Originally Posted by veganmuncher
I have seen many different types of Tofu in shops, wet mushy stuff, dry brittle stuff..one that says savoury...etc
What are the different ones for?
Regular tofu (in the "dairy case") is usually the standard block tofu. It comes in soft, medium firm, extra firm. It can be set with gypsum (sp) or calcium - that affects the taste slightly. Most veggies like calcium set because it allows them to get some extra calcium. This can be used a variety of ways. You can use it as is crumbling it (firm/extra firm) into hashes/stir-frys etc., slicing it and either breading/frying, sauteing, etc. (some like to press the extra moisture out of it first), you can cube it and put it in a miso soup, you can cube it and eat it cold as is with a dipping sauce (or just plain even). You can freeze and thaw this tofu which gives it a different texture (I don't like it - reminds me of a sponge, but many people do)
Silken Tofu (either fresh or in the asceptic packs) can be used in soups, blended and made into sauces and shakes, etc. You can mash it into veggie burgers or meatloaf/balls, etc.
There is a freeze dried type tofu (can't remember the japanese name for it) - this is reconstituted and put into soups/stews, etc. etc. etc. (this one also has a different texture than regular tofu)
There is a huge variety of tofu stuff out there. There's tofu pre-made desserts, etc. etc. etc.
There a a ga-zillion recipes out there. You can buy books if you have the $$ (most all vegan/vegetarian books feature recipes - and there are tofu cookbooks as well - check with Amazon.com). Do an internet search for "tofu recipes" and you will bring up many sites with recipes. If you want a specific recipe - you can ask here on the board; almost guaranteed someone will have it.
Moving away from Tofu - you can go into the larger soy-foods group to get this type of protein. Here are a few examples:
Soybeans - The source. They are cheap, and usually organic. Use them like any other dried bean - in stews/soups/as a side dish / etc. etc. You prepare them just like any other dried bean too (soak then cook).
Soy Milk/Soy Yogurt - Many varieties out there.
Tempeh - this is so danged good, I just don't know why it hasn't caught on. You can buy it ready made in many HFS's. You can also make it yourself (though it does take some doing - you need culture, and you need to ferment it)
Miso/Tamari/Soy Sauce - these are all Soy based though you won't get significant protein from them (and you'd SALTyourself to death trying)
I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch of soy stuff, but other's will surely post.
(it's 2:47am here in Japan, and my mind quit working at about midnight, but it's Saturday, and I don't have to go to work tomorrow - so I'm taking advantage)
p.s - Wheat Gluten / Seitan is also something to think about. While it has a chewy texture - it doesn't really taste like meat. If you make it yourself - you can really ensure it isn't meaty