Tofu is a staple of many vegetarian and vegan meals, thanks to its abundance of plant-based protein. You might have even had tofu mixed into your favorite pho or other Asian dishes. But, though many enjoy tofu, it can be tricky to prepare at home – even for the most dedicated cooks. Here, we make it easy to figure out, by outlining 3 different tried-and-true ways to prepare and serve tofu at home.
How to Bake Tofu
• Press extra firm tofu for at least 30 minutes. Cut into cubes or slabs and place them in a glass dish.
• Add a sauce or marinade over the tofu. A variety of oil or soy sauce-based marinades work well.
• Transfer tofu to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through. The marinade can be reserved and brushed onto tofu during the baking process for extra flavor.
• Baked tofu will be done when it’s golden brown, slightly crispy at the edges, and chewy in the center. It can be served as a main dish or added to noodle bowls, rice bowls, or salads.
How to Sauté Tofu
• Press extra firm tofu for at least 30 minutes and cut into cubes. Add a small amount of oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add tofu to pan and brown on each side for about 1-2 minutes for a total of about 15 minutes.
• Once all sides of tofu are lightly golden brown, add about 1/4 cup of sauce.
• Cook tofu, stirring frequently until sauce has been absorbed into tofu and caramelized around the edges creating a crispy exterior.
• Like baked tofu, you’ll know sautéed tofu is done when it’s golden brown, slightly crispy at the edges, and chewy in the center. Add sautéed tofu to salads, stir fry, noodle bowls, or soup.
How to Fry Tofu
• Press extra firm tofu for about 30 minutes and cut into triangles. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
• Add tofu to the pan in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow tofu to cook, undisturbed for about 4-5 minutes or until the underside is golden brown and crispy.
• Flip the tofu pieces and season the cooked side with salt. Allow the second side to cook for an additional 4 minutes or until the second side is golden brown and crispy.
• Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Season second side with salt.
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