Today, we will introduce you to soy curd, it's cheese and boneless meat. This is how people call Tofu cheese, the benefits and harms of which cause many disputes and contradictory opinions.
Cheese is from the Middle Kingdom
Cheese Tofu - what is it, when and where did it migrate to our shelves? Answering these questions is not easy. There are still many legends and myths around the history of the origin of soy cheese.
The product gained its first popularity several hundred years ago, when scientists saw a strange picture on an engraved stone in the tomb of the Chinese Han dynasty. It depicted a kitchen process in which it was described in detail how to make Tofu from soy milk.
Many attribute this type of cheese product to Japanese cuisine, but its homeland is China. In the Middle Kingdom, soybean curd has been eaten for more than 20 centuries. But for the first time Buddhists brought it to Japan and dubbed it a sacred product. For many years, Tofu was served only in monasteries and at the dinner table in high society. And only by the beginning of the 15th century, the cheese, as they say, "came out into the light" and became known to the common people.
Thus, almost until the end of the 17th century, cookbooks with recipes for the production of this type of cheese enjoyed extraordinary demand. In the Land of the Rising Sun, Tofu is still called with special respect “Doufu”, which means “honor”.
If we turn to the Chinese history of creating soy cheese, then things are even more complicated. In all likelihood, even the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire do not know for certain who and how invented Tofu. According to one of the legends, one of the imperial chefs accidentally or intentionally added nigari salt solution to the puree, as a result of which a chemical reaction occurred and the dish turned into the softest caramel-colored pasta. This recipe liked His Majesty so much that later they began to serve pasta to the table every day.
In another myth it is told that Tofu was discovered by a poor Chinese politician who was very honest and therefore fed on "what God sends." Once he just boiled soy puree and added evaporated seawater to it for taste - this is how the delicate cheese turned out.
Today in the countries of Asia, China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Tofu can be bought on almost every corner.
Tofu - an essential protein element
Tofu moved to the CIS countries relatively recently. We learned about its existence only at the end of the 20th century and for a long time we treated it with a slight suspicion. Only later, when on television, on radio and in newspapers began to talk about the benefits and dangers of soy cheese Tofu, the product became popular.
The quantitative protein content of Tofu is many times greater than eggs, fish, and even beef. It is because of this amazing property that people began to call him "boneless meat". Protein concentrate has become a godsend for vegetarians, believers, athletes and ordinary people who adhere to the principle of healthy eating.
Unlike animal protein, which increases the level of harmful cholesterol in the blood, Tofu, by contrast, is able to reduce this element by almost 30 percent. However, its useful properties do not end there:
- Due to the fact that soy contains almost no cholesterol, Tofu is extremely useful for cores.
- Vegetable protein, obtained from ground legumes, is well absorbed by the body, which means that such cheese is useful for people with a weak stomach.
- Tofu is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamins E and B12, which are very necessary for the younger generation to strengthen teeth and bones. In Japan, dishes with this ingredient are part of the compulsory children's menu.
- And for women, Tofu prepared a pleasant surprise. When over the years, the level of estrogen in the body naturally decreases, the phytoestrogens that make up cheese are excellent substitutes for cheese. Without any damage to the body, they restore the natural hormonal balance, protect reproductive organs from cancer cells, as well as maintain skin tone and elasticity.
- Cheese menu from Tofu will be a godsend for allergy sufferers and people with lactose intolerance.
In addition, bean curd has the ability to break down and remove stones, improves kidney function. But probably, the most pleasant moment is that Tofu is considered low-calorie: only 75 Kcal per 100 grams of product.
If you do not go into details, the process of cooking Tofu is very similar to the leaven of the traditional and beloved milk cheese. First, they extract milk from soybeans, then let them sour. A special coagulant is added to the liquid, usually evaporated sea water, lemon juice or white vinegar. Then everything is mixed, put for some time under a press and packed. True, in the modern version, milk is most often replaced with ready-made soybean powder.
Depending on the hardness of the obtained product, bean curd is conventionally divided into three types:
- Moisture-free hard cheese Tofu collected the most reviews in the countries of the Western world, for which he received the characteristic name - "Western." It contains the highest concentration of proteins, and the cheese itself reminds everyone of the well-known "Mozzarella". Hard Tofu is actively used for the preparation of main dishes, goulash and salads.
- Residents of Asian countries prefer to cook the first dishes with the addition of watery cheese with an average density of consistency. This variety is called cotton.
- The most tender, pudding-like cheese is silk. It has the highest concentration of water compared to other species. In cooking, it is used in the preparation of soups, sauces, dressings for salads and sweets.
On the shelves of shops you can find cheese with different flavors in the form of bacon, mushrooms, greens or paprika. But connoisseurs and lovers of Tofu believe that this way the cheese loses its uniqueness.
Chinese cheese product - a wonderful discovery of the modern world. Tofu not only brings into our lives many opportunities in terms of creating culinary masterpieces, but also provides indispensable help to the body. However, one should not forget that an excess of some substances and a lack of others will do more harm than good. Therefore, eat Tofu with pleasure, but in moderation.