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Kevin Dyer / Getty Images Tofu

Pictured: Panko-breaded tofu


Pictured: Four baked and marinated tofu dishes

Definition: Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. So popular, in fact, that it is celebrated with its own annual festival and has almost become synonymous with vegetarianism itself. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store.

Don't like tofu? See also: Help! I want to go vegetarian but I hate tofu!

Types of tofu

There are two main kinds of tofu, silken or soft tofu, and firm or regular tofu. Learn more about cooking with firm and silken tofu here.
See also: What to do with silken tofu?


Cooking with Tofu

When cooking with firm tofu, you will usually want to drain and press the tofu first, and some recipes will tell you to freeze and thaw your tofu. See how to press tofu and more tofu cooking tips here. 

Easy Tofu Recipes

Cooking with tofu can be super easy! Here are a few of my favorite quick and easy tofu recipes to get you started:

Nutritional Value of Tofu

Tofu is and excellent source of protein for vegetarians with over 10 grams per half-cup serving, and is also a great source of calcium and iron. See how the nutritional value of tofu stacks up against beef, milk and eggs here.

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Also Known As: Tofu is also sometimes called bean curd or soybean curd.

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