Tofu Recipes and Cooking Tips
New to tofu? Here's everything you need to know to prepare and enjoy this versatile food.
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
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
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
- 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.