How to cook delicious tofu

Cooking basics

Good news: tofu is one of the easiest and most versatile foods to make! Its mild flavor goes well with anything, and its protein content makes it a staple in many vegan and vegetarian dishes.

You will find several different densities of tofu in stores. Soft tofu is great for soups, according to Susan Westmoreland, culinary director of the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Medium-weight and firm tofu is good for frying, baking, and even glazing,” she says.

To turn this white brick of pure protein into dinner, it’s good to know a few tricks.

Drain the tofu. Tofu is packed in water and is very much like a sponge – if you don’t wring out the old water, you won’t be able to give the tofu a new flavor. It’s very easy, although it does require some advance planning.

1. Open the package of hard, water-packed tofu and drain. Slice the tofu into slices. You should get 4-6 pieces.

2. Lay the tofu slices in a single layer on paper towels. Cover the tofu with other paper towels and place any press on top: a tin can or a cookbook. But don’t put too much weight on it so you don’t crush the tofu.

3. Leave the tofu for at least 30 minutes, but a couple of hours is better. You can leave it all day or overnight, just put it in the fridge. If you’re in a hurry, press down on the abs with your hands to cut the time down to 15 minutes.

After that, you can cook tofu in any way you like.

Marinate the tofu. Without pickling, tofu will not have any flavor. There are many marinating recipes and many of them contain oil. But it is best to marinate without using oil. Tofu contains a lot of water, even after being pressed, and oil and water do not mix. Using oil in the marinade will actually create an oil stain on the tofu and the flavors won’t absorb. Therefore, replace oil in marinades with vinegar, soy sauce or citrus juice. Experiment with marinade recipes to find your favorite flavor.

Use cornstarch. It will give the tofu a fantastically crispy crust and also help it not stick to the pan.

1. Just sprinkle it with cornstarch before frying.

2. Or put the marinated tofu in a large ziplock bag. Then add half a cup of corn starch, close and shake well. Shake the tofu in a colander over the sink to shake off excess. Then fry the tofu.

Ways of preparation

A tofu dish can be absolutely anything – sweet, spicy, spicy. The most important thing for tofu is seasonings that give bean curd any flavor and aroma. Tofu can be salted, stewed, baked, smoked, used as a filling for pies, stuffed products, dumplings and pancakes. It can be mixed with raisins, sugar or jam, you can make cheesecakes, curd cakes and sandwich pastes from it. It is introduced into dishes in the amount of 40 – 80% of other products. Crumble it into a chili sauce – it will taste like chili, mix it with cocoa and sugar – and it will become a creamy chocolate cake filling.

The main rule for making tofu is that the longer it marinates, the richer the taste will be. So, if you squeezed it well and left it to marinate for several hours or overnight, then your dish will delight you. Marinated tofu can be used on its own or as an ingredient in salads, pastas, stews, Asian noodles, soups, and more. Here are some of the most common tofu marinades. 

Marinated tofu with ginger

You will need:

150 g tofu

3 – 4 tbsp. l. soy sauce

4 cm ginger, finely grated

1 st. l. sesame or any other vegetable oil


1. Mix soy sauce, ginger and tofu. Leave overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Fry in oil or stew with oil. Ready!

Marinated tofu with lemon juice

You will need:

200 g tofu

1 / 4 glass of lemon juice

3 Art. l. soy sauce

2 Art. l. olive oil

2 tsp any mixture of herbs

1 / 2 hours. L. black pepper


1. Mix lemon juice, pepper, soy sauce, seasonings and tofu. Leave to marinate overnight. You can also try adding olive oil directly to the marinade.

2. Fry in oil or stew with oil. Or just stew if the oil was already in the marinade.

Marinated Tofu with Maple Syrup

You will need:

275g tofu, diced

1 / 4 cup water

2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon hot ground pepper

1 hours. L. cornstarch


1. Mix water, soy sauce, vinegar, syrup and pepper. Add the diced tofu and let it marinate by covering it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. If you let it marinate longer, it will have a more intense flavor.

2. Strain the tofu, but do not discard the liquid.

3. Simmer the tofu in a pan until golden brown. You can add some vegetable oil.

4. Mix marinade liquid with cornstarch. Pour the sauce into the pan and cook until it thickens. Then mix the prepared sauce and tofu.

5. Serve as you wish with greens, salads or cereals. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.

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