Country : Holland
Tofu, also called bean curd, is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in many East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish.
Tofu originated in ancient China some 2,000 years ago. Chinese legend ascribes its invention to prince Liu An (179–122 BC). Tofu and its production technique were introduced into Korea and then Japan during the Nara period (710 - 794 AD). It spread into other parts of East Asia as well. This spread likely coincided with the spread of Buddhism because it is an important source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhism. Li Shizhen in the Ming Dynasty described a method of making tofu in Bencao Gangmu.
Tofu has a low calorie count, relatively large amounts of protein, and little fat. It is high in iron and depending on the coagulant used in manufacturing, may also be high in calcium or magnesium.
Get crispy with cornstarch.
If you're going to panfry or stir-fry your tofu, simply coat it in cornstarch after you've marinated it. A medium/light coat is best — just put your marinated tofu in a big plastic zipper bag, add 1/2 cup cornstarch, close, and shake well. I like to dump it all into a colander over the sink to shake off the excess. This will give your tofu a fantastic, crispy coating, and it also really, really helps the tofu not stick to the pan.
Don't forget about broiling, grilling, and grill pans.
Tofu is great on the grill, in a grill pan, and under the broiler. Just marinate it, spray your grill or pan with a little canola oil spray to prevent sticking, and cook until you get nice grill marks or crispy edges (about 7 minutes per side — can be less on a scorching-hot grill!). Tofu doesn't actually need to be cooked at all, so no worries about internal temps, and this is a super-healthy way (unfried) to prepare tofu.
Tofu: not just for stir-fries anymore.
It's the ultimate multitasker. It's right at home in stir-fry, but use an Italian marinade and some breadcrumbs and it can easily pinch-hit in chicken Parmesan. Use a steak marinade, grill it with some onions and barbecue sauce, and serve on a grilled bun at your next barbecue. Cube it, coat with cornstarch, panfry, and serve with honey mustard and sweet potato fries for super-easy "chicken" nuggets.