I’ve made a lot of mediocre and sub-par tofu in the past, and I’m finally getting happy with how my tofu is turning out now. I’m very happy to share with you a few tips that you can do to make your tofu taste better 🙂 You can choose to watch/ listen to this article on YouTube if you prefer:
In this recipe I use extra-firm tofu, but firm tofu should work too. Regular tofu might work okay, but soft tofu and silken tofu shouldn’t be used for this purpose.
Step 1: Freeze your tofu.
When you first buy your tofu, put it straight into the freezer, and wait until it’s fully frozen before you use it. It will turn a darker yellow colour as it freezes. Careful when opening the package to not slip/ cut yourself. The benefit of freezing tofu ahead of time is that if it’s frozen first, it seems to me to be easier to squeeze out the water from the tofu than if you were to just try squeezing it straight out of the package.
Step 2: Thaw your tofu.
Since our tofu is frozen, we’ll need to thaw it. Here’s what I do: bring some water in a pot to boil, and add the frozen tofu. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let the tofu sit like this for ten minutes. In ten minutes, flip the tofu, and let it sit for another ten minutes with the lid closed again. After this, remove your tofu, and let it rest on a paper towel on a plate.
Step 3: Squeeze your tofu.
Let the tofu cool down while wrapped in paper towels. After this, you can use either a tofu press or paper towels, and squeeze out as much of the water out of the tofu as you can, being careful to not break apart the tofu. You want to squeeze the water out of the tofu so it can absorb all of the flavour we give it.
Step 4: Slice your tofu.
Cut your tofu into whatever size you’d like: cubes, slices, chunks, depending on what you’re making. I often see cubes used, but I also find that long thin slices work great too.
Step 5: Marinate your tofu.
Make a marinate of sauces/ herbs/ spices, and let your tofu sit in this. I try to do at least 20 minutes, but overnight should be fine if you’re cooking ahead of time too. A nice recipe I’ve tried for marinade is ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce, ¼ cup maple syrup, 3 tsp sesame seeds, and 2 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cumin, 1.5 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp cinnamon.
Step 6: Cook your tofu.
I use a tablespoon of oil on a heated pan so that the tofu doesn’t stick to the pan. Add your marinated tofu to the heated/ oiled pan (keeping the extra marinade aside). Then, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip after this time is up, and cook for another 3 minutes on the opposite side. If your tofu is cut into cubes instead of slices, you may want to cook on other sides to have them cook evenly too. Remove your tofu from the pan when it’s cooked, and you can pour the left-over marinade over it.
Have this over some rice, with some potato wedges, with a chili, a salad, or however you like 🙂 Enjoy!