Tofu is often thought of as bland and unappetizing by many people. This is usually because it hasn’t been prepared correctly. In this Ultimate Tofu Beginners Guide you’ll learn that when Tofu is correctly prepared, Tofu can be an incredibly delicious and versatile component to any dish. Tofu is an excellent source of protein for plant-based and vegan diets, containing all nine essential amino acids. It is also rich in iron, calcium, and other minerals.
Types of Tofu
Learn the Basics of Tofu
The firmer the Tofu, the more texture and less water it will contain. If you are transitioning from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet, I would suggest trying Firm, Extra Firm, or Super Firm Tofu first. This will help to replicate the thick, meaty texture that you are accustomed to having in your meals on a daily basis. Firm Tofu is well suited for frying and baking, while Soft Tofu is ideal for soups, smoothies, dressings, and desserts.
Prepping and Storing Tofu
- Cut your Tofu package open over a sink and drain the excess water.
- Give your Tofu a quick rinse in cold water, then place it on a cutting board and cut off the amount you will be using.
- Store the remaining Tofu in a sealable container with some cold clean water and seal it. It can be stored this way for up to 3 days. Be sure to change the water in the container each day. If you forget how long it has been stored check for slime or a rancid smell. These are signs that your Tofu has gone bad after storing. Tip: Put the storage date on your Tofu container.
- For a more meaty texture (and flavor absorption), freeze your Tofu! You can put the whole container in the freezer, then thaw it and cut it later. For extra information on freezing Tofu watch this video: This is Why You Should Freeze Your Tofu. (Frozen tofu absorbs marinades better as well! 5 DIY Tofu Marinades + Easy Vegan Meal Ideas!)
To Press or Not to Press?
If you like a thick meaty texture, press your Tofu. If you don’t mind not having a thick meaty texture, don’t press. Pressing your Tofu releases the excess water inside. The longer you press it, the more water you will get out! You can press your Tofu by buying a Tofu Press (affiliate link), or by putting your Tofu between two plates with a book on top. Leave your Tofu pressed for 20-30 minutes.
If you decide not to press your Tofu, you can make the excess water come out naturally by pan-frying in a non-stick pan with a small amount of oil or plant-based butter on medium to medium-high heat. Cook your Tofu for 5-8 minutes until it’s golden brown on each side. You can also top your Tofu with salt and seasonings while it’s cooking or add them once it’s done cooking. The longer your Tofu cooks, the better the texture will be on the outside. Once your Tofu is done, you can turn the stovetop off or cook it on low with some sauce to add some flavor.
You can also make crispy Tofu by cutting your Tofu into strips and tossing it in cornstarch with some salt and pepper, then pan-frying till golden brown in a little oil on medium-high heat. If you want to make crispy Tofu without oil, you can also bake it or air fry it! Check these out: 1. Crispy Baked Oil-Free Tofu Recipe | Two Ingredients! 2. Air Fried Tofu Recipe
Some Tofu Videos to Help You Get Started
Firm, Extra Firm, or Super Firm Tofu
- 6 Ways To Flavor & Cook Tofu
- 3 Tofu Recipes *very easy + tasty!
- How to Make Perfect Tofu Scramble
- How to Cook Tofu like MEAT or FISH
- Easy Vegan Tofu Recipes That Don’t Suck
- VEGAN LASAGNA with Spinach & Tofu “Ricotta Cheese” Recipe
Silken Tofu or Soft Tofu
Learn More About Tofu
Tofuture’s Tofu Press! I love this Tofu Press because it has everything you need to press your Tofu and it collects the excess water drained from your Tofu! It’s super easy to use and helps save space. 🙂
Recommend The #1 Ultimate Tofu Beginners Guide to a friend that needs to learn everything about Tofu! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this Ultimate Tofu Beginners Guide and I hope the recipes above help you make many tasty meals to come!
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