How Much Does Tofu Cost?
Tofu, sometimes referred to as bean curd, is made by coagulating soy juice and then taking the resulting product and forming it into small cubes. Tofu is very popular among vegetarians, and it is no secret that every vegetarian has tofu on their recipe list. At first, tofu may not get along with your taste buds; however, if you get used to it, it may become one of your favorite foods.
Tofu was originated in ancient China. It is high in protein, calcium, iron and has a low calorie count. The fact that it is high in protein is one of the biggest draws from vegetarians since protein is the nutrient they miss out on the most. Today, tofu is considered as one of the essential ingredients in many Asian cuisines such as Japanese and Chinese food. Tofu does not really have a distinct taste in and of itself, but rather it takes on the flavors and spices of the dishes it’s mixed in.
How much does it cost?
- If you buy a high quality and firm tofu at a supermarket, it should cost you between $3 to $5 for a block. Some tofu can be found for as little as $1 a block. However, you are not guaranteed of its quality. Usually, your cooked tofu will be closer to the $5 price range.
- On average, plan on budgeting anywhere from $1 to $6 per block of tofu.
- For instance, a pack of 12 extra firm, silken style tofu retails for $27 on Amazon. This comes down to slightly over $2 per block.
- According to wiki.answers.com, a block of tofu costs only $1.50 in many supermarkets in California.
What is going to be included?
- Not all tofu is package-ready. Most can be bought either per block or by the ounce.
- Also known as a bean curd, fresh tofu is produced first making fresh soy milk, then coagulating it, then forming the tofu into blocks or cubes. Processed tofu is made by using pre-made processed soy milk to complete the same process.
- To create tofu, soy milk is coagulated; during the pressing process, it will result in curds.
- Common types of tofu include soft/silken, firm, extra firm, pickled, dried, frozen and processed. To learn more about the different types, refer to this Wikipedia.com article.
What are the extra costs?
- Tofu that is “ready-cooked” may require additional ingredients to make the dish taste better. This usually includes certain type of sauces or spices.
- If you opt for meals and dishes with tofu, then you have to expect an extra cost for it as well. There will be many other ingredients necessary to complete your dish.
Factors that influence the price:
- Quality. Tofu of high quality is undoubtedly more expensive than those that have lower quality. However, the taste and quality may be worth the higher price.
- Type. There are different types of tofu sold on the market so the cost of each depends accordingly. The kinds can differ not only by brand, but by size and description as well.
- Dish. There are also a variety of dishes with a tofu ingredient so the price varies accordingly with the kind of dish.
Tips to know:
- When buying tofu, you should first check the firmness of the tofu. You can tell that the tofu is of high quality if it is firm.
- If you prefer an extra firm tofu, then you should always consider an Asian tofu, which is firmer in texture compared to any other tofu and it is best used for stir-fry dishes.
- On the other hand, silken tofu is much gelatinous than any other tofu. If you are looking for a replacement to egg in cakes, bread, and even some pies, then this tofu can be your best option.
- Tofu is served best with rice, eggs, nuts or most dairy related food. It can also be used in dishes at restaurants or in your own kitchen as a replacement for meat. For example, you can order tofu fried rice rather than chicken or shrimp fried rice.
- Tofu that needs to refrigerated usually has a shelf life of about 3 to 7 weeks. This means that as long as you use it within the time period listed on the package, it will be fresh. Because tofu lacks taste when eaten by itself, it will be hard to tell if it has gone bad. Therefore, it is important to stick to the expiration date very strictly.
How can I save money?
- Consider buying a pack of organic tofu and just cook your favorite tofu recipe at home rather than purchasing a prepared meal.
- If you use tofu a lot, consider buying in bulk. As stated above, you can get a higher quality based tofu for less than $2 per block when purchased in packs of 12 or more.
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