Fried tofu with sesame seeds and spices

Flavouring protein for different dishes

Tofu is a great meat-free source of protein, and we think it should be part of everyone’s recipe rotation. Here’s how to make the most of this versatile protein source in your diet.

Tofu as a protein choice (100g contains 8g of protein)


You’ll find tofu in a wide range of East Asian and South-east Asian dishes, where it is used as a versatile and adaptable source of vegetarian protein which takes on the flavours of other ingredients.

It’s a brilliant source of protein which is entirely free from dairy and animal products. 100g of tofu has around 75 calories, just 1.9g carbohydrates, less than 5g fats and 8g protein.

As with most protein sources, it is low in sugar and also low in fibre. So combine it with vegetables, leafy greens, pulses, beans, or rice for a complete nutritional profile.

What is tofu?


Tofu is a meat-free, dairy-free high protein food which is ideal for vegans and vegetarians. Otherwise known as bean curd, it is a byproduct of food from soy milk curd and is usually pressed into white blocks when served. It can be soft, firm, or extra firm.

Is it good for you?


Tofu is very good for you, being low in fat and high in protein yet free from dairy, eggs, or any animal protein. It contains all eight of the essential amino acids and is a good source of iron and calcium, plus magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, manganese, and phosphorous.

Flavouring tofu at home


For Chinese-style dishes:

  1. Drain and press extra firm tofu and cut into cubes.
  2. Combine 1 tbs sesame oil, minced garlic, sliced shallots, fresh grated ginger, 50ml tamari, 50ml orange juice, 2 tbs rice vinegar, and 2 tbs lemon juice.

For Indian flavours:

  1. Drain and press extra-firm tofu and cut into cubes.
  2. Toss the cubes in 1 tbs garam masala spice and cook in a small amount of oil over high heat.
  3. Remove the tofu and add chopped onion, grated ginger, minced garlic, curry powder, and turmeric powder into the pan and cook through.
  4. Add the crisped tofu and use in Indian style dishes.

For Jamaican style:

  1. Drain and press extra-firm tofu and cut into cubes.
  2. Combine 50ml tamari, 50ml apple cider vinegar, 50ml lime juice, 2 tbs hot sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger and chopped red chilli pepper to taste.
  3. Into this mix add allspice, dried thyme, onion powder, cinnamon powder, and nutmeg to taste.
  4. Marinade the tofu for 30 minutes or overnight and use in Jamaican style recipes.

Recipe idea: Spicy Tofu Scramble


This recipe uses tofu in place of eggs for a nutritious, low fat, high protein meal you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or a light supper.

Serves 1

Nutrients per serving:

Energy Total fat Saturates Protein Fibre Carbs Sugar Salt
405 kcal 22 g 8.6 g 29 g 8.5 g 9.4 g 4 g 0.36 g

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 150g firm tofu, crumbled
  • Chopped onion, bell pepper, mushrooms (or your choice of vegetables)
  • Curry powder and cumin
  • Spinach leaves

Method

Step 1
Heat the oil in a heavy pan then sauce the vegetables until soft.

Step 2
Add the crumbled tofu and cook until slightly browned.

Step 3
Add the spices towards the end of cooking.

Step 4
Add spinach leaves and remove from the heat, allowing the spinach to wilt.

Step 5
Serve on toast, on a bagel, or with a side of avocado.

5 more ideas for tofu

  1. Blend soft (silken) tofu with frozen raspberries then pour into a shallow dish and refrigerate – the result is a sweet protein pudding.
  2. Add silken tofu to your smoothies for a protein boost and a fluffier texture.
  3. Use tofu chunks in savoury main meals like casseroles or jacket potato fillings.
  4. For a meat-free mince dish like cottage pie, Bolognese or chilli, use tofu mince.
  5. Enjoy a tofu spread as a vegan and dairy-free alternative to cream cheese or pate – ideal on hot toast, baguettes, or in sandwiches.
For a quick and easy weekday dinner, try Mr Organic Tofu Pasta sauce which is packed with vegetables and healthy protein. For more healthy recipes, make sure you check out our Health Hub. Shop our Food & Drink range.
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