Tofu as well as tempeh are the most popular soy bean products enjoyed by people of Indonesia nationwide. They are so versatile that every household seems to have secret ingredients as to achieve family's tastes and the flavours are awesome. My mother never tells me how important it is to eat tofu or tempeh, it is simply that they are there. Growing up with varieties of foods, I still always come back to tofu or tempeh in search of memory lane, the childhood delicacy, as well as to enjoy the smoothness of the texture. I am a tempeh-lover, since it is hard to find in New Zealand, it becomes a luxury product in the family. Even my Kiwi husband loves tempeh and my children like them in a certain way.
I read in a book, discussing about tofu and tofu only, that tofu contains of lysine which is an essential amino acid which is lacking in grains. Perhaps, that's why households in East Asia or South East Asia enjoy tofu with grains, alongside vegetables. It is stated an example calculationin the book that by serving 3 ½ ounces of tofu together with 1 ¼ cups brown rice, we obtain 32 percent more protein than if we served these foods separately... Herein lies the key to tofu's value as an essential daily accompaniment to the grain-centered diet, the way of eating characteristic of virtually all traditional societies since earliest times. [p.24].
The great thing to know is that tofu is an ideal diet food. With its digestion rate of 95% which means it is a digestive-friendly food. It is also low in calories, low carbohydrates content, low in saturated fats, rich in minerals (iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium) and B vitamins, and cholesterol-free.
Regular tofu contains only 4.3% vegetable-quality fats. These are very low in saturated fats (15%), high in unsaturated fats (80%), and remarkably high in linoleic acid, one of the most important polyunsaturated fatty acids... Like natural lecithin, which is also found in abundance in tofu's unrefined oils, linoleic acid performs the vital functions of emulsifying, dispersing, and eliminating deposits of cholesterol and other fatty acids which have accumulated in the vital organs and blood stream. [p.28]
So, if you're trying to go on a meatless diet, perhaps you should consider tofu as your source of meat substitute! This is my entry for WHB #108, hosted by The Expatriate Chef this week. Find out more information about Weekend Herb Blogging on Kalyn's Kitchen.
Tofu and Courgette Cakes
These cakes are similar with tofu balls, only I added grated courgette without cheese, and coated with breadcrumbs. They need very delicate handling, and be prepared to be messy!
2 blocks tofu, mashed,
2 courgettes, grated,
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 Tbs flaked onions,
¼ cup gluten-free baking mix (you can use plain flour or potato starch),
1 spring onion, finely chopped,
salt and pepper,
oil for shallow frying,
breadcrumbs for coating,
1 egg, beaten, for dipping
Combine all ingredients, except oil. Season well. Break the egg and whisk. Prepare the breadcrumbs on a large plate, so you would work easily in coating them. Roll the combined ingredients into balls, flatten to make disks, sizes are to your liking. Dip in the whisked egg, then roll them into the breadcrumbs. Shallow fry them until golden brown. Makes about 10 discs.
The Book of Tofu, Food for Mankind. William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi. Ballantine Books, New York. 1975.