Tips for Cooking Tofu – The Fundamental Techniques

Cooking Tofu

Being a vegetarian means you should be familiar with tofu and the many recipes that you can create with it. It seems like yesterday when tofu was considered as the protein for vegetarians and vegans. But as more new information is shared, people slowly learned that tofu is not the only animal-free protein source. These days, there are many protein foods for vegans but, of course, tofu will always be at the very top of the list.

If you love tofu or simply think that you need to learn to cook or prepare it, then here are a few tips that can be of help:

Choose Quality Brands
While there are many different tofu brands in the market these days, this does not mean that you can eat every one of them. Buy only the ones that come from farmer’s markets and some of the local stores.

It is best to try three or more brands before settling for the one that you deem best. Not all tofu was made excellently so be careful.

Buy Extra Firm Tofu
Though silken tofu is used on many recipes, it is better to choose firm tofu for your sauté or baking needs. If you can lay your hands on the extra firm ones then the better. Firmness guarantees that your tofu will not fall apart once you bake or cook it.

Squeeze Out Extra Moisture
It is always advisable to squeeze out the moisture in tofu. Before you even place it in a pan, use some paper towels to wrap each one tightly. Let the tofu squares sit for a while so that all the excess water is soaked up by the towels. There are some chefs who advise that letting the tofu stand overnight is best.

Cook Only In High Heat
Keep in mind that tofu only cooks well if placed in very hot pans. The brown texture is achieved if you heat your pan correctly prior to sautéing.

You may also pan-sauté your tofu in a combination of liquids such as agave syrup, fruit juice, vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange juice, oils, marinades, miso soup, soy sauce or water. Remember that tofu is pretty much like a sponge – it can soak in the flavorful liquids that you use to cook it with. For added taste, you may also use dried herbs and spices.

Tofu and Salt – They Go Hand in Hand
Tofu will always need to be salted – even just a pinch would do. Use coarse salt at the end of your bake or sauté. Use pepper, too.

If tofu needs salting, then it can also be marinated. With ample time in your hands, you can marinate your tofu for hours or overnight and you can enjoy a spectrum of flavors!

These are just a few of the tofu cooking tips for the vegan you. Tofu need not be plain or dry – with a little creativity, this simple food can go a long way.