By Ben Williamson
Tofu is both the center of the plate for many of us and, also, the butt of the joke from some. Its flavorless and amorphic properties make it a hugely versatile ingredient but tofu is often the subject of derision by people who haven’t (yet) given it a chance.
Better chefs than I have been extolling the virtue of tofu for decades: marinating, caramelizing, braising, and reshaping tofu into just about anything you’d want. I’ve never really gone past frying and scrambling my tofu—but even then, it’s delighted and surprised many who had preconceived notions of a bland and boring foreign food.
Even chicken is unpalatable when taken straight out of the packet. Just like tofu, chicken must be seasoned and cooked. Only then does it derive any flavor. But tofu has several advantages over chicken.
Advantages of eating tofu
- It’s cheaper. A 14 oz block of tofu will run you around $1.50 compared to $4/lb for a pack of chicken breasts. A welcome saving in times of rising prices.
- It lasts longer. Refrigerated tofu can last up to a month unopened, while shelf-stable tofu can last up to a year. Refrigerated chicken on the other hand usually needs to be cooked within a week.
- It’s better for animals. No animals are harmed in the process of making tofu (from soybeans) whereas chickens are the most abused animals in the world.
So, whether you’re looking to cut down on your meat consumption or you’re a long-time vegan, why not try something different? Pick out a new recipe with tofu at the heart of it. The planet and the animals will thank you.