Enjoy New Spins on Soy for National Soyfoods Month in April
Ankeny, Iowa, April 10, 2014—The Soyfoods Council invites you to experiment with new ways to cook with soyfoods for National Soyfoods Month in April with ideas from culinary consultant Liza Kassim. She specializes in Asian cuisine, particularly the cuisine of Singapore, and draws on her culinary training as well as her heritage for soyfood inspirations. “Originally I’m from Singapore,” she says, “and in Southeast Asia, tofu is one of the significant ingredients we use. The multicultural society in Singapore comprises many ethnic groups, each of which has tofu in their cuisine—Chinese, Malaysian and Indian.”
Because it is bland, she says, it is easy to dramatize anything with tofu. “It absorbs any kind of ingredient you add—in sauces, stir-fried with vegetables, or sautéed with a separate dipping sauce.” Kassim mentions ideas that range from tofu dumplings to soups, salads and desserts.
Two of Liza Kassim’s recipe ideas demonstrate the reason that soyfoods have remained an integral part of so many world cuisines. Dessert-lovers will want to try Chocolate Soft Tofu Pudding with Caramelized Bananas and Toasted Peanuts. “This delectable and nutritious dessert is easy to make by blending soft tofu, coconut milk, cocoa powder, honey and agar powder. Serve it with caramelized bananas, crushed toasted peanuts and sprinkle it with date sugar,” Kassim suggests.
For a tempting appetizer, try Kassim’s aromatic recipe idea for Grilled Tempeh Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce. “The tempeh is marinated with coconut milk, garlic, ground cumin, coriander and turmeric, then gently threaded on a bamboo skewer and grilled to perfection. Serve it with spicy and sweet peanut sauce.”
To help you create your own tofu ideas, Liza Kassim shares some tofu tips:
• Take advantage of the versatility of tofu. “Texture is a big part of tofu dishes,” she says. “You can even do dessert with tofu. It is bland, and is like a sponge that absorbs flavor. If you add honey to it, it will stay sweet.” Tofu comes in many varieties, ranging from firm, to soft or extra firm.
• Use firm tofu for recipes that require pan-frying. “Recently I made a pan-fried tofu with peanut sauce, radishes and fresh vegetables. I used a firm tofu because I wanted a crispy texture on the outside.”
• Blend silken tofu with coconut milk for dessert ideas. “It is like a pudding, a smooth and very light dessert,” Kassim suggests.
National Soyfoods Month is the perfect time to experiment with soyfoods, including tofu. In addition to being versatile ingredients that provide plant-based protein, soyfoods are also part of a heart-healthy diet and may lower heart disease risk.
The Soyfoods Council provides nutrition information and a wealth of soy-rich recipes for consumers as well as foodservice professionals. The Soyfoods Council also offers a variety of resource material, including infographics, studies about diet and health, and cooking tips. For more information about soyfoods and ways you can participate in the #SoyInspired public education program, visit The Soyfoods Council website at www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com.
About the Soyfoods Council: The Soyfoods Council is a non-profit organization, created and funded by Iowa soybean farmers, providing a complete resource to increase awareness of soyfoods, educate and inform media, healthcare professionals, consumers and the retail and foodservice market about the many benefits of soyfoods. Iowa is the country’s number one grower of soybeans and is the Soyfoods Capital of the world.
About the Role of Soyfoods in a Healthful Diet: Soyfoods have played an important role in Asian cuisines for centuries. In recent years they have become popular in Western countries because of their nutrition and health properties. Soyfoods are excellent sources of high-quality protein and provide a healthy mix of polyunsaturated fat. In addition, independent of their nutrient content, there is very intriguing evidence indicating soyfoods reduce risk of several chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. All individuals are well advised to eat a couple of servings of soyfoods every day.