5 Ideas For Making Better Tofu

Tofu is renowned as a wholesome food packed with amino acids, iron and calcium that makes a handy meat substitute. However, one rarely hears about bean curd’s great taste. Still, tofu readily absorbs the flavors you add, making it a perfect for eating healthier while experimenting with different ingredients and cooking techniques. With a few tips you can learn how to cook a variety of delicious dishes using tofu.

Before you get started, keep in mind that there are many different kinds of tofu on the market, with variations in texture ranging from silken to super firm. These distinctions result from how much water is removed during preparation. Which version is most enjoyable is a matter of personal taste, but certain tofu textures are more suited to particular applications than others.

Grilling is one of the many ways you can bring exceptional flavor and texture to tofu.
Grilling is one of the many ways you can bring exceptional flavor and texture to tofu.

1. Enjoy a scramble
Tofu scrambles are a great way to enjoy a hearty, filling breakfast while substituting extra-firm tofu for eggs. Vegan Yumminess suggested crumbling and seasoning the tofu before placing it in a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Then, cook the tofu at medium heat until it reaches your preferred level of firmness. Since it doesn’t need to cook through, the cooking time depends on your preference. The scramble tastes great with toppings like sauted garlic, bell peppers, spinach and garlic. If you like, you can also add some spice with curry powder.

2. Bake it to a crisp
Baked tofu takes on a satisfyingly crispy exterior while retaining a creamy interior, and it’s delicious with the right marinade. As Epicurious emphasized, an extra-firm tofu works best for baking, as it will absorb flavors without getting mushy. Carefully choosing the elements that go into the marinade will make a tremendous difference in how the dish comes out. Try soaking the tofu in a mixture of soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil and orange juice for at least half an hour. If you prefer a spicier option, the New York Times recommended rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and either a chili paste or cayenne pepper.

Tofu

3. Throw it in the blender
Bon Appetit pointed out that one of the best uses for silken tofu is blending it in order to craft tasty dressings or desserts. The softer form of bean curd makes a perfect emulsifier, and you can develop all kinds of great flavor combinations to try on a salad. Consider mixing miso with sesame oil, soy sauce and sherry vinegar, or honey, sorrel and rice vinegar.

With some ingredients blended in to add sweetness and intriguing textures, the moister form of tofu will also produce a quick, easy and delectable pudding. Some tastes that are sure to satisfy include melted chocolate and maple syrup, coconut milk and cooked Adzuki beans, or vanilla bean and honey with a touch of chamomile.

4. Make an exceptional stir-fry
Stir-fry is always a great choice for a simple weekday meal. According to the Kitchn, firm or extra-firm tofu work best for this method. Cut the block into cubes and press as much moisture as possible out of each with paper towels before cooking. Then place the tofu in a hot skillet or wok with vegetable oil for about a minute to give it a nice sear. Add salt and stir-fry it another minute or so. Tofu should be cooked separately, but if you mix it with some stir-fried vegetables you’ll have a full meal.

Vegan curry with tofu and vegetables

5. Grill it up
You should turn again to the firmer, drier types of tofu to achieve an appealing texture on the grill. However, Serious Eats suggested cutting thick pieces so that the final product doesn’t end up overly tough. Before cooking, preheat and clean your grill to prevent the tofu from sticking to the grates. The bean curd may not need to cook like meat, but you’ll achieve ideal crispiness by giving it time over an indirect heat. Be patient and allow about twenty minutes for cooking. Turn the tofu 90 degrees halfway through heating each side to maximize both the appearance and taste with those lovely grill marks.

Now that you have some ideas to keep tofu interesting, you can start incorporating more of the ingredient into your meal plans for the week. Tofu’s versatility is what makes it fantastic go-to ingredient.

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