Cooking Tips That Will Make You love this delicious protein!Love Tofu

Tofu is delicious, versatile and packed with protein. For some people though, tofu might take some getting used to. With the right tofu cooking tips, you can learn how to prepare it, cook it and make it tantalizing.

Buy the Right Tofu for the Job

Are All Brands of Tofu the Same?

No. There are many brands of tofu and some are better than others. Some contain more water than others and there are some that might say “extra-firm” on the package but they are soft and fall apart easily. On the other hand, there are brands that are so firm, they barely need to be pressed. Try several brands and see which you like best and then stick with those. Try to always buy tofu made from organic/non-GMO soybeans.

There are several kinds of tofu you can buy: silken, soft, medium, firm, and extra-firm. So, which one do you buy? It depends on what you want to make. Silken tofu is best used for sauces, creams, batters and in baking. It’s perfect for tofu omelets and mousses. Soft tofu is great for tofu scrambles. The extra-firm type holds up to most recipes, whether cutting it into cubes for Chinese dishes, slices for cutlets, or dredging it and frying it for Buffalo Tofu Fries.

If the tofu you have been eating tastes wet and spongy, well, no wonder you don’t like it. Tofu comes packed in a lot of water and one of the most important tofu cookings tips is to get that water out. All that water is taking up space where flavor needs to be. When you open a package of tofu, drain the water out of the package. Then you need to press the tofu. You can either buy tofu presses that are available or do-it-yourself with paper towels and heavy objects. Read how to press tofu properly here. If you want the tofu to have an even denser, firmer and chewier texture, try freezing it first. This is an especially good technique to use if you need the tofu to be really firm and allow you to handle it without it breaking like when you’re making Tofu Scallops, pictured above.

Be Liberal With Seasoning

After the tofu has all the water pressed out of it, the next tofu cooking tip is to fill it back up with flavor by marinating it and/or seasoning it. A marinade can be as simple as tamari mixed with water. Most people come up with a recipe for a basic marinade that they use in the majority of their tofu dishes. Usually, it’s a combination of tamari, broth or water, oil and a few herbs and spices such as garlic, oregano or paprika. In ethnic recipes like Tandoori Tofu, the marinade is essential to the flavor of the dish. Be sure to pat the tofu dry before cooking it to ensure crispness.

Whether you marinate the tofu or not, a dry rub of seasoning will help add flavor and a crusty texture when you cook it. Choose a few of your favorite herbs and spices, mix them together in a small bowl and rub them over the surface of the tofu. When you pan-fry the tofu, that rub will become a delicious crust.

When in Doubt, Fry It

Whenever there is a food that you or someone else finds unappetizing, try it fried. Cut the tofu into cubes or nugget-shapes, dredge it in non-dairy milk and then coat it with seasoned flour, bread crumbs, crushed up rice cereal or cornmeal. Then fry it until it’s browned and crispy. The tofu will taste moist and tender on the inside with a yummy crispy coating on the outside. If frying isn’t your thing, that’s fine. Read the article on how to make the perfect baked tofu.

If you are planning to cover the tofu with a hot sauce after you cook it, it will get softer. So how do you get crispy tofu like the restaurants do? You make it extra-crispy before adding the sauce. That doesn’t mean cooking it longer because you don’t want the tofu to get dry and tough. If you are making Chinese food or some other saucy dish, toss the tofu in seasoned arrowroot powder or cornstarch before pan-frying it. 

Use It in Your Favorite Dishes

Tofu is the perfect stand-in for chicken, fish and even dairy. There is no rule that says you have to eat tofu in a stir-fry. Think of a dish you always loved, swap the animal product out and use tofu instead. As long as you recreate the same flavors and textures that made those dishes your favorites, you will discover that you can still have them in healthier and more compassionate way. Use tofu to substitute for ricotta in dishes Tofu is also perfect in desserts.

Categorized: General

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