Do You Cook Tofu? Delicious Ways to Enjoy the Plant-Based Protein.

Are you interested in trying out tofu but not sure how to cook it? Or maybe you’re already a tofu lover but looking for some new and exciting ways to incorporate it into your meals. Whatever your reason may be, this article will provide you with a variety of delicious and easy tofu recipes to inspire your culinary creativity.

What is Tofu?

Tofu is a plant-based protein made from soybeans. It is a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cooking and a great source of protein for those looking to reduce their meat consumption. Tofu has a mild flavor and a custard-like texture that makes it a versatile ingredient in many dishes.

Types of Tofu

  • Soft tofu: great for smoothies, dips or sauces;
  • Firm tofu: holds its shape when cooked and is versatile for many recipes like stir-fries, burgers, and sandwiches;
  • Extra-firm tofu: perfect for grilling, baking, or frying as it holds up well and still has a meaty texture.

Preparing Tofu

Before cooking with tofu, it is essential to prepare it properly. Tofu has a high water content and can quickly become soggy if not drained properly.

How to Drain Tofu

To drain tofu:

  1. Remove the tofu from the packaging and place on a plate or in a shallow dish.
  2. Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel and place a heavy object like a cast-iron skillet on top to press lightly.
  3. Let tofu drain for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour if you have the time.

Marinating Tofu

To give tofu some more flavor, marinating it is an excellent option. Tofu is porous and can absorb flavors well. You can either marinate tofu before or after draining it.

A simple marinade recipe is:

  1. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  2. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  3. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  4. 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Marinate tofu for at least an hour or up to overnight in the fridge for the best flavor.

Delicious Tofu Recipes

Tofu Stir-Fry

A quick and easy recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 14 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add crumbled tofu and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add sliced red pepper, mushrooms, and minced garlic, stirring frequently for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, maple syrup, and vegetable broth in a small bowl.
  5. Add the sauce to the skillet and stir well to combine with the tofu and vegetables.
  6. Serve the stir-fry over cooked rice.

Baked Tofu Nuggets

A great recipe for a healthy and vegan alternative to traditional chicken nuggets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut drained and pressed tofu into small nugget-sized pieces.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, flour, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl.
  4. Pour the unsweetened almond milk into a separate bowl.
  5. Dip each piece of tofu into the almond milk, then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the mixture into the tofu.
  6. Place the coated tofu nuggets on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy.

Tofu Scramble

A vegan alternative to scrambled eggs, this recipe is perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add crumbled tofu and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add diced red pepper, onion, and minced garlic, stirring frequently for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to the skillet and stir well to combine with the tofu and vegetables.
  5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until everything is heated through and the tofu is slightly golden.
  6. Serve the tofu scramble hot with some toast or potatoes.

Conclusion

Tofu is a great plant-based protein option that is versatile and easy to cook with once you learn the basics. Whether you’re a long-time tofu eater or just trying it out for the first time, there are plenty of delicious and easy recipes to try. Incorporating tofu into your diet can provide a significant boost of protein and healthy nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is tofu healthy to eat? Tofu is an excellent source of protein, low in fat, and provides essential vitamins and minerals.
  • How do you store tofu? Tofu should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container and used within five days of opening.
  • What can I substitute tofu with? Tempeh or seitan are both good substitutes for tofu in many recipes.
  • Can you freeze tofu? Yes, you can freeze tofu in its original packaging or after it has been drained and pressed. Frozen tofu has a slightly different texture than fresh tofu but works well in some dishes.
  • Can I eat raw tofu? It is not recommended to eat raw tofu because it can contain harmful bacteria. You should always cook tofu before consuming it.

References

Carrington, D. (2020, February). The health benefits of tofu. BBC Good Food. Retrieved from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-tofu

Gillinov, A. M. (2018, September 13). Tofu: What is it and is it good for you? Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/tofu-what-is-it-and-is-it-good-for-you/

Jarvinen, L. (2020, September 10). How to cook with tofu: Tips and recipes. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-cook-tofu-recipes

Russon, M. (2021, March 16). Tofu recipes. BBC Good Food. Retrieved from https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/tofu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *