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Tofu Recipes and Cooking Tips

New to tofu? Here's everything you need to know to prepare and enjoy this versatile food.

What Kind of Tofu Should I Buy? continued...

Basically, you want to buy the extra firm or firm tofu if you want the tofu to hold its shape – if you plan to marinate and broil or bake your tofu in slices, or if you are dicing and stir-frying it. If you're blending the tofu with other ingredients to make a smoothie, creamy filling, or spread, or you're using it as a fat replacement in batter or a ground meat dish, you'll want to use the softer or silken tofu.

Here's a primer on the various types of tofu:

  • Silken. Use this as a creamy, thickening ingredient in smoothies, soups, pasta dishes, dressings and sauces, or as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in some recipes. You'll need a blender or food processor.        
  • Soft. This is halfway between "silken" and "firm" tofu. Crumble it and use in recipes as an extender or substitute for scrambled eggs, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese.
  • Firm or Extra-Firm. This type of tofu holds its shape well. It's great for grilling, baking, sauteing or stir-frying.

Tips for Storing Tofu

Once you bring tofu home from the store, keep the unopened tub in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. If you have some left in the tub after you open the package, it will keep for about 5 days. But there’s a catch: It’s best to store it in a sealed glass or plastic container with a few inches of water.

Trust me: You'll want to use it within a day or two, because you need to change the water in the container every day. If you don’t, well, let’s just say it’s probably one of the worst-smelling items you’ll ever pull out of your refrigerator.

Freezing tofu is also an option. Some people freeze tofu on purpose because once it’s thawed, it has a more porous texture. Some liken this texture to a fish or chicken fillet.

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