Matzav Mazon: Demystifying Tofu


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Everyone has their own ideas about this mysterious food called tofu. Some consider it to be one of the wonders of the culinary world due to its malleable texture and flavor. Others find it bland, usually due to bad tasting experiences in the past. Some praise its nutritional value in adding protein and nutrients to a diet, while others find scientific studies to decry all soy-related products. In the end, as with all things, moderation is always the key. Whatever side of the tofu debate you stand on, it’s hard to deny its usefulness in cooking. Once you get the hang of cooking with tofu, you may find that it is helpful in keeping a meal pareve, healthy, and delicious all at once. Here are a few tofu recipes to try at your next meal.

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Tofu and Vegetables in Spicy Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 package tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli, partially thawed
Vegetables of your choice: sliced water chestnuts, sliced carrots, sliced celery, bamboo shoots

½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons chili sauce (Heinz is fine)
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
½ cup warm water
2 teaspoons ginger
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers

Heat oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan. Add garlic, ginger and tofu and fry quickly until tofu browns. Add broccoli and other vegetables and continue frying until crisp but cooked. Stir in sauce and reduce heat. Bring to low simmer for 1- 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom and Tofu Soup

Serves 4

4 ounces rice noodles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package (18 ounces) firm silken tofu, cut into 1-in cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 quart reduced-sodium pareve chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 cups chopped napa cabbage
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup sliced green onions
4 teaspoons soy sauce

1. Cook rice noodles according to package direction. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add tofu, cook until browned, 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, broth, and cabbage and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in reserved noodles. Ladle soup into bowls and add cilantro, onions and soy sauce.

Tofu Stir Fry


peanut oil for frying
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 package firm or extra firm tofu, cut in chunks and drained

Vegetables of your choice:

baby corn
sliced water chestnuts
bamboo shoots
¼ cup nuts – cashews or peanuts (optional)
½ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
Chinese noodles


In a wok over a high heat, sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil. Add tofu and sauté until crispy. Add vegetables and continue sautéing until just cooked. Add nuts if desired. Mix together soy sauce, corn starch, sugar and chili pepper flakes. Pour over mixture in wok and simmer briefly. Serve over rice topped with Chinese noodles.

Healthy Pareve Chocolate Mousse Pie

This dessert is a great way to give everyone a sweet treat without all the calories or fat of a traditional mousse pie.


2 cups chocolate chips,
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
1 block silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 prepared chocolate wafer crust
Chocolate shavings or whipped topping for garnish


1.      Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.

2.      Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth (use a blender not a food processor to get a smooth consistency and gently move the bottom mixture to the top with a spatula to get it all blended well).

3.      Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set. *** This can be made in individual cups without the crust and served with a whipped topping.

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