Tofu has been used in China, Korea and Japan for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is coagulated soy protein that is made from allowing soy milk to curdle and coagulate (using an agent of some kind), and then pressing the resulting curds into a block. It’s been adopted by the West over the last century, and is often used in high protein weight loss diets.
Tofu has very little flavor on its own, which is why it is usually cooked with dishes or seasoned to suit a dish, as it absorbs the favor of anything it is cooked with. Despite having little flavor, tofu is an extremely good source of protein, and is also very low in calories and fat. In fact, it has one of the highest protein to calorie ratios of any single food.
So It’s Good For Me?
Very good for you – so good, in fact, that it is one of the few vegetable proteins to contain nearly all groups of amino acids that we need, and it contains only 70 calories, and only 4g of fat, per 100g.
If you ate only tofu instead of meat, you would have almost no trouble getting all of the protein you need in a day out of your meals.
What’s in It?
Tofu, as we mentioned, is made of curdled soy milk. Aside from this, manufacturers use a coagulating agent to make it stick together. This is one of two substances:
Calcium Sulphate (Gypsum) – When gypsum is used tofu has a much higher calcium content as well as the protein and iron you get from it. However it tends to make the tofu brittle, which doesn’t suit some people.
Magnesium Chloride (Nigari) – This is usually distilled from sea-water, and doesn’t alter the tofu’s taste noticeably. It lacks the calcium of gypsum but it makes the tofu’s texture more silky and smooth.
Aside from protein, tofu has loads of other micronutrients that we need. Here’s a complete breakdown of what’s in your tofu:
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