So I don’t think I tried tofu until I was around 18. It just wasn’t something that was popular when I was growing up. But tofu has made a HUGE coming up in the past 10 years, likely due to the boom in the health and wellness industry. People are getting more conscious of the fact that excessive ingestion of meat and dairy products may not be beneficial to our health (go watch the Netflix documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’ if you want to question everything about your meat eating habits).
Are there risks to eating tofu?
There has been a lot of talk around whether the estrogen in soy products increases the risk of cancer. While there is a correlation between estrogen and a specific type of breast cancer (estrogen-receptor positive), there is not enough evidence at this time to back that up. Moreover, the amount of estrogen that one would need to eat is much higher than what most people consume in their daily diets. There were some studies done on mice in the early days of this theory that showed that increases in dietary soy increased tumor growth, but these studies were later found to be invalid due to the finding that rodents metabolize soy differently from humans (1). So no, you don’t have to be afraid to eat these crispy tofu bites! They’re a great light weight snack or lunch, and can be added to salads or eaten as a main dish.
(1) Setchell, Kenneth D R et al. “Soy isoflavone phase II metabolism differs between rodents and humans: implications for the effect on breast cancer risk.” The American journal of clinical nutrition vol. 94,5 (2011): 1284-94. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.019638
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Crispy Tofu Bites
- 1 block extra firm tofu, water drained and excess water absorbed
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp lime
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp agave, honey or granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- Drain the excess water out of the extra firm tofu by placing it on a paper towel and pressing down.
- Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes
- Combine corn starch, sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt and pepper on a plate. Role the tofu bites in the corn starch, coating each side.
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet until hot. Add tofu bites and cook until a golden crust forms on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side, depending on heat. Transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- To make sauce: combine soy sauce, vinegar, agave, sesame oil and lime. Stir to combine.
- Serve as an entre with a veggie side, in a salad, or as a snack!
- When I place the tofu bites in the skillet, I try to place the side with the most surface down first (my bites are never perfect squares). Then when I flip it, I flip to the opposite side. I usually fry one more of the smaller sides before transferring to the paper towel. There are 6 sides in total, so if you don’t want to fry each side, don’t worry about it!
Did you like my ‘Crispy Tofu Bites’ recipe? If so, go check out my ‘Crispy Garlic Chili Chicken Stir Fry‘ recipe!
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