Tofu Tips Article -
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Tofu Tips

Versatile and easy to cook with, tofu takes on many roles and adapts well to the flavors of sauces and marinades.

Firm? Extra-Firm? or Silken?

Select the right tofu for the right dish:

Firm tofu is the most common form. Often found packaged in the dairy section, it absorbs marinades well and can be cubed and added to green salads. Seasoned and quickly pan-fried, tofu has a crispy exterior and soft creamy middle. It can also be frozen and then crumbled, giving it the texture of ground beef.

Extra firm tofu makes people say "Tastes like chicken." This tofu is often used as a meat substitute in Asian or vegetarian dishes. To make it even more firm, it can be pressed: wrap the block in paper towels and placing a weight (like a dinner plate with a soup can or two on top). Grilled or fried, it works well in pastas, sandwiches, and curries.

Silken tofu is equivalent to a thin custard, or heavy cream. It works wonderfully as a base for dips and spreads. Puréed and used as a dairy alternative, it easily mixes into soups, bakes up in tasty desserts, or scrambles like eggs.

Christine F 
May 7, 2010 11:09 pm
very usefull information I am new to using tofu.
Jun. 13, 2010 4:47 pm
i have never knew how muj you could work on tofu until i joined Allrecipes..!! thanx to you..My faily loves tofu & with all this different recipes,im glad we can save so muj dollar from buying tofu than meat..!!
Jul. 15, 2010 8:46 am
I too am new to using tofu , and love all the info you have on the subject. Please keep adding new ideas for using tofu.
Jul. 20, 2010 12:06 am
they need more tofu recipes on this site
Jul. 29, 2010 1:05 pm
if I change the water every day, how long does it keep in the fridge?
Aug. 4, 2010 10:58 am
For a different option when using yofu...use extra firm, slice it about 1/2 inch thick, stack with several layers of papertowel between the slices, put a heavy can on top. After 1-2 hrs it's absorbed a lot of the moisture. Remove the papertowels, put slices side by side in ziplock bag and freeze. Once completely frozen, just defrost, and use papertowels to hand press any additional moisture out....this is really a very easy process. Now you can use in almost any recipe and have a "meaty" rather than smooth texture. I used this in a Curry "Chicken" Salad, took a large bowl to work, everyone that it was chicken even after I told them all it was tofu...the texture was great and sold them all on it.
Sep. 23, 2010 11:37 am
I'm new to cooking with tofu as well, so these tips are really helpful!
Sep. 28, 2010 10:52 am
I am also new to cooking with tofu. Haven't tried cooking it yet. Kind of scared. :) I have extra firm tofu. I will look all through the recipes, but, any quick suggestions on your favorite tofu dishes?
Oct. 5, 2010 11:16 am
I'm new to tofu too..I can't wait to try some of these recipes! I am trying to cut more fat/red meat out of my diet so this is a big help!! Could you add flavoring like chicken or beef bullion and then freeze so the texture is more like meat?
Nov. 11, 2010 2:41 am
We have something, not made in Japan though, that is called Japanese Tofu. Where does that fit in?
Nov. 28, 2010 10:49 am
Thanks for the wide variety of recipes. Although I'm new to, I've been enjoying cooking for several years. Trying to get healthy. Working-out & eating correctly are the beginning. Will start using tofu to reduce meat content in diet.
Dec. 31, 2010 2:04 pm
Eat tofu, it is great for your skin, hair and helps naturally regulate estrogen levels in females. Be creative with tofu and you will fall in love with it! I also lost quite a bit of weight introducing tofu to my diet and not eating red meat.It will make you feel incredible!
Jan. 10, 2011 10:25 am
I love this site.. the recipes are so easy... I love to try different types of food. The BEST recipes on the Internet.
Jan. 10, 2011 9:42 pm
The way I cook tofu is by first slicing it about 1/2 inch thick and one inch squares, pressing out the moisture using paper towels, then dry-frying it on med-low heat. This gives it a great texture and soaks up any marinade beautifully!
Jan. 12, 2011 10:02 am
Our fav tofu recipe is baked in a lemon marinade. preheat oven to 400, cut cake of firm tofu horizontally into 4 slices. whisk 1/4 c lemon juice, 2 TBS soy sauce, 3 Tbs veggie oil (i usually use a little less), 1 Tbs minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried), 1/4 tsp black pepper. Pour 1/2 the marinade in the bottom of pan (use the smallest NONreactive baking pan that will hold tofu in a single layer (8" square is good), add tofu and top w/remaining marinade. Bake for 45-60 mins, turning after 30 mins. Tofu should be well browned, bubbling and curling up at edges. Baking tofu lets the flavor get all the way bland bites. Delish! (recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant)
Feb. 1, 2011 11:20 am
Drain your tofu in a mesh strainer, than place it in a plastic bag and freeze up to 6 mos, take out of freezer and let thaw on mesh strainer for a few hours. Takes time but the texture is AMAZING!! LOVE TOFU!!
Feb. 2, 2011 10:47 am
I am new to tofu but am very interested in health benefits. I love the tofu hints and recipes.
Mar. 5, 2011 10:27 pm
good tips on tofu-i'm getting really great results following some of the recipes,thanks!
Mar. 24, 2011 10:28 am
