How to Prepare and Use Tofu
I realize some of you are new to eating vegetarian, vegan or cooking with tofu. I had a blogger comment that they don’t know how to use tofu so I thought I’d share how I prepare tofu to be used in various ways.
Tofu can be purchased two ways.
One, is in the refrigerated section of the fresh produce section in tubs that look like the following:
Second, to purchase tofu in aseptic containers in the store. You may have to ask because each store seems to keep them in different areas. The aseptic containers look like this:
Now what do you do with the container and the tofu?
REFRIGERATED TUBS: use a sharp knife to open the plastic, the tofu brick will be in water. Drain off the water and even rinse it if you like. Then remove the tofu from its package. I buy all brands of refrigerated tub tofu. I like Wildwood when I can find it . Refrigerated tofu tubs come in soft, firm and extra soft. I prefer firm and extra firm.
Next, I place the refrigerated tofu on a hard surface with napkins or preferably a tea towel under it and on top of it and place something heavy on top of it for 5 minutes to drain the liquid out of the tofu. This is called Pressing the Tofu. This allows the water to escape from the tofu and allows it to take up the flavors, liquids, seasonings that you will add to it in your recipe or marinate it in. I prefer to put a large kettle instead of a plate on top.
Once you have gotten the liquid out of the brick of tofu, you can then slice it, scramble or mince it, dice it or place slices in a marinade. Of course you can add it to recipes for loafs, smoothies….the sky is the limit. Diced will look like below. I also provide a recipe for marinade below the picture. You can also slice the tofu into long strips and place in the marinade…cubed or strips. I would marinade a few hours or overnight and then bake or grill at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Maple Balsamic Tofu Marinade Recipe
Makes approx 3/4 cup. Ingredients: 1/2 cup water, 3 Tablespoons shoyu or gluten free tamari, 2 Tablespoons oil or coconut oil, 1 Tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tsp garlic, pinch cayenne pepper. Mix all and add tofu. Let marinade 2 hours to overnight then bake cubes or strips at 375 for 15- 20 minutes.
If you scramble the brick of tofu it will look like the picture below. You can use a ricing utensil as shown, or a potato masher. I like to use a pastry blender or a large fork and smash and blend. It will then be ready to fry with other ingredients for recipes in eggless scrambles or to be used in making eggless salad recipes for sandwiches.
ASEPTIC PACKAGED: needs no refrigeration and can be stored on your shelf. You will have to check with your store where they keep it. It’s never in the same spot it seems. The aseptic boxed tofu comes in soft, firm and extra firm, organic and with sea weed.
Cut the top of the paper off on the aseptic packaged tofu with a sharp knife. It is also packaged in a slight bit of water, so hold the box to the side and drain the liquid an then remove the tofu into a container. The texture will be silky soft and it falls apart easily. That is my experience anyway. It is used more for smoothies, desserts, things you would replace milk, buttermilk, cream etc with. You are ready to use this aseptic boxed tofu as is in recipes.
Many of the Vegan Recipes I have posted include tofu. I hope that this will help you when making dishes that call for tofu.
I’ve just mashed it up with my beans all last week and should try it with a stir fry. I have a few more Nasoya packages in the frig and love they keep a while before opening. I love the boxes that don’t need refrigeration before opening–so convenient.
The silk ones make great desserts too 🙂
Thank you for sharing the differences between tofus and these recipes. I love tofu and I am always looking for new recipes.
Michael W Perkins says
Sorry no tofu for me, nope, uh uh… NOPE…
md kennedy says
Great tofu tips – and I did not know you could buy tofu in asceptic packaging. I will look for it for when I travel (I usually stay at places with kitchens) because tofu is hard to find in rural places in Europe that I visit often.
I tried tofu once and it wasn’t my favorite, but I love anything with balsamic vinegar, so perhaps it is time to try it again!!
Thanks for the info. I am always confused on how to prepare tofu. I like it when others prepare it, but I’ve been at a loss. Your idea makes it easy. Thanks for sharing.
DAWN B says
I’m still not sold on Tofu…but I’m determined to incorporate more Vegan recipes into my diet.
i know several who would enjoy these recipes. i would have to try it myself. ( :
Melanie K. says
I’ve never tried tofu but that’s probably because I love meat. This looks really delicious though!
I am a total meat lover. I tried plain tofu once and didn’t like it. You have some good recipes. Having an idea now how to use it my mind is open. Thanks.
this looks great! thanks for the recipe I’ll plan on making it next week.
I’ve always wondered how to prepare tofu. I’m going to give it a try!
I had NO idea how to prepare Tofu. Thanks for the instructions and pictures! I appreciate it! 🙂