You Can Use Tokwa For These Meaty Recipes

Swap out the meat and make these meatless recipes.

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The idea for substituting tofu for the meat in these recipes isn't because you want to eat meatless dishes. We know you love tokwa! Tokwa is a great ingredient and is an underappreciated one that can be used in many ways other than just being fried into squares. While its reputation as a meat substitute is not unfounded, it can be more than just a way to cut meat from your diet.

What we propose instead is that you take these ideas on how to prepare tofu differently so that you can make informed decisions about how you eat what you eat. Better yet, you decide what you want to eat even if it means that you're making that change and making a dish that's totally meatless. 

Care for ideas on how to do just that? Here are ways you can use tofu instead of meat in these meaty recipes: 

Photo by Dairy Darilag
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1 Use tofu in meaty spaghetti recipes. 

One of the best ways to use tofu is by using it as a ground meat substitute. Did you know you could crumble that block of firm tofu into bits that actually look like ground meat? You can! The idea isn't that odd but it does need some effort to make it mimic the ground beef for your Bolognese recipe.


Here's what you do: Break up the firm tofu with your hands until chunks are formed. Place the crumbled tofu in the center of a large kitchen towel, wrap and twist the ends together, and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Once as much water has been squeezed out, open the towel to see your "tofu" ground beef. 

To use, just simply use it as you would in the recipe. The best part about this substitute is that it doesn't take long to cook it! Win! 

Photo by At Maculangan

2 Make tofu "scrambled eggs". 

We bet you thought this was a plate of scrambled eggs. It's not. It's "scrambled" tofu. The same firm tofu you can crumble and make look like meat can double as a great egg substitute for breakfast, too. That color isn't artificial either! Courtesy of the natural coloring power of turmeric, you not only get a delicious breakfast, but you just loaded it with more nutrients with a touch an appetizing touch of color and flavor, too. 

Photo by Riell Santos

3 Cook it like salpicao. 

One of the best qualities of tofu is that it's a fairly neutral flavor and can absorb the flavors that you add to it. That's one fantastic reason to use tofu for your next salpicao. You already know that tofu tastes fantastic as an adobo, so a simple switching around of a few ingredients and you'll get a great tasting tokwa dish.

The soy sauce, liquid seasoning, and toasted garlic are all flavors that tofu loves! For this recipe, we do suggest you fry the tofu first so it can have the best chance of holding onto its shape while it sucks up the marinade. You don't even need to fry it anymore after it gets the soak! 

Photo by Majoy Siason

4 Add tokwa to a simple but flavorful stir fry. 

Tofu acts like sponges, so the more flavor you introduce to the dish, the more flavorful your tofu will become. That's exactly what stir fries are going to do your tofu when you swap out the meat with tokwa.

Plus, mimicking the meat isn't difficult at all! The tokwa can be sliced into thin strips that are perfect for tossing into quick-cooking stir-fried dishes like this one. Since these dishes take minutes to cook, you can use the extra time to fry your tofu first so these become golden brown and crisp before starting to work the wok. 

Use your favorite fish fillet or tofu steak for this bistek tagalog version.
Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Make it with bistek sauce. 

You know we think soy sauce and tofu make a fantastic ingredient combination! That can be the basis of many tofu dish ideas, and this is another one of them. Why not make your classic bistek tagalog and use that marinade to make tofu steak bistek-style if you haven't already. We already have a recipe! 

Expect some spiciness in this Indian-inspired curry that would be just as delicious if you swap the pork with tofu instead. 
Photo by Majoy Siason

6 Let it soak up a curry sauce. 

Curry dishes make fantastic meals, whether it's served with hot steamed rice, pappadams, or homemade flatbread called naans. What's even better is that curries do not even need to be made with meats. There are many curry recipe variations that use vegetables as the main ingredient. That means using tofu instead of meat is a very Indian thing to do. Indians have fabulous vegetarian recipes so curry is the perfect dish to make the switch to using tofu instead of meat. Do the same and let the tofu soak up the curry sauce as it simmers. 

Pairing tokwa with different sauces, soups, stews, and even tossed with something fried are just a few ideas on what you can do with tofu. It's a great meat substitute so if you want to be able to make better food choices, this versatile ingredient just made its introduction felt. 



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