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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.
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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.

Tofu Cooking Tips

The most notable thing about the taste of tofu is that it doesn’t have any particular taste. Instead, it takes on the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with. Here are some ways you can use tofu in your favorite recipes and with your favorite foods:

  • Marinate slices of tofu and bake, grill or broil it.
  • Use diced tofu in soups, stews, casseroles, and chili.
  • Pan-fry slices or strips of tofu. You can coat the tofu pieces in cornstarch and brown them with a little canola oil in a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat.
  • Silken tofu adds creaminess when blended in with salad dressings and creamy sauces, puddings, cream soups, cheese fillings, and more. One package of silken tofu is equal to 1 1/2 cups pureed tofu.
  • Tofu can add volume to scrambled eggs or egg salad when used half-and-half with real eggs.
  • Soft tofu can work as a meat extender when added to ground sirloin or ground turkey to make meatballs, meatloaf, or meat filling.
  • Silken tofu is enjoyed in the raw in Japanese cuisine, topped with soy sauce or another flavorful sauce. Many in the West prefer it cooked unless it’s being pureed into something.
  • Tofu can replace half of the fat ingredient called for in cake recipes without compromising flavor and texture, according to a study that tested a 25% to 75% substitution of silken tofu for fat in shortened cakes (cakes that contain fat and a high ratio of eggs to flour).
  • Previously frozen tofu works well as a meat replacement for chicken, pork, and beef in all sorts of recipes, from stews and stroganoff to fried rice and tacos.
  • To use less oil when stir-frying or pan-frying tofu, and use a quality nonstick wok, skillet or frying pan. You'll need a lot less oil to keep the tofu from sticking to the pan.

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