Tofu is a great food for vegetarians and those who are lactose intolerant. Additionally, those who want more protein in their diet, tofu is an excellent choice. Tofu can be added to many different foods and even drinks. With so much versatility tofu can be used for, most people will wonder if tofu can be eaten raw.
Can tofu be eaten raw? Yes, you can eat raw tofu right out of the package. During the process of making tofu, the soybeans are cooked thoroughly already. Therefore, the tofu isn’t actually raw and you can consume ‘raw’ tofu.
What Is Raw Tofu?
Raw tofu or bean curd is a type of food made by coagulating soy milk and pressing it into solid white blocks. The result of this pressing is curd of varying softness; it can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm.
Tofu has a bland taste, which is ideal for seasoning and marinating a variety of dishes. It can be cooked or eaten raw.
Since tofu is a product of soy, it’s high in iron and calcium. In addition, tofu may also contain magnesium depending on the coagulants used during the manufacturing process.
Is Raw Tofu Good For You?
Raw tofu is definitely good for you and the more you eat tofu, the better it is for your health. Tofu is naturally gluten-free and low in calories. It contains zero cholesterol and a great source of calcium, protein, and iron.
For you, tofu can a lot of goods for your health. Eating tofu regularly can help prevent cardiovascular disease, breast and prostate cancer, osteoporosis, live damage, and age-related brain diseases.
In addition, it can enhance the skin and hair, boost energy, and help maintain a healthy weight. Tofu has high levels of isoflavones, which contributes to all of these benefits, according to medicalnewstoday.
For those who are looking to lose weight, tofu is an excellent choice for your weight-loss plan. For a half-cup of tofu containing only 94 calories, eating tofu regularly can help shed those pounds. Also, with a high amount of calcium, protein, and iron, you’ll be getting all the needed nutrition without having to eat high calories food such as beef, cheese, and yogurts.
Different Varieties of Tofu You Can Eat Raw
This tofu is also referred to as Japanese style tofu and one of the most popular varieties of tofu. It has the highest water content of all types of tofu. The texture of it is soft and creamy. If you try to scoop it with a fork or your hand, it will end up falling apart. This is due to the tofu being undrained and unpressed.
Therefore, silken tofu is great for using in smoothies, salad dressing, sauces, and dips.
Smoked tofu can be eaten raw. As the name implies, this variety of tofu is usually smoked over beechwood to give it that delicious aroma. Due to being smoked, this tofu is firm and is best served in cold salad or stuffed into sandwiches.
Egg tofu can be eaten raw. This is another Japanese style tofu, but unlike silken tofu, it’s steamed using eggs and dashi together. The process involve steaming the tofu until it becomes firm. Great for use on salad and winter stew.
Seasoned tofu is great for eating raw. As the name implies, it’s tofu seasoned with different seasoning and spices. You can season them right before consuming it or marinate them to let the tofu absorb the flavors.
Seasoned tofu is also sold in stores that are pre-seasoned. They are available in many flavors from tamari, tomatoes, and different spices. They typically come in a solid form and can be eaten raw right out of the package.
Soft tofu can be opened from its package and blended into smoothies and other drinks. Great way to add proteins to the drinks.
Burmese tofu is soft tofu with a nutty chickpea flavor. It’s a great addition to many different salads that need more flavor. Besides salads, it can be eaten raw right out of the package.
How to Use Raw Tofu in Food
Right Out The Package
Right out of the package, tofu can be eaten raw. All types of tofu are essentially cooked when it’s processed so you can eat them as is. However, it’s important to drain the excess water from the tofu first. You can do this by simply soaking the tofu in fresh clean water for about half an hour.
Additionally, you can add raw tofu to your favorite salad. The best kind of tofu for salad is firm or extra firm tofu.
A great way to add protein to your smoothies or any other drink is to add tofu. The ingredients used to make smoothies usually consist of fruits and vegetables, which don’t have a lot of protein. By adding tofu to the smoothies, you can enjoy a healthier drink.
