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Silken, firm, extra firm, what's the difference?

1 - 9 of 9 posts

..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
1 27 Mar 2012
I've been vegan for almost 16 months, and I've been very hesitant to try tofu. For some reason I know I won't like it, I've picked it up in the supermarket before and it looks disgusting. The way people describe it makes it sound gross too, like crumbling it... And draining it, why do you have to do that? Do you have to drain it every time you cook it? What's it like if you don't drain it?

Also, what's the difference between silken tofu, firm tofu, and extra firm tofu? Our supermarket only sells firm tofu, so I don't know what the others are. If I were to try tofu, how should I cook it to ensure I like it? confused

cyclonus00 cyclonus00 VIC Posts: 3
2 27 Mar 2012
Hello Maggie

although Tofu can seem difficult at first, its actually pretty easy  tongue
Most stuff you can get at your local supermarket does not need any preparation at all.

The easiet initiation to tofu would be to buy a pack of pre cubed firm/hard tofu and add it to you favorite stif fry, rice or noodle dish. cook it much the same you would have cooked meat (just not as long).

As for the different types of tofu im not sure how each is prepared but i do know that silken tofu is definatley an aquired taste and does not go with anything.... wink

RaV3N RaV3N WA Posts: 2152
3 28 Mar 2012
Maggie said:
Also, what's the difference between silken tofu, firm tofu, and extra firm tofu?
Silken - outside of the tub it comes in it has no body. It's basically slop haha. I use it for scrambled tofu and in cannelloni. You can use it for cooking desserts too - like mousse.

Firm - well, it's firm. You can slice and cube it. I use this in stir fry, and to grill slices for sandwiches.

Extra Firm - can't say I've ever had it but I would assume it's just harder than firm tofu.

Maggie said:
And draining it, why do you have to do that? Do you have to drain it every time you cook it? What's it like if you don't drain it?
Tofu is kept in a water like substance to keep it moist no doubt. You only really need to drain silken tofu. If you don't you will get all the water in your dish and well that's not really nice.
Firm tofu is kept in very minimal water so you don't really need to drain it, just kinda dry it.

Hope that helps a little happy

KirstyGirl KirstyGirl TAS Posts: 754
4 28 Mar 2012
You'll either like it or hate it depending totally on the recipe in my opinion! You'll have to try a few different ways to use it to really know if you like it or not. It varies greatly depending on what you use it for!

Janine Janine NSW Posts: 232
5 28 Mar 2012
I personally dont like tofu. The only exception being when Loving Eden in glebe was open and damn that tofu was fine. Cut into really tiny cubes and used in a beetroot stirfry.
Otherwise I tend to see Silken tofu used for desserts beacuse its softer and firm tofu used for stirfrys etc.

Beemo Beemo United States Posts: 1259
6 28 Mar 2012
Silken tofu is soft and mushy and doesn't hold its shape. I use silken tofu to make omelettes and cheesecake.
Firm tofu is well...firm haha. It holds its shape pretty well, and is a bit more versatile.
I use firm tofu in stir frys, canelloni, scrambled tofu, curried 'egg', fried 'egg' slices for hamburgers etc...
If you are trying tofu for the first time I would strongly reccomend trying salt n' pepper tofu. I have made it for 6+ different people and they have all loved it. My mum used to hate tofu, but she always begs me to make this dish happy
Recipe here (I don't put shallots or chilli in mine):

A local Japanese restaurant makes really nice deep fried tofu. They cube the tofu, coat it in cornflour and then deep fry it. They then serve it in a small bowl of soy sauce mixed with boiling water.

I have a few tofu recipes on my blog:

Vegan dad has a lot of yummy tofu recipes:
His "Tofu O' the Sea'' is delicious.

Shan Shan NSW Posts: 4
7 29 Mar 2012
i was exactly the same! it looks some weird blob of white, but i tried it in a stir fry and loved it. it just takes on the flavour of whatever it's cooked with! i also started with a semi-firm tofu and cut it into slices the first time i tried it.
good luck happy

Glen Glen VIC Posts: 337
8 29 Mar 2012
Tofu pwns! Seriously, you just have to give it a crack and see what you think. I prefer the firm stuff, and it can be served cubed up, or sliced, cut into "steaks", and a plethora of other ways. The combinations are endless and exciting!

..1 ..1 TAS Posts: 2265
9 29 Mar 2012
Thanks so much everyone, your advice has certainly helped, but I still have mixed feelings. I guess I won't know until I try it! I'll buy some tomorrow, and try the salt and pepper tofu recipe. I can't see myself liking it, but we'll see. Thanks again, everyone. happy