Are you new to plant-based cooking and wondering what on earth tofu is, or what to do with it? You may have heard that tofu is a bland and boring ingredient, or you may even have tried it unsuccessfully. Tofu can be tricky!
The good news is that getting the best out of a block of tofu is easier than you think! Even if you’re not a top chef, you don’t have to be intimidated by tofu! With this basic guide, you’ll soon unlock the magic.
Cooking Different Types of Tofu
First thing’s first, do you know what tofu is? In case you’re not 100% sure, tofu is bean curd made from the milk of soybeans. Making it is similar to making cheese. Tofu is super common in Asia, and it’s becoming increasingly so in the West, and for good reasons!
Tofu has many benefits. It is versatile, nutritious, packed with protein, and can be super delicious. We use different types of tofu for different kinds of dishes, for example:
This type of tofu is creamy and soft. It works in food that we blend like salad dressings, sauces, soups, smoothies, and dips.
Denser than silken tofu but still delicate, medium tofu is used in miso soup, which is simmered gently instead of boiled, or in stir-fries.
This type of tofu is excellent for stir-frying and pan-frying. It absorbs flavors well, so it’s great for marinating. Because of its consistency, firm tofu is perfect crumbed or crisped. You can even whip up a ‘tofu scramble’, which is the vegan version of scrambled eggs!
All-purpose tofu that holds its shape so well, you can slice and dice it quickly! You can use this versatile type of tofu for frying, baking, grilling, or scrambling.
Tofu Basics – Flavor!
Once you’ve selected the right type of tofu for your dish, the next thing to consider is how to make it taste great. Most protein sources, like meat, poultry, and eggs, can be enjoyed with basic seasonings like salt and pepper. Tofu is not like that.
As versatile as what it is, tofu has hardly any flavor, so it has to be seasoned particularly well. Here are a few more basic guidelines:
- Tofu is super absorbent, so don’t marinate it too long.
- Don’t be shy to season tofu; it has little taste, so it needs it!
- If you’re