Healthy Cook

Tofu, Or Not Tofu...

by Kate Sherwood, September 2012

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If tofu's not a staple around your kitchen because you have no idea what to do with it, are you in for a treat. And if you're still not convinced after trying these three dishes, you can always use a pound of shrimp or chicken the next time.

Coconut Peanut Tofu

Total time: 30 minutes.


This Thai-inspired dish is the perfect balance of savory, spicy, sweet, and tart. No fish sauce? You can substitute 2½ Tbs. of lower-sodium soy sauce.

oz. extra-firm tofu, drained
14
Tbs. canola oil
2
cup thinly sliced shallots
½
jalapeño, seeded and minced
1
tsp. brown sugar
2
cup light coconut milk
Tbs. Thai fish sauce
1
Tbs. fresh lime juice
1
cup salted peanuts, chopped
¼
cups cooked brown rice
2
lb. steamed sugar snap peas
1

Cut the tofu into 12 three-quarter-inch-thick slabs. Blot well with a paper towel.

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the tofu in 1 Tbs. of the oil until golden brown, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the tofu. Sauté the shallots in the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil until they start to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño, sugar, coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the tofu and garnish with the peanuts. Serve with rice and snap peas.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 410
  • Total Fat: 19 g
  • Sat Fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 420 mg

Ma Po Tofu

Total time: 20 minutes.


Ma Po is a Chinese recipe for tofu in a savory sauce with ground pork. We used roasted unsalted cashews instead.

oz. extra-firm tofu, drained
14
Tbs. canola oil
2
cloves garlic, minced
5
tsp. red pepper flakes
¼
cup finely chopped cashews
¼
cup orange juice
½
Tbs. lower-sodium soy sauce
3
tsp. corn starch
1
scallions, sliced
2
cups cooked brown rice
2
cups steamed broccoli florets
6

Cut the tofu into 12 three-quarter-inch-thick slabs. Blot well with a paper towel.

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the tofu in 1 Tbs. of the oil for 2 minutes per side. Remove the tofu. Sauté the garlic in the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil for 1 minute. Add the red pepper flakes and cashews and sauté for 1 minute.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, soy sauce, corn starch, and ½ cup of water. Add to the pan and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the tofu and garnish with the scallions. Serve with rice and broccoli.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 380
  • Total Fat: 18 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 440 mg

Sesame Tofu

Total Time: 20 minutes


A mix of white and black sesame seeds looks dramatic, but all white would work just fine.

oz. extra-firm tofu, drained
14
cup sesame seeds
¼
Tbs. canola oil
2
cloves garlic, minced
3
tsp. grated ginger
1
Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1
Tbs. lower-sodium soy-sauce
Tbs. brown sugar
1
tsp. corn starch
1
cups cooked brown rice
2
heads sautéed baby bok choy
6

Cut the tofu into 12 three-quarter-inch-thick slabs. Blot well with a paper towel. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate and press the tofu into them.

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the tofu in the oil until the sesame seeds are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the tofu.

In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, corn starch, and ½ cup of water. Add to the pan and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the tofu. Serve with rice and bok choy.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING

  • Calories: 360
  • Total Fat: 17 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 460 mg

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Watch Kate prepare healthy and delicious dishes at youtube.com/cspitv or nutritionaction.org/healthycook.

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