Tofu itself doesn’t have any flavor so it won’t make the smoothie taste different than what you’re used to. The consistency will be richer, but the taste will be the same. For those who are looking to lose weight, this can serve as a meal replacement since the smoothie will end up being richer in protein and other nutritions from the tofu.
Dairy Products Substitution
Some recipes will need dairy products like yogurt to be used. Soft tofu can be a substitute for yogurt. Since soy milk is an alternative to dairy products, tofu can be a replacement for dairy products, except tofu will have a thicker consistency. Due to the thicker consistency, tofu is great to use as a dressing for salads and other food.
Tofu Ice Cream
If you’re a vegetarian or lactose intolerant, most desserts like ice creams will require the use of dairy products. Instead of dairy products, raw tofu can serve as the base for making ice cream.
To make ice cream with tofu, simply blend tofu with soy milk. Once it’s completely blended, add some sugar and oil to the mix. Additionally, you can add flavoring syrup or even raw fruits. Once it’s all blended, put it in the freezer or into an ice cream maker. For the best result, it’s recommended to use an ice cream maker. Here’s an excellent ice cream maker, which is found on Amazon.
Can Eating Raw Tofu Make You Sick
Raw tofu is typically safe to consume. However, eating raw tofu can get you sick if it’s processed and handled incorrectly.
One of the ways tofu can make you sick is getting contaminated. This can be due to the manufacturer using unclean equipment during the production process. Since the manufacturer or tofu process thousands of tofu each day, some of the equipment could get contaminated.
Besides the manufacturer, you yourself could contaminate the tofu as well. If you’re making tofu yourself and using unsanitized pieces of equipment, it could get contaminated and therefore make you sick.
Another way tofu can get you sick is through cross-contamination. If you’re using the same cutting board to cut tofu and cut raw chicken or raw fish, the pathogens may contaminate the tofu.
Last, the tofu itself could become contaminated by bacteria and mold. This can happen if the tofu has been sitting in water for a prolonged period of time.
Signs And Symptoms of Food Poisoning From Tofu
- Stomach Ache
- Mild Fever
Above are the usual culprit for food poisoning from eating contaminated tofu. In severe cases, eating contaminated food could lead to death. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms after eating tofu, call the doctor or rush to the hospital as soon as possible.
In addition, expired tofu could also be caused by food poisoning. Therefore, always check the expiry date on the package of the tofu.
Preventing Contamination With Raw Tofu
The best way to avoid contamination is to handle and store the tofu properly. Some tofu will require you to put them in the fridge right away after it’s bought and some will require refrigeration once it’s opened.
Below are some tips to avoid contamination with tofu:
- Water will need to be changed daily to keep the tofu fresh and free from bacteria.
- Unopened tofu package can be frozen and last for about 5 months.
- Once the package of tofu is opened, put the tofu in an airtight container filled with fresh clean water and store it in the fridge.
- Before cutting the tofu, make sure the utensils and cutting boards are completely clean. It’s recommended to use anti-bacterial dish soap to clean the area.
- Once the tofu is unopened, never leave them out of the fridge for a long time. If so, it could become contaminated with pathogens. It can become contaminated when left at temperatures of between 40 and 140 degrees F (4 and 60 degrees C).
Is raw tofu for babies safe?
Tofu is a soy product and an allergic reaction could happen due to soy. Therefore, feeding your baby raw tofu is fine if they don’t have an allergy to soy.
Can You Eat Tofu On Its Own?
Tofu can be eaten as raw or cooked. It’s great for any type of vegan diet.
What Does Raw Tofu Taste Like?
Since tofu is a soy product and when it’s going through the process of being manufactured, it will have a bland taste. Tofu is highly versatile so you can flavor and season the tofu in any way to make it taste the way you like it.
A passionate cook and stay-at-home mom. Since I spend most of the time in the kitchen, keeping the pantry clean and organized is a top priority. Besides being a clean freak, I enjoy gardening, hiking and other activities under the sun.