What is Silken Tofu & Difference to Firm Tofu

soft tofu
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Ally J

Silken tofu is much softer than the more common tofu varieties because it contains more water. When used correctly, you can prepare a variety of delicious dishes with silken tofu, including sweet desserts.

Silken Tofu vs. Firm Tofu

The biggest difference between silken tofu and regular tofu is its consistency: silken tofu is very soft and creamy. Visually, it looks more like cottage cheese or firm yogurt – and that’s exactly how you can use it.

The fact that it’s so much softer than regular tofu is due to its water content. Silken tofu consists of about 80 percent water, whereas regular tofu contains only about 50 percent water. The reason for that is quite simple: It isn’t pressed after the soy milk is heated and curdled.

Silken tofu (kinugoshi) originally comes from Japan, where it used to be considered a special delicacy – nowadays it is much more widely used. This soft tofu variety is very versatile and is slowly making a name for itself in North America. Thanks to its soft consistency, you can use it to make creamy desserts, sauces, soups, and dips – this makes it especially popular among the vegan community as a substitute for curd and cream. 

Silken Tofu Recipe Inspiration

silken tofu cheesecake
You can use silken tofu to create both sweet and savory dishes. Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to eat boring food! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Marta Dzedyshko )

Silken tofu hardly has any flavor of its own, which is simultaneously its biggest strength and its biggest weakness. It works well as a neutral base for various recipes and can be prepared both sweet and savory. Eaten plain or without any sort of flavoring, this tofu variety tastes boring and bland. That’s why proper preparation is crucial.

1. Dips, Dressings and Sauces

With its soft consistency, silken tofu is fantastic for creamy dips and sauces. You can use it just like sour cream or yogurt. Some popular recipes include: 

2. Silken Tofu as a Cream Substitute

You can use soft tofu as a creme fraiche substitute or in place of cream in recipes, making many sweet and savory dishes vegan. Great ways to use silken tofu to replace cream include: 

3. Baking with Silken Tofu

In baking, you can substitute about 75 grams of puréed silken tofu for an egg, which you can use in cookies and other baked goods. Speaking of egg substitutes, you can use also use this soft tofu to make vegan quiche, vegan casseroles, or vegan scrambled eggs.

Another way to bake with soft tofu is to create vegan cheesecake

How to Make Silken Tofu

Ginger stock broth pot on stove
Silken tofu is made the same way any other tofu is. You can use this recipe to create the tofu you want, you just have to adjust the pressure at the end!  (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Juan Gomez)

Silken tofu isn’t available in every grocery store. However, you can usually find it in well-stocked organic stores, health food stores and Asian stores. When purchasing, remember to look for regional and organic tofu

Alternatively, you can make this soft tofu yourself. To make one block, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 32 fl.oz soy milk
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar

Here’s how to prepare it:

  1. Heat the soy milk in a pot over low heat.
  2. Take the saucepan off the heat when the soy milk almost starts to boil.
  3. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, stir once briefly and let the soy milk stand for about ten minutes. The acid causes the soy milk to form clumps.
  4. Hang a strainer over a bowl and line it with a cotton kitchen towel.
  5. Pour the clumped soy milk through the strainer. Gently press the collected mixture in the strainer – your silken tofu is ready.

You can either use it immediately or put it into a resealable container and pop it in the fridge for later. Your tofu will harden a bit if you keep it cold.

Note: If you want to make firmer tofu, you have to put more pressure on it when squeezing.

How to Store Silken Tofu

Silken tofu should never be placed in the freezer, as that would destroy its creamy structure. Instead, it should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will keep for approximately two to three days when stored properly. 

This article has been translated and adpated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can view the original here: Seidentofu: Besonderheiten, Zubereitung und Rezepte

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