Tofu is one of the most loved foods in the world, and this is mostly for its texture and versatility. Not only is tofu loved for its taste, but it is also considered the most delicious plant-based food, making it suitable, for everyone, including vegetarians.
Although tofu is considered safe to consume for a lot of people, some people are still unsure about the safety of tofu and want to know if tofu is religiously acceptable for them to eat. Is Tofu halal?
Yes, tofu is halal because its raw materials are plant-based and not made from pigs or any other thing considered unacceptable. Not only is tofu safe for Muslims to eat but also safe for vegetarians.
What Is Halal?
Halal is an Arabic word, which means “permissible”. food considered to be halal are those which adhere to Islamic law according to the Koran, this is the opposite of haram, which is known as a word for forbidden.
A lot of people have become very familiar with the word halal, especially concerning meat, as this is mostly what is talked about as either halal or haram.
According to Islam, there is a laid down rules on how to slaughter animals or birds, and this is by killing them through a cut to the jugular vein, windpipe, or carotid, this is so the blood of the dead animal can be properly drained.
Also, the animal must be alive and in good health before it is killed for consumption. Some of the criteria in determining if your meat is halal or haram is the type of animal you are killing, the state of health of the animal, and the method of killing the animal. This is why it is of importance that you know what you want to eat before eating.
What Is Tofu Made Of?
Tofu is one of the foods that has been in our world for many years now. The food originates from China and is also known as bean curd. The soft, flavorless food has stayed a favorite to not just a few people in some parts of the world, but most people all over the world.
Tofu is made from dried soybeans, the process includes soaking the soybeans, crushing, and boiling. Hence, we can say that tofu is plant-based, which makes it suitable for people who are vegan and vegetarian. Tofu is full of nutrients and this is one good reason to love tofu.
First, tofu is a major source of protein, hence, as a vegetarian, you do not have to worry about not having enough protein. Also, tofu contains isoflavones; which are known to have both estrogen-agonist and estrogen-antagonist properties. These two may help protect against cancer, heart disease, etc.
According to the law that guides what is halal and what is not, tofu is considered permissible to eat; because tofu is made from soybeans and has no alcohol in it. However, it is recommended that you purchase only non-GMO soybeans (generic recombination) for making tofu.
Types Of Tofu
Before buying tofu in the store, you need to know that there are different types of tofu. The main difference in the variety of tofu available is the texture. There are also flavored and smoked tofu, knowing all of these helps you know what you are buying in the store.
1. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu can be identified by just its looks. It is unpressed, hence it can be used as an alternative for a dairy product in your pies, salad dressing, puddings, smoothies, and even ice cream. This is also the most common type of tofu, it is made in the same process as other tofu, however, the soy milk is coagulated without curdling the milk.
2. Soft Tofu
Soft tofu is considered the Chinese style of tofu. in some ways similar to silken tofu, however, they differ in that the soft tofu has been pressed to an extent. The texture is coarser than that of the silken tofu. This type of tofu can be used for some soups and ramen dishes.
3. Firm Tofu
Just like it is called, the firm tofu has been pressed for much longer than the soft tofu, hence it doesn’t crumble when held. It is more in shape; however, it is still soft. This is the most common type of tofu used in kitchens. It can be deep-fried, stir-fried, pan-fried, or even used in stews.
If you will be buying from the store, you should know that the firmness and texture are dependent on the brand that produced it.
4. Extra Firm Tofu
This type of tofu has less water in it when compared to firm tofu and this is evident in its texture. It is excellent for dishes that require dicing of tofu, it can also be fried, baked, and grilled. This type is also a favorite for many because t gives you all the protein in it, unlike other types of tofu.
How To Make Tofu To Suit Your Taste?
Not only can you buy tofu in restaurants, but you can also make them in your own home. Making tofu at home isn’t so hard as you might have thought, it’s pretty much like making cheese.
If you have the time, we recommend making tofu in your home, because it gives you the liberty to make as much as you want and as it suits you.
Want to make tofu but don’t know how? Here are some steps to make it at home.
What You Need to Make Tofu
- Coagulant (Gypsum, Lemon, or Nigari)
- Dry soybeans
- Filtered water
- Square bowl/tray for shaping the block (tofu mold)
- Tray for liquid
- Skimmer spoon
Steps To Making Tofu
- Soak the dry tofu for about 6 hours or more. Preferably, you are advised to soak the soybeans overnight. By the time of use, the soybeans should be twice or thrice the original size.
- Next, you blend the soybeans, this is so you can extract the milk. Blend until the soybeans it smooth and creamy. Then move it to a large pot and turn on medium heat. Stir it often and remove the foam that will foam on it.
- If you intend to make it the traditional way, then the best coagulant to use is gypsum. Mix some of the powder with water and stir it properly. While your soymilk is boiling, put off the heat and add the mixed gypsum. Stir it for a while and leave it to curdle
- Next, place a cheesecloth over the mold and then use a skimmer spoon to take some soybeans curd into the mold. Ensure you place the mold on a bowl or on something that can take in the excess water when you begin to press.
- Tightly wrap the cloth around the curdles and place a heavy object on it to press the cloth, this is to make the tofu form and harden. Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how firm you want your tofu to be.
- Place the tofu in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- If you do not intend to eat it soon, you should put it in a container with filtered water. this will prevent it from drying out. You should also dry the water on the tofu when you want to cook with it.
Tofu is halal, meaning it is permissible to eat, according to Islamic laws. You must know that the amount of nutrients in the tofu is highlight dependent on the type of tofu you make or buy.
For less firm, the tofu is, the less protein it carries, and it has more water content. The good thing about making your tofu is that you get to control how firm it is, which is also deciding how much protein you get.