WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE OR HATE TOFU?
Many people, despite their attempts to make tofu, hate it. Generally, tofu haters don't know how to prepare it properly. At the beginning of my plant-based journey, I, too, was a tofu hater. In fact, I distinctly remember the first tofu experience. I ordered tofu at an Asian restaurant instead of meat in my dish, and it was soft and tasteless. I remember picking it out of my veggies like a little kid and making a sour disappointed face.
Then, there is always the debate amongst plant-based eaters and professionals. Years ago, claims of soy causing cancers and hormonal issues in men created a debate about if we should even consume tofu at all.
Of course, the opposing side says it helps prevent cancers and is a valuable source of protein. And, the "myth" about men needing to avoid eating tofu is simply untrue.
HOW TO KNOW WHAT TOFU TO BUY FOR WHAT RECIPE...
Since then, of course, I have learned a thing or two. First and foremost, the type of tofu you buy is critical. For instance, soft tofu is used for dressing, dips, and sauces.
On the other hand, extra-firm tofu is made for entrees and can be baked, air-fried, grilled, or sauteed. As a general rule, I always buy the firmest tofu I can find.
Additionally, sprouted tofu is the firmest tofu, and it does not require pressing. This one is my favorite, simply because I don't have to press it. I use a paper towel to dry it off, and it's ready to go.
THIS IS UNPRESSED TOFU; IT IS FULL OF WATER AND NEEDS PRESSING
For years I avoided eating tofu. Every time I made tofu, I ended up moving it to the side of the plate because it was either fried or mushy. Most restaurants fry it, which doesn't interest me, and those who bake and grill it seemed to have the same issues I did; soft tasteless tofu.
Then, I figured it out with the help of my EZ Tofu Press. I bought it on Amazon, and in the beginning, I made the same mistakes. I didn't follow the directions ( a problem I have, haha); I was in a hurry as I usually am, and I got the same results....tasteless tofu I didn't like.
I have many friends who share the same frustration, and although I have posted recipes with similar instructions, this post is literally all about the proper pressing and cooking, so you can enjoy tofu as much as I do.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU
First, carefully remove the tofu from the package, discarding the fluid from the package.
Then, place the tofu in the middle of the press and turn both knobs equally about four turns. I usually place the tofu press in the sink on its side, but I placed it on a plate to drain for this visual post.
- Turn the knobs every two minutes, equally until you have the result (the last picture).
- Most people stop here...NOT YET. Keep turning until the knobs are screwed as far as they can almost to touch the end like this:
- Although I have never tried this, I decided this time; I would measure the amount of water I got from the bottom of the plate at the end.
- The amount was 3/4 cup fluid.
- Now, remove the press from the plate, and I give it another press with some paper towel for excess fluid removal.
But, first, you need to marinate it. Yes, you removed the fluids so that you can add fluids back in. Although this sounds crazy, it's correct.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE TOFU MARINADES
1/2 cup Tamari (vegan soy sauce)
1/4 rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sriracha
WHATEVER MARINADE RECIPE YOU CHOOSE...
- Mix all ingredients and pour half the marinade into a large deep container so that you can make a single row of tofu on the bottom.
- Place a single layer of tofu on the marinade, and then pour the remaining marinade on top of the tofu.
- Seal and place in a refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the grill to low
- Place a grill mat on the grill (you can also use a grill pan, or if you are careful, you can place the tofu directly on the grill.
- Cook for about 8 minutes on each side
- Remove from the grill and place back in the marinade until ready to use.
- Then, cut it into strips or cubes.
BAKING TOFU IS JUST AS EASY
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees
- Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.
If you want to give tofu a try, I think you will love how versatile it is! Once you prepare it right, I think you will love it. Try some of these recipes:
- Maple & Stone Ground Mustard Tofu Harvest Bowl
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Skinny Vietnamese Bahn Mi Sandwich with Seared Sriracha Tofu
- Vegan Spicy Thai Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
- “Everything” Tofu
- Broccoli Curry Crunch Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