Friends, colleagues, fellow vegetarians and vegans alike,
Do you struggle with tofu? Do you feel as though you’re one of those infomercial people in black-and-white, wrestling with preparing tofu? Have you gotten your hopes up for a broiled, steamed, fried, or baked tofu recipe, hoping this could be “the one,” only to be met with disappointing results?
Well, join me in the color part of the infomercial. I think I have figured out how to make tofu perfectly, every time.
I’m going to walk you through the steps. No monthly payments.
1. Procure some tofu for yourself. I used this:
I’ve found that tofu that comes with minimal water is usually the tofu that has the best texture. Tofus that come in plastic containers seem to hold more water. Obviously, you want extra firm or firm tofu.
2. Cut your tofu into 1/4 – 1/2″ slices.
This will give you a high surface area to volume ratio (crucial for flavor absorption and crispiness), but also give you tofu that, in the end, is good for anything.
3. Freeze your tofu for a few hours! This helps to really firm up the texture and give it a very chicken-like texture — I like a sturdy tofu. This is a departure from how I was taught to make this tofu, and I think it’s an improvement.
4. Thaw your tofu.
5. Marinate your tofu.
Marinade recipe: juice of 1 lemon PLUS 2 – 3 Tbsp of soy sauce, PLUS a little water if you don’t have enough for your tofu to soak up. You could add minced garlic to this, or red pepper flakes.
Let this sit for at least an hour, turning regularly to make sure it is evenly coated. You should see that your tofu is getting darker, because it is soaking up the marinade.
6. Dredging time! Put some (1/2 c?) nutritional yeast into a container a little bigger than your tofu slices, add a piece of tofu, shake to coat, flip, repeat until all the surfaces of the tofu are covered in yeast. The nutritional yeast will soak up some of the moisture, so you may have to flip a few times.
7. Frying time. Heat a frying pan, with enough oil to coat, over medium-ish heat (depends how hot your burner is). Fry each piece until golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Flip. Repeat.
Hooray! Tasty tofu with a bit of a crust. Should keep at least a week — probably way longer — in the fridge.
Ideas for using:
– eat with your hands
– use on a sandwich
– slice up in salads (I did this last night and I think it’d be good in a “chicken” Caesar)
– add to a rice bowl for some extra flavor and protein
– substitute for breakfast “sausage”
– eat with ketchup and a little hot sauce instead of “chicken” nuggets
– make “chicken” parmesan
Go forth and make tofu! I’m looking forward to cooking amazing tofu from here on out…