How to Cook Tofu

Posted · 18th August 2017
Organic Tofu by Cauldron Foods
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Cooking with Tofu

When preparing dishes with tofu for the very first time, some people are unsure where to begin. The good news is – once you know how – cooking with our Organic Original Tofu couldn’t be simpler, and it opens the door to a whole world of exciting dishes and recipes. Here’s our starter guide to cooking tasty tofu!

prepping tofu

How to Prepare Tofu

Drain

Preparing tofu is easy. Carefully open the packet with a sharp knife and gently lift the tofu out of its water bath. Pour the water down the sink.

Press

Wrap the block of tofu in several layers of kitchen roll and place between two plates or chopping boards. Weigh the top plate down with some tins or books. Leave for around 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the firmness you need for your recipe – the longer you press it for, the firmer the texture will be. Pressing the water out creates air pockets, which are great for absorbing flavours. When ready, unwrap the tofu.

tofu block cut into pieces

Slice

Cut your tofu according to your recipe. You can slice it however you like, from small, bite-sized cubes or triangles to wide, thin slices.

Flavour

This step is optional. Tofu is very light on flavour, but its texture allows it to absorb flavours from marinades and sauces. Simply marinate your tofu pieces for at least 30 minutes before cooking, or ideally overnight. (Hold onto the marinade afterwards – you can always use it in the recipe, or marinate more tofu with it.)

We also recommend seasoning your tofu with salt, pepper or other spices before cooking to add a little extra flavour. If you’d prefer something quicker or slightly more convenient, our Marinated Tofu Pieces and our Sweet Ginger Tofu are pre-flavoured options that are ready to cook with.

Best Way to Cook Tofu

Depending on the recipe, there are many ways to cook tofu. Here are some of our favourite methods.

tofu pan-fried to add crispy texture

Pan-fry

In a non-stick pan, heat a little oil on a medium-high heat. Gently spread the oil to cover the surface of the pan and add the pieces to sizzle and get your tofu cooking. Leave for a few minutes until the sides are golden, then turn over and leave to fry for a few more minutes. Once all sides are golden brown, remove from the pan and place them on paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Bake

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line an oven tray with baking paper. Cook until golden brown – the cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your pieces, as a general rule, the thicker the slices, the longer the cooking time. 2cm x 10cm pieces would take around 20 minutes, for example – smaller slices would take less time. You could also try rolling your tofu pieces in flour beforehand for a slightly crispier texture.

tofu deep-fried for crispy texture

Deep-fry

Pour a thick layer of oil in a deep frying pan or a wok. Roll your tofu pieces in flour, sesame seeds, bread crumbs or coating of your choice. When the oil is heated to between 180°C and 200°C, gently place your tofu pieces in the pan.

They will need space to cook correctly – you may need to fry them in several batches. Once the tofu is golden, remove from the pan and lay on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Chargrill

Prepare a chargrill pan with oil and preheat to a medium/high setting. Chargrill the tofu pieces for 2-3 minutes each side. This will give your tofu a deliciously rich, smoky flavour.

If serving cold as part of a salad or grain bowl, you don’t even need to cook your tofu at all – simply cut into bite-size chunks and cover with your choice of dressing. Don’t forget – there are loads of other ways of cooking tofu you might not have considered, such as scrambled tofu, tofu burgers or blitzed tofu, used to form the base of delicious soups, smoothies and desserts.

Storing Tofu

Keep tofu in your refrigerator and use before the ‘best before’ date has passed. Once a pack of tofu has been opened, simply place inside a plastic container, cover with cold water and store inside your fridge. If the water is changed daily, the tofu will last up to 3 days after opening.

Storing in water helps keep your tofu fresh and stops flavour contamination from nearby foods. Keeping the tofu away from air also helps prevent oxidation, discolouration and protein degradation.

We don’t normally recommend freezing tofu as this will alter the texture. However, if changing the texture is your goal, we have some additional tips on how to freeze tofu.

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