How To Make Tofu Tasty

So I have been on an adventure for a little while now trying to get tofu to taste amazingly awesome. I find that it tastes good in most of my dishes and the kids love it, but I want to get tofu to be amazing!

When most people think about tofu, they automatically think that it is gross.While it is true that tofu can be pretty bland and flavorless, it can also be extremely tasty and flavorful. I love tofu in a stir-fry, tofu salad for sandwiches and our beloved tofu nuggets of course.

Whenever we go into the city to get our groceries I love to get a tofu bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich at the organic store we sometimes shop at. The tofu is so extremely delicious we often buy some to take home and eat too. The first time I had that TLT, was also the first time that I realized that tofu can indeed be delicious! I have since made it my mission to recreate this awesomeness so that we can enjoy these sandwiches at home all the time. My recipe comes close, but sadly it is not the same. I think that this has to do with the fact that my tofu is not absorbing enough of the flavors that I marinate it with.

Today I decided to try the tofu bacon recipe again, (since we love our tofu bacon) and see if I could get the tofu to absorb some more of the flavors.

My usual method is to press the tofu using two dish cloths, one underneath and one on top, to wrap cover the tofu and then stack some heavy books on top and leave it for 30-60 minutes to press out the water.

This works to a degree, but I still find the tofu has water in it and the flavors do not absorb as well as I would like them to.

Today I tried a new method to get the water out. I dry fried the tofu in a pan and then added the marinade to the pan along with the tofu and let it simmer for a few minutes to absorb some of the flavors. I then transferred the tofu to  a baking sheet and baked the tofu as I normally would. This seemed to work better and make the tofu more flavorful.

Here are two methods that I use to get tofu to taste good.

METHOD # 1 – PRESSING THE TOFU

Cut the tofu block in half and then cut each tofu half in half again to make 4 smaller tofu blocks.

Place the cut tofu blocks onto a dish cloth or some paper towels.

Place another dish cloth or paper towels on top.

Place a few heavy books on top and press the tofu for 30 minutes to an hour or more.

Once the tofu has pressed, cut it as you need it, either in slabs or cubes, marinate it for 15-30 minutes and then bake it or add it to your stir-fry.

METHOD # 2 – DRY FRYING TOFU

This method I tried for the first time today. First, I cut the tofu into 20 slabs (for the tofu bacon) then I added the cut slabs to a heated non-stick skillet and fried the tofu for 3-5 minutes on each side to evaporate the water from it.

I then added my marinade to the pan and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so to absorb the flavors.

Finally, I baked it.

This method is my preferred method because it was more flavorful and time saving as well!

Here are a few more tofu tips!

1. Make sure that the tofu has been pressed or dry fried to get the water out so that it can absorb more flavor.

2. Marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes. The longer the tofu marinates, the more flavor will absorb. Tofu should be kept in the fridge while it marinates.

3. Store opened tofu submerged in water in a container in the fridge for up to 4 days, but be sure to change the water daily. If it starts to smell or the water gets too murky, it has probably had its day.

4. Use the right type of tofu for the right dish. I like to use firm or extra firm tofu most often for our tofu salad, tofu nuggets, tofu fingers or stir-fry’s. Soft tofu is good for tofu mayonnaise, sour cream, dressings or desserts like pudding.

5. You can freeze tofu too! Thawed from frozen tofu gives tofu a more meaty texture. You can freeze tofu for up to six months as is in the package or press it first and then freeze it in a zipper freezer bag.

6. Try different tofu recipes to see what you like. The possibilities with tofu really are endless. Tofu is so versatile! It can be crumbled and made into tofu salad or added to salads. Cut into slabs for sandwiches or cubes for stir-fry. It can be baked or fried. Try some different ways to use tofu before deciding that you don’t like it.

And that is my tofu dedicated post! :)

How do you enjoy tofu? Do you have a particular method that you use to make tofu taste good?

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11 thoughts on “How To Make Tofu Tasty

  1. This is a great post. I love that you have so much information about tofu along with several recipe ideas. Tofu can certainly be a challenge. When I work with tofu, I slice in half horizontally, so to speak, put it on a plate and top with heavy items. Then, every 15 minutes or so, for an hour, drain off the excess liquid. I used to cover it with towels but found that since the towels absorb the liquid, and the tofu is wrapped in the wet towels, it doesn’t really remove as much of the liquid as I’d like. This method gives a great texture. If I have the foresight, I’ll do this a few days ahead of time, place the tofu in a ziploc with a marinade and freeze it until it’s good and frozen, then let it thaw out for 24 hours (or however long it takes), re-press it and cook it. It’s a bit of extra work and takes planning, but really comes through as far as flavor and the freezing process seems to get out a great deal of the liquid. As for the flavor itself, it’s always a good idea to marinate tofu/tempeh/seitan overnight if you want the flavor to absorb all the way through. I’ve also found that some brands of tofu are substantially wetter than others too.

  2. I have to say I don´t like plain tofu at all. I once made a chocolate cream recipe with silk tofu and it was utterly disgusting. I tried to make mock feta cheese using tofu, but it just didn´t work, it didn´t absorb any flavor. Tofu disappointed me so many times. The only tofu I can stand is smoked tofu or tofu pickled in very aromatic things like tomato or paprika. I might try some of your recipes, but first I have to trust it again^^

  3. Pingback: Trial and error [this is gonna be fun] « Move. Eat. Breathe.

  4. So I tried your fry-marinate-bake-method and I was surprised, it works so well. I simply made it with shoyu and it tastes amazing^^ I was told, but I´m not entirely sure, is soy sauce vegan? But anyway, I´m hooked. Delicious tofu-marinades, here I come ;)

    • Thanks! Soy sauce is vegan, but some contain ingredients other than just fermented soy beans, like sugar or color etc. Shoyu is just fermented soy, wheat, sea salt and water. Tamari is a wheat-free soy sauce for those that have gluten intolerance. Shoyu is stronger tasting. I like the shoyu best, but we can’t always get it because we can only get it when we shop in the city, plus it is expensive. Hope that helps. Glad that you enjoyed the tofu method! :)

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