Tofu haters stick around. This recipe for the best tofu is guaranteed to make a lover out of you.
It took me a long time to get on the tofu train. Mashed soy bean curd? Sure, thanks, I’ll have it on the side of my wheatgrass smoothie. NOT. Pretty much anything new can be scary, and tofu was no different. No one wants to feel like a fool messing up dinner because you just didn’t know what you were doing. And no one wants to eat wheatgrass, for real. You’re about to learn what you need to know to not only rock some tofu, but rock it good.
Let’s go to school:
You have to drain the water. Not just from the box, but also from the block of actual tofu. To do this you can use a tofu press (<- affiliate link), or go the cheap-o method like me. Slice it in half (like a book). Place a few paper towels on a plate or cutting board, place one of the tofu slabs on top, top with a couple more paper towels, the other tofu slab, and a few more paper towels. Then place something heavy on top to squeeze out all the water. I put the big jar of sugar that sits on my kitchen counter inside a large skillet and set it on top. Let this situation be for 30-60 minutes. If you’re in a rush you can get away with 10-30 minutes. I usually do 30 minutes, I’m just letting you know this is a flexible scenario, you’re doing great, and I think you’re really attractive. Let’s keep going.
Next you have to marinate the tofu. The water you just squeezed out is what makes it taste kind of gross. Now that it’s gone, your tofu is free to soak up all sorts of flavor! I’ve included my favorite marinade below, or you can find another to change up the flavor for different purposes.
Tofu is safe to eat raw, but the texture improves greatly with frying, so cook it to desired crispiness without worrying about getting to a safe temperature. Woo hoo!
See, tofu isn’t as crazy as you may have thought. My kids will even eat it from time to time. It helps if you tell them it’s cheese.
Here are a few ideas to customize this tofu and make it your own!
- Add more sriracha to the marinade or drizzle it on when serving for extra heat
- Serve with brown rice and oven roasted broccoli for a healthy, balanced meal
- Serve with Mai Fun noodles and finely shredded carrots, radishes, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and chopped peanuts
- After marinating toss with cornstarch for lots of crunch
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds before serving
This tofu recipe is gluten free and vegan! Just make sure you use tamari instead of soy sauce and check your spices for gluten contamination. Now that you have the best tofu recipe be sure to tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram or Facebook if you make it so I can give you a virtual pat on the back!
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If you're scared to try tofu, you have to try my favorite tofu recipe!
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu drained, pressed, and sliced into about 24 squares
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
In a medium bowl, combine tofu, tamari, lemon juice, maple syrup, sriracha, and garlic powder, stirring gently to coat. Let marinate 15-20 minutes, stirring gently once or twice.
Heat coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add tofu and fry 2-3 minutes per side until crisp and golden. Add any leftover marinade to the pan and cook, stirring, one minute more.
Remove tofu from the pan and serve as desired.