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Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a nutritious food made of soy beans. It provides an ideal alternative to those who only consume plant-based food products. Despite originating in China over 2000 years ago, specifically these days tofu has widely spread to all corners of the world. Due to its high protein percentage, it has become a favourite addition to specific vegetarian and vegan diets.

Today, Hana’s Recipes will show you different ways how to prepare tofu and what tofu meals may be cooked containing this delicious cheese alternative. Our food blog also recommends reading about healthy meal prepping, where not only tofu meals but also other tasteful delicates stand out to make your week well balanced.

How to prepare tofu correctly and effectively

It does not eventually matter what tofu meals are being specifically made. There are several basic steps that you should not skip while making tofu to achieve the desired texture and taste:

  1. Draining and pressing the tofu block: Most commonly, tofu that you buy in stores comes with water in the package. Therefore, no matter what tofu meals you are preparing, make sure that the cheese is well drained and pressed enough to remove excessive moisture inside. It is beneficial to place the tofu block on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and then cover with another layer of towels. You can also put a weight on the covered tofu block. Leave it like this for 15-30 minutes, even longer if you have enough time to ensure that all the tofu moisture is gone.
  2. Cutting / Crumbling the tofu block: Once the tofu block was drained and pressed enough, you decide in what form you would like to have your tofu prepared. The best way is either to cut it into cubes or slices or to crumble. It primarily depends on your personal preference, in some cases even on the type of tofu meals.
  3. Marinating and seasoning the tofu: Another important step that cannot be missed to achieve not only healthy but also flavourful tofu meals. Since tofu has a neutral taste, marinating and seasoning is truly needed. The most common marinade includes the combination of ingredients such as the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar and obviously spices (depending on your preferences). However, you should not omit salt, pepper and different herbs to achieve the right tofu flavour and aroma at the end.
  4. Cooking the marinated / seasoned tofu: There are several ways how to cook prepared tofu, again mostly depending on what you personally prefer and sometimes what you are making:
  • Pan frying: Prepare the pan to pour and heat the oil over medium power. Add tofu and cook until it becomes golden brown from all sides. Flip tofu occasionally too.
  • Baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C. Put tofu on a baking sheet lined with the parchment paper. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, flip halfway through and wait until it gets golden brown again and crispy.
  • Grilling: At first, brush tofu with the oil. After that, move right onto grilling over medium-high power for a few minutes. Grill on both sides until typical grill marks occur and tofu is heated through.
  • Stir-frying: One of the most common cooking ways regarding tofu. This method is suitable when combining tofu and vegetables. Simply add marinated tofu to a wok with vegetables of your choice. Stir-fry until all food items are cooked through.
  • Boiling / Steaming: This alternative is not commonly used, however while cooking, there should be an awareness of tofu being potentially added directly into soups or gently simmered in a tasteful broth. See the chicken soup recipe from Hana’s Recipes and add tofu into it for more aroma and flavour.

Different tofu meals. Photo - Freepik
Different tofu meals. Photo – Freepik

How you then incorporate freshly made tofu is completely up to you. You can serve it with fries, rice, for curries as well as salads. For more inspiration, continue reading about 5 most delicious tofu meals Hana’s Recipes prepared for you:

  1. Tofu Pad Thai: One of the most frequently eaten Thai dishes. It typically features stir-fried rice noodles, tofu in this case, bean sprouts, green onions and peanuts. All the ingredients are poured well into the sauce, traditionally made of tamarind, soy sauce and lime juice. Such a meal that is both vegan and gluten-free perfectly comforts those who have certain dietary limitations.
  2. General Tso’s tofu: This tofu meal has been inspired by popular Chinese takeout. It consists of crispy tofu cubes mixed in a sweet and spicy sauce typically from soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Most commonly, you see this dish being served with steamed rice and accompanied with green onions and sesame seeds.
  3. Tofu Tikka Masala: This particular tofu meal has been inspired by the classic Indian dish. The alternative version includes marinated tofu in a creamy, tomato-based sauce that is seasoned with a combination of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala. Similarly to the previous case, we often notice the dish being served with rice or the bread for dipping.
  4. Korean BBQ tofu bowls: Such bowls typically feature grilled or baked tofu that is marinated in a sweet and savoury Korean BBQ sauce. Once again, we may use rice as a side dish and accompany this tofu meal with fresh and pickled vegetables, including cucumber, carrots or kimchi. Sesame seeds and green onions on top add extra flavour and texture to the meal as well.
  5. Tofu Bahn Mi sandwiches: Particularly inspired by Vietnamese cuisine. Crusty baguettes contain marinated, grilled tofu slices that are layered with pickled vegetables, fresh cilantro, jalapeños and either vegan mayonnaise or Sriracha sauce.

Hopefully, our food blog managed to bring you new ideas where to utilise tofu cheese as well as the right guidance how to correctly make it tasty and aromatic. Good luck with the overall preparation and do not hesitate to experiment and adjust the recipes to your own needs!

Videorecipe displaying one of the tofu meals above

FAQ: Can tofu be used in desserts?

Although we have not mentioned it earlier, tofu cheese is suitable for desserts too, mainly thanks to its neutral flavour. Even without dairy, it manages to create creamy textures that are much needed in case of cakes and other sweet options. Tofu is most commonly blended with sweeteners and flavourings to make, for instance, puddings, mousses, cheesecakes and even smoothies.


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