There are various ways to cook tofu; asides frying tofu, you can sauté tofu, scramble tofu and roast tofu.
The first time I ate tofu was 14 years ago—I had no other option. Back in my University days, I attended a private university in Nigeria, which is led by the seventh day Adventist doctrines, one of them being not eating meat. Also, students living on the school campus are not allowed to leave the school premises without permission, except on Sundays (Students are occasionally allowed to leave with permission on weekdays). So, basically, Tofu was the only protein option we had in place of meat.
Before my first meal at the school cafeteria, I had no idea what tofu was and what it tasted like. Eating tofu then felt like a punishment and most students would complain about the lack of meat and fish in our meals. To cut the story short, I got used to tofu instead of meat to the extent that I still ordered some even after I graduated from the Uni. (PS: am not sure if this is still the practice at the university.)
Tofu is an excellent substitute for meat; it is high in iron and protein, something that Vegetarians and Vegans will be conscious of in their diet. It is cheaper than meat and lasts longer, making it a more sustainable option for the fridge. Eaten as a snack or as part of a larger meal, tofu is a diverse dish that can be enjoyed with many other food groups; meaning it is an excellent addition to your plate.
Ingredients for cooking tofu
The ingredients required to cook tofu depends on the method. I have included all ingredients for cooking tofu using four recipes. These ingredients are; olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, hot sauce, white wine or balsamic vinegar, sesame seed oil and salt.
How to get water out of the tofu
Uncooked tofu is usually soaked, so the first thing to do is to get all the water out of it. You will need a baking tray, kitchen towel and maybe a mortar or anything with weight. Here is how it works:
Place a couple of kitchen towels in a baking tray, then place the tofu on them and cover it with another couple of kitchen towel; place a baking tray on top of it before you place your mortar to apply pressure—this will drain the water out. You can use any other kitchen utensils; the goal is to drain the water out of the tofu by applying pressure on top of it. Let it stay like that for like an hour before dissecting the tofu. Check the video to see how I got water out of my tofu.
How to marinate Tofu
The next step is to make the tofu marinate mix:
- Add 125mls of soy sauce in a measuring cup.
- Add a tablespoon of white wine or balsamic vinegar, 2 garlic cloves, grated ginger, 1 table spoon of peanut better, sesame oil and hot sauce.
- Stir the mixture together with a spoon until it’s well mixed. This will be used to make scrambled tofu, sautéed tofu and roasted tofu.
How to cut tofu
There is no defined way of cutting tofu; you can cut tofu to any size or shape you want. Tofu can be cut into squares, cubes, rectangular or even triangular shapes. Check the video to see how I cut mine.
How to fry Tofu
Fried tofu is the most common and easiest way to cook tofu. With this method your tofu will be ready to eat in 5mins:
- Set the hob at high heat and place a non-stick frying pan on it.
- Add 100mls of olive oil (you can used any type of cooking oil) in frying pan.
- Once the oil is heated up, add the tofu and let it fry for 2 ½ each on both sides. A well fried tofu should be crispy brown on both sides.
- Place the fried tofu on a plate and sprinkle with salt while it’s still hot.
Fried tofu can be eaten as a snack, vegetarian/vegan appetizer or used to cook gravy sauce.
How to make Scrambled Tofu
- Set the hob at medium heat and place a non-stick frying pan on it.
- Add 50mls of olive oil (you can used any type of cooking oil) or 1 table spoon of butter to the frying pan.
- Once the oil is heated or butter is melted, add the tofu and mash with a spatula until it’s scrambled.
- Add ¼ cup of marinated tofu mix in and keep stirring so it doesn’t get burnt. Reduce the heat if it seems too hot while stirring.
Scrambled tofu can be used to replace scrambled eggs in a breakfast burrito or as a toast topping.
How to make Sautéed Tofu
- Set the hob at medium heat and place a non-stick frying pan on it.
- Add 100mls of olive oil (you can used any type of cooking oil) to the frying pan.
- Once the oil is heated, add the tofu and let it fry on both sides for 2mins each.
- Add ¼ cup of marinated tofu mix in and stir together gently.
- Leave to simmer for another 3mins on low heat before serving.
Sautéed tofu can be eaten as a vegetarian/vegan snack or served with vegetables.
How to roast Tofu
- Cut uncooked tofu into desired shape and place in baking pan.
- Pour ½ cup of marinated tofu mix over the tofu in the pan. There should be enough to almost cover the tofu.
- Cover the pan with Clingfilm and leave to marinate for at least 30mins.
- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius few minutes before placing the tofu in. Transfer the marinated tofu onto a baking tray and roast for 15 to 20mins at 200 degrees Celsius until it’s crispy brown.
Tofu can also be roasted without adding the marinated tofu mix.
Tools and Utensils in this recipe
Chopping board, knife, non-stick frying pan, measuring cup, and wooden spatula (You can buy any of the items on Amazon by clicking the link on them. This opens a new tab so you will still remain on this page).
Frequently asked questions about cooked Tofu
Can you freeze cooked tofu?
Yes, you can freeze or refrigerate tofu. To freeze tofu, store it in a lidded plastic container and place in the freezer. You can freeze cooked tofu for up to a month. However, the more time cooked tofu is frozen, the more it loses its taste. I wouldn’t advise freezing a scrambled Tofu. Cooked tofu can also be refrigerated if you plan to eat it within few days. Store cooked tofu in the coolest part of the fridge to preserve it.
What is the best way to cook tofu?
There is no one way of cooking tofu; you can cook tofu by frying, sauté, scrambling or roasting. To cook tofu using the latter three methods, you will need a marinated tofu mixture. This mixture will contain soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seed oil, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, and hot sauce. You can make your own mixture using other desired ingredients.
Can you eat tofu without cooking?
There is no harm in eating uncooked tofu because it is condensed soya bean so you can eat it cooked or uncooked. Nonetheless because of the tasteless state of uncooked tofu, it tastes better after cooking.
Do you need to wash tofu before cooking?
You don’t have to wash tofu before cooking. This because uncooked tofu comes in water with preservatives, which you need to drain before cooking. So, washing the uncooked tofu will mean adding more water to it. You can definitely wash tofu before cooking but it will just mean that the water will take longer to drain from the tofu.
Is tofu good for Vegans?
Tofu is suitable for vegans. The main ingredient for making tofu is soya beans. Always check the pack to make sure no other ingredients have been added to make it non-vegan.
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