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How to Cook Tofu: 5 Ways

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Tofu is a traditional Asian product made from soy. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and contains essential amino acids. Another great thing about tofu is that it has almost no flavor. This means you can add any spices, sauces, and seasonings you like and can enjoy it the way you want.

5-Minute Crafts wants to show you 5 basic ways to cook tofu. Don’t be scared to experiment and add it to grains, fruits, or vegetables of your choice.

1. Pan-fried tofu

You will need:

  • Extra-firm tofu — 14 oz (around 450 grams)
  • Olive oil — 2 tablespoons
  • Toasted sesame oil (you can substitute it with olive or avocado oil) — 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce — 2 tablespoons
  • A pinch of salt

How to cook it:

Step 1: Cut the tofu into large-sized cubes. Use a towel to pat them dry.

Step 2: Take a non-stick pan and add some olive oil to it. Place the tofu into the pan and season it with some salt. Turn on the heat to medium-high and fry the tofu for 5-6 minutes to make it brownish on the bottom.

Step 3: Using tongs or chopsticks, flip the tofu and cook it for 5-6 more minutes until it’s browned. To reduce spitting, you can remove the pan from the heat while doing it.

Step 4: Drizzle the tofu with sesame oil and soy sauce. Again, to reduce spitting, you can remove the pan from the heat while doing it. Lower the heat and fry the tofu for 2 minutes, then flip the cubes to the other side and let it cook for 2 more minutes.

2. Tofu scramble

You will need:

  • Firm tofu — 8 oz (225 grams)
  • Ground black pepper — 1/8 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder — 1/4 tablespoon
  • Salt — 1/4 tablespoon
  • Some olive oil

How to cook it:

Step 1: Cut the tofu and transfer it into a bowl.

Step 2: With a fork, crush the tofu into small pieces.

Step 3: Take a frying pan and add some olive oil to it. Preheat the pan. Transfer the tofu crumbs into the pan and add salt, ground black pepper, and turmeric powder. Stir to combine the ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes. Don’t forget to stir from time to time.

Step 4: Serve it on a piece of bread, or with fruits and vegetables of your choice. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Tip: While frying the tofu, you can add any of your favorite spices to give it more taste.

3. Marinated tofu

You will need:

  • Firm tofu — 12 oz (340 grams)
  • Water — 1/4 cup (60 ml)
  • Soy sauce (or tamari) — 2 tablespoons
  • Apple cider vinegar (you can use any type of vinegar) — 1 tablespoon
  • Maple syrup (you can use any type of sweetener) — 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic powder — 1 tablespoon
  • Cayenne pepper powder (or chili powder) — 1/8 tablespoon
  • Cornstarch — 1 tablespoon
  • Extra virgin olive oil — 1 tablespoon

How to cook it:

Step 1: In a bowl, add water, soy sauce, vinegar, syrup, garlic powder, and cayenne powder. Combine well. Cut the tofu and transfer it into a bowl. Cover the bowl and put it into the fridge. Let it marinate there for at least 15 minutes. The longer you let the tofu stay in the marinade, the more intense the flavor is going to be.

Step 2: Take the tofu from the fridge and drain it. Don’t throw away the marinade.

Step 3: Add cornstarch to the marinade and mix well.

Step 4: Take a frying pan and add some olive oil to it. Preheat the pan. Transfer the tofu into the pan and sautée it over medium-high heat until golden brown. Don’t forget to stir from time to time. Pour the sauce into a pan with the tofu. Cook until the sauce thickens. Serve once it’s cooked.

4. Microwaved tofu

You will need:

  • Extra-firm tofu — 14 oz (400 grams)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Spices and herbs to your taste

How to cook it:

Step 1: Cut the tofu and transfer it into a microwave-safe container. Cover with a lid.

Step 2: Microwave the tofu at a high temperature for 2-7 minutes until it’s cooked.

Step 3: Take the tofu out of the microwave and allow it to cool for a while. Season and serve with rice, noodles, vegetables.

5. Baked tofu

You will need:

  • Extra-firm tofu — 16 oz (450 grams)
  • Cornstarch — 1 tablespoon (another option to make your tofu more crispy)

For the marinade (optional):

  • Sesame oil — 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce — 1 tablespoon
  • Rice vinegar — 1 tablespoon
  • Water — 1 tablespoon

You can add other ingredients to your marinade, like minced ginger, minced garlic, lemon or lime juice, hot sauce, or thin it with water or barbecue sauce.

How to cook it:

Step 1: Pat the tofu dry with paper towels or a dishcloth. Put the tofu on a plate lined with a paper towel. Place a small plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy (like a can). Leave it for 15-30 minutes until you see that there is liquid around the tofu.

Step 2: Cut the pressed tofu into cubes, sticks, or slices. Roll the tofu in some cornstarch if you want to add some extra crispiness to it.

Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (you can use a silicone baking mat too). Transfer the tofu onto the baking sheet. Place the tofu into the oven for 20-45 minutes until it gets golden brown and slightly puffed.

Tip: To add some extra flavor to your tofu, you can marinate it for 30 minutes before covering it with cornstarch and baking.

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