Are you one of the many people who have tried cooking with tofu, found it to be a tasteless sponge-like blob that tasted of actual sadness and tossed it into the bin?
You’re not alone!
Don’t give up on tofu though – it can actually taste good, trust us. Scrap that – tofu can taste amazing.
We’re going to show you how.
Press the tofu
Some brands of tofu, such as Tofoo, are ready-pressed. If you’re a complete beginner at tofu, this is probably the tofu for you, so just remember the words of wisdom in this post for the future.
Other brands, however, come in waterlogged packets, making the watery tofu even more watery. This is where tofu beginners sometimes get unstuck. They cook watery tofu and wonder why it’s soggy. Water makes things soggy, it’s just plain old science.
To get rid of the water, you need to press the tofu.
There are two ways of doing this:
- put the tofu on a plate, then pile a load of heavy stuff on top of it; or
- use a tofu press, such as this one from Tofuture.
We recommend buying a tofu press as opposed to the weighing tofu down with heavy stuff method, as the latter technique can lead to breakages, which probably isn’t what you want to happen. You probably especially don’t want this to happen if you’ve just re-tiled the kitchen in your new London home (yes, we talk from experience here!)
Pressing the tofu not only makes the tofu less soggy, but it makes it firmer, giving it a nicer texture and better able to absorb flavour.
Pressed tofu soaks up marinade and crisps up beautifully, just like the tofu you get in your favourite Chinese restaurant.
Tofu on its own is bland. This doesn’t make tofu a bad thing – on the contrary, it makes it the perfect vehicle to carry all your favourite marinades such as black bean, hoisin or teriyaki sauce.
You don’t even have to marinate it in a traditional Chinese marinade – brush bbq sauce over slices of tofu and serve them along with veggie burgers and sausages at your vegetarian bbq.
Another popular use for tofu is tofish. After pressing the tofu, marinate it in olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning, wrap it in nori, coat it in batter, then deep fry for a few minutes for the fishiest-tasting vegan fish you’ve ever had.
If deep-frying isn’t your thing but you love a healthy stir-fry, simply coat cubes of tofu in cornflour, then fry in a little oil for a few minutes until the tofu is crispy little cubes of perfection.
Set the crispy tofu to one side while you make the rest of your stir-fry and add the tofu back at the end to heat through (if there’s any left – we are willing to bet you can’t resist nibbling the tofu cubes while the rest of your stir-fry is cooking).
That’s how easy it is to make tofu taste good. If you follow the simple instructions above, you’ll soon be a tofu convert.