i love spicy and salty foods and like tofu because it is easy and inexpensive. i will only use organic though (you should do some research on that) which is very much less expensive than organic ground beef. sometimes i will scramble half soft tofu with half eggs and add cheese. when i am only cooking for me i like to chunk up extra firm tofu and heat it up with organic ex virg olive oil and then dump on some chili paste (Sambal Oelek--a jar in the Thai food section)because i LOVE spicy. i top it with liquid amino acids (natural soy sauce bad additives and it's good for you and super yummy). it's not fancy. not difficult. not expensive. not unhealthy. not beautiful. but it is soooo yummmy!!!!! probably not for kids. to me its a satisfying as a whopper with a he** of a lot better after-feelings. hahaha. no guilt, baybeeee!
May 2, 2011 9:13 pm
I don't know why but I picked up some garlic an herb tofu. Any suggestions. I have never cooked tofu before.
Jun. 30, 2011 6:55 pm
My friend really got me into tofu and her trick is to use a tofu press and it makes it so much easier to cook. It tastes more like a solid filling meal rather then watery like it can sometime be. Thanks for all the yummy new recipes to try!
Aug. 8, 2011 3:38 pm
For stretching scrambled egg servings, add mashed firm tofu to beaten eggs. If you want to add more colour to the eggs, add a mere dash of turmeric to the egg-tofu mixture before cooking Scramble as usual.
Oct. 16, 2011 6:10 pm
Thank you for this website. My vegan daughter, who is a wonderful cook, is coming for Thanksgiving...The hints here are so helpful! I learned a lot!
Oct. 17, 2011 1:18 pm
Look for the 'sprouted grain' tofu. It's really amazing.
Oct. 18, 2011 3:12 am
I want to try tofu because I am having a hard time digesting BEEF. I need protein in my diet as I've had gastric bypass and need to eat protein first. I think the tips are wonderful. Thank to everyone who has submitted them. GMA Tina :)
Oct. 18, 2011 7:00 am
You should look for non-GMO soybean/tofu....just my opinion.
Oct. 18, 2011 11:25 am
Some may not realize that you can make your own tofu using cheeze cloth to strain the soybeans after putting it through a food processor or vitamix. Or you can purchase a soybean machine to do all the work for you. You can age tofu with wine or create soy based cheeze. Likewise, you can create your own soy sauce by aging it. The possibilities are endless. It is extremely beneficial and as a cultured food, it can become a healthy alternative to any smoothies to meals. You can use it to create dishes exactly the way you want it.
Oct. 18, 2011 7:55 pm
One user mentioned cutting the tofu into thin slices and using paper towels and a can on top to drain tofu. Its a MUCH simpler process than that. You dont have to cut it. You can leave it whole in between two plates and sit something about 3lbs on top (bowl of water, bag of sugar or flour etc) and it doesn't take hours, it only takes like 30 min. Once the water surrounds it on the plate, just pour it off and cook it. You can also cut the tofu how you wanna eat it, and then freeze it before you cook it (don't thaw) and it will give it a more firm texture. You can marinate it, bake it, bread it and fry it. If you're new to tofu and other meatless products, try out Seitan! It's wheat protein, super versatile! I have a Seitan Stroganoff recipe on here, and there are others, but its my new fave.
Oct. 19, 2011 8:25 am
Being the only vegan in my family of 6 carnivores :) I love to add tofu to the dinner table. "Yes, the sweet and sour tofu is more healthy than your chicken. Yes, I used the same BBQ sauce on my grilled tofu. Yes, Tofurkey is delicious!! Yes, you may have some!!" :)
Oct. 19, 2011 9:39 am
I LOVE TOFU! A tofu press makes preparing the tofu a breeze. Tofu is so easy to cook, and you don't have to worry about food poisoning like you do with chicken, beef & pork meat. In fact, a good quality firm tofu can be eaten "raw" (it tastes a little bit nutty). When I was introducing solid foods to my kids at their chewing stage, I would cut raw tofu into "sticks" along with "sticks" of boiled yams - they loved it.
Oct. 22, 2011 12:21 am
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Oct. 23, 2011 10:25 pm
Drain then freeze the tofu. It'll turn a light yellow color and have a much more firm and hardy texture when it's defrosted and pressed.
Jan. 19, 2012 9:37 am
we need more tofu receiprs
Feb. 3, 2012 10:51 am
I have recently started cooking with tofu and have found it less than appetizing. I will try again using some of the tips, hopefully I can get it right. How do you remove the nasty aftertaste?
Apr. 30, 2012 7:56 pm
When you say "meat" this does not include poultry, yes? Tofu here is three dollars per pound, chicken is ninety-nine cents per pound, sometimes less. I never eat beef and pork when on sale.
Aug. 5, 2012 8:55 pm
Whenever a recipie says to fry or sautee the tofu. Cube it and bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes. It will be perfect, without all the added fat. It absorbs oil when fried and falls apart a little. I do this with all my tofu. You can even marinade it before you bake it. Then just throw it in to whatever you're cooking! Works beautifully!!!
Sep. 28, 2012 5:12 pm
What's the best way to season tofu?
Jul. 2, 2013 7:12 am
This really helps Tofu-Newbies like myself ?? Thanks!
May 16, 2014 2:01 pm
Can someone tell me the difference between tofu and tempeh? I have looked all over my small town and cannot find tempeh? can I substitute? THANKS
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