Healthy and tasty tofu tricks

Using tofu, the ‘Cheese of Asia’, is a great way to add an international touch to your recipe

Tofu in a bowl

China has given the world many wonderful things, and tofu is one of them. Made from soy milk, it is available as silken/soft, firm and dried and in different flavours such as pickled, salty and sweet.

Tofu is eaten more for its nutrition than its taste because it doesn’t have its own flavour. This is a good thing as it can be added to any recipe without spoiling the original taste. Despite its versatility, the reason it’s not as popular in India as noodles or soy sauce is that most people are strangers to its benefits.

At a glance: Health benefits of tofu

  • It is a low-calorie food—100g tofu has 76kcal of energy in contrast to paneer, which provides around 250kcal of energy.
  • It is rich in high-quality protein—100g provides about 8.1g of protein.
  • It is easy to digest and also suits those with lactose intolerance.
  • It is rich in calcium—100g tofu almost serves 10 – 15 per cent of one’s daily calcium requirement.
  • It has isoflavones that help women battle against menopausal symptoms and breast cancer, and men against the risk of prostate cancer.

Keep it fresh

Tofu is available as water-packed or vacuum-packed. If you get the water-packed variety, rinse it thoroughly before cooking. Also change the water daily to keep it fresh. Whichever variety you buy, once you open it, refrigerate it and finish it off within 3 – 4 days or before the expiry date. Also, don’t buy if it smells sour.


Tofu Gobi Pepper…in its many avatars

Serves 2

Try these different variations of the same recipe to enjoy tofu in its many forms


  • Tofu: 1 cup, grated
  • Cauliflower [gobi]: 1 cup, grated
  • Green peppers [capsicum]: ¼ cup, grated
  • Onions: ½ cup, finely chopped
  • Red chilli powder [paprika]: ¼ tsp
  • Light olive oil: 1 tsp
  • Salt: To taste

Tofu gobi wrap

tofu-tricks-3Preparation method

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and sauté till they turn translucent. Add grated cauliflower, grated green pepper and salt
  2. Stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes and cover. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes till the peppers are cooked. Add the grated tofu and chilli powder. Stir fry for another 3 – 4 minutes till all the vegetables are cooked and come together like a thick filling. Switch off stove
  3. Use this as a filling in parathas with mint chutney or in pita breads with hummus.

Tofu Burgers

Preparation method

Make the tofu filling as described above, but with a small difference—add a cup of boiled potatoes to the filling. Mix Well and make into patties. Dip the patties in bread crumbs and shallow fry them. Make burger using these patties with lettuce, tomatoes and onion slices.

Tofu Appams

Preparation method

Prepare the tofu gobi mix as usual and beat an egg into it. as described above, but with a small difference—add a cup of boiled potatoes to the filling. Pour this mixture into appam maker and let it cook on both sides. Serve as spicy egg appams with ketchup.

Tofu tortilla pinwheels

Preparation method

Make the patties like you make for the burgers. Now, spread one tortilla with a light layer of sour cream. Arrange slices of avocado, green peppers, onions, lettuce, cucumbers and the chopped tofu patties. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, roll the tortilla, slice it into 3 – 4 small portions and serve them as pinwheels.

Tofu fried rice

tofu-rice-1Additional ingredients

  • Light olive oil: 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
  • Soy sauce: ½ tsp
  • Brown rice: Cooked and cooled

Preparation method

  1. Prepare the tofu-gobi mix and keep aside
  2. Heat olive oil in a wok and add the red chilli powder, when it sizzles
  3. Add the cold cooked rice and toss. Once the rice is coated with the red chilli powder, add the tofu-gobi mixture and toss well again
  4. Pour soy sauce on top, garnish with green onions and serve hot.

This was first published in the July 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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