11 Ways to Make Tofu NOT Suck
Maybe you’ve had great tofu at a restaurant or a friend’s house and then eagerly bought some at the store. But when you opened the package, that undrained, unflavored, slippery white block of mush just bummed. You. OUT! At that point, you might have thought, “Tofu is gross!” but we’re here to tell you that tofu is awesome, delicious, and even magical! It’s our mission to show you that tofu is tasty and oh-so delicious—seriously! It’s all about what you do (the preparation!) and how you do it (the cooking!). Check out these tips, then get ready to rock some recipes.
There are many different kinds of tofu that you can buy, but here are some pointers:
- Use silken tofu for things like pudding, sauces, and smoothies.
- Firm or extra-firm tofu works great for scrambles, frying, tofu “steaks,” stir-fries, and more!
- Baked tofu is a good option if you’re short on time. It’s normally marinated in yummy seasonings and is ready to go right outta the package!
ALWAYS! Tofu is packed in water to keep it fresh, but once you’re ready to rock, you wanna press all that water out so you can replace it with yummy marinades, seasonings, and other stuff instead!
- Open and drain the tofu.
- Wrap in paper towels, place on a plate, and put another plate on top.
- Put something heavy on the top plate (a can of veggies, bag of beans, a heavy pot, etc.) and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
Pro tip: The longer you “press” the tofu, the firmer it will get. Feelin’ like a balla? Buy one of these bad boys and let the TofuXpress do all the work for ya.
Remember all that water you just drained out of your tofu? Time to replace it with a tasty marinade! Cut your tofu into whatever size and shapes you want and toss in a bowl of teriyaki sauce, BBQ sauce, or your own DIY concoction. The longer it marinates, the more flavor it’s gonna have. Then get grillin’!
Lookin’ to really change up the texture of your tofu? After you drain and press it, toss it in a sealable plastic bag and put it in the freezer for at least 24 hours. It’s gonna change colors, and when you defrost it, you’ll have a firmer, chewier tofu to work with.
OMG! Tofu scramble is, like, one of the best things ever! And it’s suuuper-customizable. Whatever you have in your fridge—any veggies, vegan cheese, veggie dogs, hot sauce, whatever!—mix that ish in, and sauté it up! A good base for you scramble newbies: Sauté some onions in a pan with oil, then crumble your drained, pressed tofu into the skillet and season to your heart’s content. Get more ideas in the recipe section!
Three words: Peanut Butter Mousse. Two more words: TRY IT. Or blend melted (vegan) chocolate, silken tofu, and the sweetener of your choice together for a super-quick chocolate pie filling. Looking for something savory to do with that silken tofu? Try blending some into your fave marinara sauce for a creamier take on the standard pasta sauce.
Aight, real talk: Tofu is magical. Proof? Bake it! We peeped this recipe from vegan wonder chef Bryant Terry, and it’s seriously delish:
- Toss some cubed tofu in olive oil, salt, and pepper (add any other flavors you dig, too!).
- Roast the tofu in the oven at 450°F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Eat! Try tossing it in hot sauce if you’re feeling spicy!
At this high heat, the tofu magically transforms into something akin to unicorn level 10 magic—crispy on the outside and downright creamy on the inside. *Drooooool!*
You can find tofu on lots of restaurant menus these days, especially Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese restaurants. Get adventurous and try something new like cashew tofu or garlic eggplant—nom nom nom!
We know, we know: It’s not the healthiest thing there is, but—in moderation—it’s freakin’ delish!!!
- Coat some cubed tofu in Sriracha and roll in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) before frying for a spicy kick!
- Toss some strips of tofu in soy milk, then roll in a mix of flour, salt, pepper, and paprika and fry up for some down-home, chicken-free fried tenders.
- Mix cajun spices with breadcrumbs for a crunchy, soulful crust.
Try some of these yummy recipes or play around with your coatings and seasonings to make your fave combos.
Remember at the beginning of this article when you were a tofu newbie? Why not share the love and your new knowledge of how awesome tofu can be with your friends? Host a potluck, share your lunch with your curious friends, or—even easier—just share this article online. ♥
Seeee? Tofu is the vegan wonder food!
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