How do you cook with tofu?
I have been cooking with tofu for so long that I forget that for many people it is a novel ingredient. I love cooking with tofu. You can bake it, scramble it, stir fry it, deep fry it, grill it, sautée it. You can use it as the “ricotta” filling in a vegan lasagna, slices in sandwiches or crust it with nuts for a gourmet flair. Tofu is incredibly versatile so if you’re interested in learning to cook with this ingredient definitely settle into the journey of discovering all the various ways to prepare it.
Years ago when I first started eating tofu, I often had trouble with how wet the tofu was when I would cook with it. Then I noticed that one of my roommates at the time had an easy technique to drain the tofu- he would leave the block on paper towels for some time, allowing the water to drain out. I then discovered the greatness of cooking with well drained tofu. The paper towel soak is a little long winded though and these days I often slice and then bake my tofu for a bit before preparing. However it’s important to note that people are very particular about the consistency of their tofu so you want to play around and experiment a bit to see what you like. I personally like to bake it until it has a bit of a chewy texture and then prepare it but this is but one of many, many methods.
Also, not all tofus are alike! In the region where I currently live there is a fantastic tofu producer whose blocks are dense, delicious and not very water logged. I’ll often cube pieces straight from the package and sprinkle with liquid amino acids and have as a snack! That particular brand of tofu is very easy for me to use straight into the pan or recipe for various dishes. I also use other brands but have found that there is simply more prep time involved to drain them properly for the texture I like to achieve. To skip all of this water draining business you could buy a tofu press!
I’m aware that there are people who do not consume soy, so I am looking to develop more recipes where I can include a non-soy option replacement if I have made tofu a central part of the dish. For those of you interested and ready to explore ways to prepare tofu, check out some the following dishes on my site. I hope they inspire!