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Tofu in Recipes: What Is It Used For?

Tofu has become a popular ingredient in various recipes and cuisines around the world. From Vegetarian and Asian dishes to even desserts, tofu has been used in a variety of dishes. But have you ever wondered what exactly tofu is and why it’s used in these recipes? This article will explain what tofu is and discuss its use in various recipes.

1. What Is Tofu and What Is It Used For in Recipes?

Tofu Recipes
Simply Recipes

Tofu is a plant-based food of Asian origin, made from soybeans that have been ground and pressed into a cake-like material. It is most commonly identified as a vegan or vegetarian source of protein and has become increasingly popular in recent times due to its convenience and versatility.

How to Use Tofu in Cooking

Tofu is an exceptional ingredient for vegan and vegetarian meals, as it can take on numerous flavours and ingredients. It is most commonly used as an ingredient in soups, salads, stir-fries, casseroles, curries, and more. Here are some ways it can be used:

  • Fried Tofu – cubes or slices of tofu marinated and lightly fried.
  • Stir-Fried Tofu – cubed tofu stir-fried with vegetables.
  • Tofu Salad – marinated tofu cubes tossed in salads.
  • Grilled Tofu – slices or cubes that are lightly grilled.
  • Tofu Burgers – mashed tofu with spices and vegetables made into a patty.

What Does Tofu Taste Like?

Tofu is flavourless and takes on the taste of other ingredients it is cooked with. The texture can be creamy inside with a slight crunch on the outside when fried. It is a great protein-rich base to a variety of dishes.

How to Choose Tofu

Tofu is available in many forms and can be found in most grocery stores. You can buy it in blocks, tubs or pouches. It is important to read the label and choose organic, non-GMO, and whole-grain varieties. You should also consider the type of tofu:

  • Firm Tofu – sturdier and has a top ‘slice’.
  • Medium Tofu – more porous and softer than firm.
  • Silken or Soft Tofu – extra soft and can easily fall apart.

2. How to Prepare Tofu for Cooking

Tofu Recipes
Kitchen Stories

Tofu is an incredibly versatile food and is a great ingredient to keep stocked in your pantry. Preparing tofu before you cook with it can be a little intimidating at first, but once you understand the basics, you’ll be shocked by how easy it really is. Here are a few key steps to help you prepare tofu for cooking:

  • Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain any excess liquid. Place it on a few layers of paper towels and gently press out any remaining moisture.
  • Cut the tofu into cubes, slices, or any other shape to suit your needs.
  • If you want to avoid a soggy texture while cooking, you can lightly fry the tofu in a pan before adding it to the dish.

Another way to prep the tofu is to coat it with a marinade before cooking. Start by creating a simple marinade of garlic, soy sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. Then, place the tofu in the marinade, and let it sit for at least ten minutes, so the flavors can mix and soak into the tofu. When it’s done marinating, drain off the extra sauce and cook the tofu as desired.

Tofu also tastes fantastic when it’s baked. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F or 175°C. Cut the tofu into cubes, slices, or any other shape you like. Place the pieces on an oil-sprayed baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn them about every 10 minutes to avoid them sticking to the pan. When the tofu is done, it should be crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

3. Tofu Recipes for Beginners

Tofu Recipes
Vegan, What?

Lemony Tofu

This is one of the easiest recipes you can make with tofu. All you need is a block of tofu, some lemons, olive oil, and some seasoning for your taste. Start by pressing the tofu to remove excess water, then cut it into cubes. In a bowl, mix together olive oil and some lemon juice for a delicious marinade. Toss the cubes in this mix, and add your favorite seasonings. Spread onto an oven-safe tray, and cook on high heat for about 20 minutes. Serve hot with cooked rice and a side of vegetables.

Tofu Kebabs

This delicious recipe is perfect for outdoor grilling. Wash and press the tofu, then cut into cubes. Arrange the pieces onto kebab skewers, alternating with your favorite vegetables. In a bowl, mix olive oil and your favorite seasoning. Brush the oil mix onto the skewers, then throw onto a hot grill. Grill for about 15 minutes on both sides, brushing the oil mix onto the skewers every few minutes. Serve hot with your favorite dip and some cooked rice.

Teriyaki Tofu Bowl

This teriyaki tofu bowl is a delicious and easy-to-make dinner option. Start by marinating the tofu cubes in a mix of soy sauce, sake, honey, and some ginger. Fry the cubes until lightly brown, then set aside. In another pan, cook some vegetables of your choice in some oil. In a separate bowl, mix together some cooked quinoa, cooked brown rice, and cooked black beans. Assemble the bowl by adding the fried tofu cubes and some cooked vegetables. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce, add your favorite toppings, and your teriyaki tofu bowl is ready. Enjoy!

Tofu Recipes
Organic Authority

1. Fried Tofu Tofu is sometimes referred to as bean curd and is made from condensed soy milk. Fried tofu is a popular way to enjoy this versatile food. To do this, you’ll need to press the tofu to remove any extra moisture. Cut it into cubes or slices, then dredge it in flour or batter and place it in a hot pan with oil until it turns golden brown. Serve with any side dish of your choosing for a delicious meal.

2. Grilled Tofu Another popular way to cook tofu is to grill it. Simply press the tofu to remove any excess moisture, then, cube or slice it and stick it on skewers with any other vegetables. Grill it over medium-high heat, flipping often, until it’s golden brown and slightly charred. This method is incredibly simple yet very tasty.

3. Baked Tofu Baked tofu makes for a flavorful and healthy entree. Press the tofu to remove any extra moisture, then mix it with any marinade or spices of your choice. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy with a side dish of your choice for a filling meal.

4. Stir-Fried Tofu Stir-frying is a great way to cook tofu quickly. Press your tofu to remove any extra moisture, cube or slice it, then add it to a hot pan with oil and any vegetables or other ingredients of your choice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, flipping often, until the tofu is crispy and golden brown.

5. Benefits of Eating Tofu

  • Source of Protein – Tofu is a great source of vegetarian protein, making it a great alternative to traditional sources like meat. It is low in fat and calories and has lots of essential minerals and nutrients.
  • Benefits of Soy – Tofu is made of soy, which has many health benefits. Soy can aid in a variety of heart health benefits, as well as the prevention of certain cancers and other conditions linked to estrogen levels.
  • Nutrient Dense – Tofu is a nutrient-dense food, which means it packs lots of essential minerals and vitamins for very few calories. Essential minerals like copper, zinc, and iron, as well as vitamins A, B, and K, are all found in tofu.
  • Versatility – Tofu can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to soups to smoothies. The varieties of tofu like silken, soft, and firm also give more options when creating recipes.
  • Low Cholesterol – Tofu is much lower in cholesterol than other sources of protein and low fat. This makes it a great alternative for those wanting to lower their cholesterol levels but not sacrifice their protein intake.


So, the next time you’re drawing a blank on what to make for dinner, consider the versatile possibilities that tofu offers! With its mild flavor, versatility, and endless meal possibilities, tofu can help you add some delicious diversity to your next meal.

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