tofu if it is not too soft.

I don't use it anymore, I stopped using soy products - but when I'm out and served it I eat it and its fine.

I've tried. And tried. and tried. And I still hate it. I might try the trick of dredging it in rice flour before sauteeing it, though. There's one virtue you didn't list, Lydia: it's cheap! And probably good for someone cooking for one, like me. So perhaps I'll try yet again.

Tofu is a food with a long history in Asia. The Chinese have called it meat without bones. Americans didn't pay much attention until tofu, granola etc became icons of a generation many of whom were changing the way they ate... then denigrated by the mainstream.

Well, it's food, and a good food when prepared with respect for what it is. It can be delicious when prepared in traditional ways or as a healthy analog in Western style. My kids grew up with fried tofu recipes (my recipe on food52.com) and scrambled tofu. My most recent use, in a Thai Hot and Sour Soup. Most unusual, with Hot and Sour Rhubarb Sauce (www.mostlyeating.com).

So, that's like, and constantly learning more.

NO thank you. I will pass.

Yes to tofu-I make a sausage-style patty from crumbled firm tofu mixed with sage, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of leftover oatmeal and a little soy sauce-sounds odd, tastes wonderful in a biscuit...

also, tofu cheesecakes are a weakness of mine

love, love, love your topics and your site

Not a huge fan to be honest--it's a texture thing for us. >_< Eww. But, i've made tofu mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, used it in scrambled eggs with a nice measure of success

Love it! Any way...

I love tofu but then I'm 1/2 Japanese and grew up eating it! There's a famous restaurant in Tokyo that's older than the USA that serves only tofu. Amazing all the different ways it was served.

the name of fermented tofu--can't remember--it is supposed to be healthy for you whereas regular tofu may not be all that healthy; have a half packet somewhere is my freezer; love it at a chinese restaurant--all deep fries.

Oh, I love tofu! Extra-firm is my usual choice. It's one of my favorite comfort foods, when I'm sick or sad. I dice up a cake of tofu & make a quick miso soup with fresh & dried mushrooms and whatever greens I have on hand. I've been known to sneak a few bits of the plain tofu while waiting for the broth to heat as well. I like the clean taste and the delicate yet chewy texture. I'm also fond of it in spicy curries.

I can see from a lot of the comments that I'm missing out on something. I just don't hardly ever fix any dish using tofu. I probably need to start looking at recipes and try to incorporate it in some of our menus.

Loathe it and I will eat almost anything. It's like eating an eraser. I will eat anything it is cooked with and just leave the tofu! I do have some issues with texture.

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