View Full Version : Tofu recipes

Johnny L.A.
04-01-2003, 01:16 PM
Would anyone like to post their tofu recipes?

I'm looking for recipes that are quick and simple, and don't require hard-to-find ingredients. (I'm a bachelour here!)


04-01-2003, 01:42 PM
One thing to remember about tofu, it tastes pretty yucky plain. It is very absorbent and quickly soaks up sauces and marinades. I prefer to buy the firm "cutlet" variety since it holds its shape well in stirfry or curries.

04-01-2003, 02:28 PM
Hopefully what I'm about to write isn't too obvious. It's just stuff I wish someone had told me years ago. I cooked a lot of tofu, badly, before I caught on.

It is nice if you press it first: it absorbs more flavour and holds its shape.

Pressing Tofu:
- cut a block in half, put it on some paper towel, on a plate.
- Put another paper towel, and another plate on top of it.
- Weigh it down with a big can of tomatoes or something heavy.
- After half an hour or so, it should have squished down a lot.

Now it's perfect for marinating.

Frying Tofu for Stir-fries etc (so it doesn't crumble, fall apart, or frighten your guests with its jelly-like texture):

- Chop it up into small cubes (the smaller they are, the better they'll hold together. Or, if it's pressed, the cubes can be bigger.)
- Fry in a big puddle of oil. Flip only when it becomes brown and crispy on the bottom (turning it too often makes it crumble too).

This is also nice on its own with peanut sauce or Indian mango chutney (my favourites). I knew a woman who fried slabs like this and put it in sandwiches.

A friend fries it with a coating of nutritional yeast. I've never tried making it but it tastes really nice (crispy on the outside).

If you freeze tofu it will become crumbly, a lot like feta cheese.

I use tofu in lasagne, mixed with cottage cheese and spinach, in alternating layers with pasta sauce.

04-01-2003, 02:30 PM
You could try this website:


They have lots of recipes.

Or, you can look up the recipes here:


I especially like Broccoli and Tofu in a Spicy Peanut Sauce:


Have fun! Cooking with tofu is easy and there's more variety than you might think.

Johnny L.A.
04-01-2003, 04:46 PM
A friend fries it with a coating of nutritional yeast.
Hm... Tofu with Vegemite? :D

The only time I eat tofu is when I have the "family style tofu" from the Chinese take-out that they occasionally use to cater lunch meetings, or in miso soup. I don't buy it because I don't know how to cook it, and my vegetarian friends don't live around here. Fried tofu with mango chutney? There is an Indian market a few blocks away...

even sven
04-01-2003, 06:32 PM
It dawns on me that although I've been a vegetarian for my entire adult life, I don't know a single tofu recipe. I'll occassionally cube some up and toss it into whatever I'm cooking, but I don't think I've ever actually prepared a real meal using it.

Bippy the Beardless
04-01-2003, 06:49 PM
Well ma-po tofu is a favourite for me. Propperly it is not vegitarian, but the mince can be removed or replaced by soya-mince. Here is a link to what looks like a decent version of the recipie (http://chinesefood.about.com/library/blrecipe246.htm).

Cheers, Bippy

The Big Cheese
04-01-2003, 07:11 PM
I make a potato soup recipe with tofu. Just make potato soup, then at the end chop up some tofu and put it in. When it's done, put it in a blender and blend it up. It's like a creamy soup. I don't think it holds up well though, so eat it up within a few days.

04-01-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Glory
One thing to remember about tofu, it tastes pretty yucky plain. It is very absorbent and quickly soaks up sauces and marinades.

You wouldn't catch a Japanese person saying that. We think good tofu should be cooked to bring out its own flavor or served plain. The two standard recipes in Japan are:

Hiyayakko: Plain chilled tofu, served with soy sauce and toppings such as katsuo-bushi (shaved fish flakes), chopped scallions, and/or shaved ginger. You want the "silk" tofu, not the tougher "cotton" kind. (It refers to the cloth used to strain/filter the ingredient.)

Yu-dofu: Tofu and vegetables (spinach, Chinese cabbage, etc.) boiled in broth and dipped in soy sauce. Normally you bring the pot to the table, and each person gets a little bowl of soy sauce to dip it in. Use kale or fish broth; you can find instant packages (powdered or teabag-like kits) in any Asian market. While you're there you can pick up a bottle of ponzu which is even better than soy sauce for this. (I think its some type of a citrus juice, usually sold mixed with soy sauce.)

That said, I do enjoy an occasional bowl of ma-po tofu and other strongly flavored tofu dishes.

Batsinma Belfry
04-02-2003, 12:08 AM
You can freeze it, then crumble it into a skillet with soy sauce and seasonings (I add a little liquid smoke). Cook it until it looks less wet, then add it to recipes in place of hamburger meat.
It's good in tacos.

