What is tofu?
Is it watery?
How do you cook it?
What does it taste like?
If you rewind back a few years, I had those exact same questions about tofu. I NEVER would have thought that I would be preparing and eating tofu at least once a week. Life is funny sometimes.
One of the best things about tofu is that it takes on the flavor you add to it. So you can use your favorite marinade, you can coat with BBQ sauce, you can add a dry seasoning - whatever! Asian, Mexican, Italian, any flavor works.
For beginners, I recommend extra firm tofu. And yes, it does come in a package with water, so the first step to preparing tofu is to press it. You simply put the tofu on a plate or shallow bowl, and put something heavy over it. I use a plate or cutting board usually. For pictures of the pressing process, check out my tofu tutorial that I wrote last year.
Once your tofu is pressed, you are ready to cook! I have highlighted three cooking methods that I love.
This is my go-to method, and the one highlighted in the tofu tutorial.
1) Press Tofu for at least 20 minutes
2) Cut into 32 even cubes.
3) Marinate with your favorite marinade, if desired.
4) Heat a nonstick skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil, then add tofu. Season if desired.
5) Cook on all sides, taking the time to flip and cook each side until golden brown.
A few favorite dishes with cubed & sauteed tofu:
Beet & Kale Salad
Spicy Tofu Tacos (includes a link to a yummy marinade!)
1) Press tofu at least 20 minutes
2) Heat a nonstick skillet with about 1 tablespoon of oil.
3) Using clean hands, crumble the block of tofu into the skillet. It should have the shape & crumble size of ground turkey.
4) Sautee until golden, stirring and crumbling with a spatula.
5) Add your favorite sauce if desired.
Crumbled tofu is a great substitute for ground meat, so the possibilities are endless. Two I love:
Tofu Taco Salad
Tofu Lettuce Wraps
1) Press tofu at least 20 minutes.
2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with nonstick foil, and spraying with oil.
3) Cut block in half, then into strips so you have 12 tofu "fingers."
4) Set up a breading station by cracking an egg into a bowl, and pouring some bread crumbs and your favorite seasoning on a plate. Exactly what you would do for breaded baked chicken. If you are a vegan, you can skip the egg and use almond milk instead.
5) Coat each piece of tofu in the egg, and then coat with the bread crumbs.
6) Place each piece of tofu on the prepared baking sheet, then spray the top with oil.
7) Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown.
Dip in your favorite sauce and enjoy! The inspiration for the batch pictured above is from Oh She Glows.
Let me know if you try to cook your own tofu!