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Organic Tofu

I've long maintained that when eaten in moderation, organic soy can be a healthy food choice for most people. One of the major arguments against eating soy is that it contains phytates that can prevent absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. To this point, I think it's important to consider that minimally processed organic soy has been assessed to contain anywhere between 1.4 to 3.0 percent phytates, while highly processed and concentrated forms of soy like soy protein isolate typically contain closer to 5 percent phytates. Put another way, if your moderate intake of organic soy consists of minimally processed forms, you are well guarded against mineral deficiencies caused by soy intake.

Soy is healthiest when it is fermented, miso being the most commonly eaten form of fermented soy. I put organic tofu just below miso on a list of healthy soy choices. Tofu provides a good amount of easily absorbed protein, and is free of damaged cholesterol which is always present to some degree in cooked fleshed meats and pasteurized dairy.

The only caveat to my thought that organic tofu in moderation is fine for most people is if you have a history of a hormone-related cancer, such as breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer; if this applies to you, it's best to have a discussion with your physician before including organic tofu in your diet, though my opinion remains that in the vast majority of situations, one or two servings of organic tofu or miso weekly is good for overall health.

If you want to keep tofu preparation simple, please have a look at two Korean tofu recipes here:

Korean Tofu Recipes

The recipe for Tofu Crab Cakes below is slightly more complex, but with the extra work comes extra flavour and delight. :) I hope you enjoy. - Ben Kim

Tofu Crab Cakes


Crab Cakes:

One 14 to 16 ounce block of firm or extra firm organic tofu
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons coconut oil
6 medium ribs of celery, minced
1/2 bunch green onions, minced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons toasted nori seaweed (can buy at Korean market or most health food stores in small snack packages)
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, plus 2 cups for crusting
1/3 cup mayonnaise (vegan mayonnaise if you prefer)


1/4 green cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 bunch green onions - green parts only, chopped on an angle
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


To make the coleslaw:

Tofu Crab Cakes
Tofu Crab Cakes

Mix the first five ingredients in a medium bowl and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Keep on the side.

To make the tofu crab cakes:

Tofu Crab Cakes
Tofu Crab Cakes

1. Cut a block of tofu into 8 equal blocks of about equal thickness. Use a kitchen towel plus paper towels to gently press down on the tofu blocks to absorb as much water as possible.

Tofu Crab Cakes

2. Give tofu blocks a rough chop and then pulse it in a food processor until minced, but be sure not to go to a point where it is pureed. If you don't have a food processor, you can mince the blocks with a knife. Set minced tofu aside.

Tofu Crab Cakes

Tofu Crab Cakes

Tofu Crab Cakes

Tofu Crab Cakes

3. Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil over medium heat in a pan. Cook celery and green onions together until celery has softened. Allow vegetables to cool a bit, then mix them in with the minced tofu in a bowl and gently fold in nori, Old Bay Seasoning, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, and mayonnaise.

4. Transfer remaining 2 cups of panko bread crumbs in a pie dish or a shallow bowl and set aside.

Tofu Crab Cakes

5. Shape a heaping tablespoon of mixture made in step 3 into a small patty, then gently press one side of the patty at a time into shallow bowl of panko bread crumbs. Place this uncooked patty on a large baking tray or plate that is lined with wax paper. Proceed to turn the rest of your tofu crab cake mixture into patties encrusted with panko bread crumbs.

Tofu Crab Cakes

6. Over medium to high heat, saute tofu crab cakes in coconut oil until crispy (be sure to flip them once to make both sides crispy). Transfer cooked crab cakes onto paper towels to remove excess coconut oil.

Tofu Crab Cakes

7. To serve, add each crab cake over its own separate mound of coleslaw. Do this just before serving to ensure crispy crab cakes and to avoid wilting of the slaw.

Listed ingredients make about 24 small tofu crab cakes.

Based on a similar recipe found in Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Roberto Martin

For printer-friendly version of this recipe without pictures, please go here:

Organic Tofu Crab Cakes Recipe


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