Beans, Boobs, & Breaking Bricks
why tofu deserves a place on your plate
The same people quick to disrespect tofu are the same motherfuckers idling in the drive thru waiting on their order of mystery nuggets. Y’all don’t know enough about tofu to talk shit. There’s a reason tofu is a classic so educate thy self and get with the lean bean.
Tofu is made from soy milk that’s been curdled and made to thicken into bricks. By itself, it can be soft and have zero fucking flavor. People who don’t know what they’re doing usually serve this protein powerhouse with no seasoning and it tastes like a wet sponge. Don’t let a bad cook ruin an entire food group for you. One cup of tofu has 20 grams of protein, is rich in calcium and iron, and is cholesterol free. You’ll find it in the refrigerated section packed in water and in aseptic containers near the soy sauce at the store. Unless a recipe specifies what type to get (soft, medium, firm), it’s safe to assume extra firm tofu from the cold case is the default.
But what about the estrogen?
Fellas- WHAT IS THIS WEIRD ANXIETY Y’ALL HAVE ABOUT ESTROGEN?? Anytime we have an event, there’s at least four of you fuckers that wanna have a conversation with us about men eating tofu and growing titties. What god forsaken source told you this and why did you never question it?
First of all, no, you won’t grow boobs outta nowhere if you incorporate tofu into your diet. If that were true, 12 year old girls would be eating it by the fistful instead of stuffing their bras. In fact, there has NEVER been a study that links dietary soy consumption in humans to an increase of estrogen in the body or an increase in the likelihood of any kind of cancer. MATTER OF FUCKING FACT due to the amount of estrogen we’re feeding livestock in this country, oncologist are increasingly worried that daily meat consumption can lead to estrogen accumulation in the body and a higher incidence of hormone-dependent cancers. Also, did you assume the meat you were eating was only male? You’re worried about the wrong shit. So unless a goddamn doctor is telling you to avoid soy for a specific reason, just add it to your rotation already. And honestly, if you’re struggling with a couple pushups, tofu isn’t the enemy here. Gravity is.
Humans have been eating tofu for over thousands of years and we cook it a bazillion different ways depending on the final dish. Don’t think of it as a meat substitute. Tofu is its own thing with it’s own culinary history, preparations, and taste. Accept tofu on its terms and you’ll love it like so much of the global population does. If you’re new to cooking in general, we recommend going with our baked tofu recipes that appear in all our books. They’re basically fool-proof. But if you’ve got a little confidence in the kitchen and are short on time, our pan-seared tofu recipe on our site is a killer. But let’s go deeper. We’ve always cut our tofu into cubes since that was how the old hippies did it that we learned from. But recently, we’ve started mixing up and want to walk you through the process for a different- some may say superior- tofu experience.
Aside from changing how you cook it, changing the shape of the tofu is one of the easiest ways to alter your whole experience with the protein. Don’t believe us? Just watch. Here we’re gonna prepare the tofu using the pan-seared recipe on our site with the only difference being we’re going to tear the tofu into bite sized pieces instead of the classic cubes.
Both preparations take the same amount of time, but the torn pieces allow the marinade to really get in there. We only marinated this batch for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and the hand-torn pieces absorbed more of the marinade while the cubes had it kinda just sitting on the surface.
Once the tofu hits the pan, the difference between the two preparations really stands out. Again, we cooked these lil fuckers for the same amount of time, in the same pan and look at that.
If you’re serving this up to someone new to the ways of tofu, we think they’re going for the more succulent piece on the right than the mystery cubes on the left. Even when plated, the torn tofu changes the whole vibes of the dish. Here we’ve served both up with some fat udon noodles in a peanut sauce.
Listen, we’d absolutely destroy both plates but DAMN if that torn tofu doesn’t look just as perfect as it tastes. So are you ready to try some tofu at home? We can’t wait to see what y’all cook up.
If you’re wanting more cooking content, join all the cool kids in the supporters-only edition of The Broiler Room this week where we’re talking about the looming avocado crisis and give y’all a brand new, exclusive recipe for maple rosemary scones with pecans. You don’t wanna miss it.
PODCAST UPDATE we’ve been on hiatus since the New Year and it’s gonna continue just a little longer while we finish up a new secret project. We haven’t even been in the same zip code for more than a day BUT we promise y’all will be the first to know when Forked Up is back and *hopefully* we’ll have some exciting news to share.
Thanks again for joining us here each week. Until then, we’ll see you here in The Broiler Room.
Michelle and Matt