Before starting with the tofu dish you have in mind, it is best to first know about the different types of tofu to use for your tofu recipes.
There are many types of tofu in that you can find in the grocery store. For every kind of tofu, it behaves in a different manner when cooked. Using the wrong type of tofu for your tofu recipe can stir havoc in your kitchen.
Before discussing the types of tofu, it would be best to know what tofu is. Tofu or beancurd or sometimes even referred to as soy cheese, is made from soybeans, curdling agent, and water. Tofu is rich in protein and calcium and low in cholesterol.
Basically there are two main types of tofu: regular and silken. Both are made from the same ingredients however they are processed in a different manner. Regular and silken tofu has soft, medium, firm and extra firm consistencies. Depending on your dish, you can pick the type and consistency of tofu in the market.
Silken tofu or Japanese-style tofu has a soft consistency compared to regular tofu. It should be handled carefully to prevent it from falling apart. They are sometimes wrapped in aseptic boxes so that no refrigeration is needed.
Silken tofus are used for salad dressings, sauces, and desserts such as cheesecakes and cookies due to its silky, thick and creamy texture. They have a shelf life of one year if unopened. If you open this type of tofu simply submerged the unused tofu in a container with water. If refrigerated, the used silken tofu lasts for a week.
Regular tofu or Chinese-tofu is more widely seen in the market as compared to silken tofu. It comes in a plastic container packaging that needs to be refrigerated. It has a firmer, drier, and cohesive texture than Japanese tofu. The harder the texture of the tofu, the less prone it is to break up when handled. For the soft type of regular tofu, you can crumble or mash them. Firm and extra firm regular tofu are best for stir fries, BBQ tofu, and tofu bakes since it retains its shape better than the silken tofu.
If your tofu recipes don’t specify which tofu to use, you can just buy the regular one since it is much safer to use as compared to silken tofu. Just pick the proper texture and you’re all set to go with your tofu recipes.