04-02-2003, 08:50 AM
I am very partial to beans wrapped in tortillas. Tofu adds a lot of nice protein to the mix. Sweat some garlic and onions in olive oil and when it's nice and hot, add a bunch of cubed tofu. Let the tofu absob the garlic and olive oil flavor and let some of the liquid reduce. Then add a can of black beans and a can of black bean soup (I am partial to Goya myself, but that's the ubiquitous brand here in NYC).

I personally like to mash the whole thing up so it's the texture of refried beans. Let it reduce for a while, then take it off the heat for about 10 minutes. Then heat it up again until most of the liquid is gone.

I eat 'em by themselves or with rice or in a burrito. Whatever way you choose, it's a nice way to get some protein without meat.

04-02-2003, 09:59 AM
I love tofu, and I use it all the time (though I know pretty much nothing about how it's SUPPOSED to be used)... I almost exclusively use firm tofu, so that's what I know how to deal with. My favorites:

Tofu stir-fry:
Stir-fry small cubes of tofu (abour 1/2 inch on a side) with a variety of fresh vegetables (celery, onions, bell peppers, zucchini - whatever strikes your fancy), season to taste, and serve over rice noodles.

Baked breaded tofu with pepper relish:
Slice somewhat larger chunks of firm tofu. Dip in egg, then bread crumbs, and fry in a small amount of olive oil until brown. Then bake about 20 minutes at... oh, I forget how hot... 250F, maybe? Sorry, I haven't made this in awhile.
While the tofu's baking, mince onion, red and orange bell peppers, add some tomato sauce, and simmer over medium heat until the veggies are tender.
Spread sauce over tofu and serve.

I also eat it raw, right out of the package, but that's not really what I'd consider a RECIPE...

mmmmm.... tofu.

04-02-2003, 10:20 AM
grrr...I'm so upset that scr4 beat me to hiyayakko, because it is by far the best way to eat tofu and I wanted to tell you all about it.

So to add to what s/he has already said, this is "raw" tofu. You cut it into blocks a few inches square and each person gets their own. It is cold and refreshing and heaven in the summertime. Everyone needs to try it. Really.

Left Hand of Dorkness
04-02-2003, 10:29 AM
Dammit! Just lost my detailed recipe. I had no idea that the hamsters like tofu.

Here's a short version of it -- it's mighty tasty stuff.

Cut up 2 lbs. tofu, and cover it in a marinade of tamari and water mixed with ginger, garlic, and chile pepper flakes. Microwave it for seven minutes or so. Drain and reserve the marinade.

Fry up the tofu in a mix of olive and peanut oil. Meanwhile, mix a big glob of natural peanut butter into the marinade until it's dissolved.

Once the tofu is starting to turn golden, add the marinade. Cook it down until it's as thick as you want it. Adjust the seasonings. Add one bunch of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes; uncover and cook for a couple more minutes.

Serve over brown rice, with red wine or good beer on the side. It's really tasty, spicy, and warming.

(You'll have to experiment with seasonings: I cook this by throwing in handfuls of ingredients, so I don't know what the amounts of anything are).


Diogenes the Cynic
04-02-2003, 10:32 AM
Here's a simple recipe for hot and sour soup:

Get some dried shiitake mushrooms and soak them in water to hydrate them.

pour the mushroomy water into a pot with some stock and heat it up.

Sliver the 'shrooms and toss them in the pot.

pour in some cider vinegar (for sour) tabsco sauce (for hot) and soy sauce (for color and flavor).

Dice up some tofu and throw it in the pot.

Mix up a little cornstarch with some water and throw it in the pot to thicken the soup.

Take the pot off the heat and mix in one beaten egg.

Serve over rice.

04-02-2003, 10:38 AM
My favorite way to cook tofu is to saute some scallions in sesame oil, then toss in some cubed firm tofu and cook just until it's warmed through. Toss with couple tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, and serve it over brown rice. Extreeeeeemely basic, but the vinegar makes it sassy. I love vinegar+tofu+rice.

04-02-2003, 10:43 AM
get some extra silken tofu, put in bowl, eat.

Simple, yet delicious.

04-02-2003, 02:24 PM
Life has gotten better since I discovered Golden Tofu-- which cowgirl described above, as basically frying slabs of tofu at medium-low heat in a puddle of oil until golden-- then flipping around. Spatters everywhere, but tastes much better.
If you want, you can marinate the tofu for the day in a bowl of soy sauce (Kikkoman is my preferred brand-- not that heavy, thick stuff) before goldenizing it. Or in a mix of soy and vermouth :)

Here's a recipe-- Marinate your tofu in soy and vermouth. Reserve the marinade, and fry the tofu until golden-- Remove and let dry on paper towel.

Chop some ginger (about a thumb's worth), and slice a leek. Toss that into the still-hot frying pan with some chili sauce (or a chili, if you prefer-- I like sweet chili sauce by Asian Family). While that's cooking take that soy sauce and vermouth, and add 1/2 cup chicken stock, 2T honey, 2T flour. Mix it up, turn down the heat, and pour over your leeks-- and toss your tofu back it. Let simmer a bit, then dish it out over rice or noodles.

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