Need answer fast: How the heck do I cook tofu?

So, fiancé wants tofu for lunch. I would ask her why she wouldn’t rather have, you know, food for lunch, but I know the conversation won’t be productive. :smiley:

Anyhow, I have no clue how to cook the stuff. She indicates that she’d be happy with the tofu mixed in with some ramen, but she doesn’t know how to cook tofu either. I have the brick of tofu in it’s little plastic package, and ramen, and a pot and a pan, but beyond that, I got nuttin.

So, anybody know just a quick simple way to cook tofu so it’s edible?

Tofu stirfry with veggies. Some oil, some veggies, some tofu, maybe even some cheese to melt on top of that. Sautee ingredients until veggies are cooked and crisp and tofu slightly brown. You can try seasoning veggies and tofu beforehand, too. Use other things like soy sauce or hot sauce to taste.

Cheese on top of a stir fry? Surely this is some kind of sick joke.

Tofu is tasteless filler that just absorbs other flavors so something like this is the answer.

This isn’t really fast, but in the future, try dry frying it then soaking it in a marinade.

Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. :wink: And I only want that with tofu. Somehow the combination works.

If you’re going to serve it with just ramen you may as well just microwave it; it won’t taste any worse than any other method of preparing it (except for smoked tofu, which is like eating pencil erasers) and saves you from dirtying another pan. I would scarcely consider this an appetizing meal, though; as don’t ask says, tofu is really intended to carry other flavorants, as the native taste of tofu is very subtle and slightly sour.

On the other hand, you can cube it up and stir fry with vegetables, or (if you have the softer gelatinous kind) make a tofu scramble with veggies, which is basically an omelet made with tofu rather than egg. For the height of irony, make grilled tofu with Spam, which apparently is a popular “fusion” dish in Hawaii, no doubt to be included in a future Gallery of Regrettable Food.


This is important to remember, and probably one reason lots of people don’t like tofu. You need a good sauce to give flavor to the texture.

My favorite, although it would be odd to have for Easter brunch, is Ma Po Tofu. Tofu and ground pork in a spicy sauce. The tofu is chopped up into small cubes, maybe a bit smaller than a sugar cube. We did a thread on this dish recently.

Also, be aware that “silken” tofu is a different beast. It won’t hold its shape the way regular tofu does.

[nitpick] Unless she has a case of gender confusion, she should be referred to as your fiancée. [/nitpick]

My favorite way of having tofu: cut into triangles, blot thoroughly with paper towels to remove excess moisture, dredge in cornstarch, then deep fry (though I hate wasting so much oil so I just use enough to come halfway up the pieces). I serve it with a sweet chili lime sauce, usually.

That’s what I do. Make sure they’re fairly thin triangles - not too thin or they fall apart, but you want a lot of nice surface.

[Jimmy Carson] I did not know that.[/Jimmy Carson]

I’ve had tofu in exactly one place where I enjoyed it, in a mall in Monterey, California. Usually the problem is it’s just too squishy for my taste. If it is really firm, then I can enjoy it. What’s the best way to get this goal?

Buy firm or extra firm tofu?


I’m not joking, they actually sell it in differing firmnesses. I suspect it has to do with the moisture content but I’m not sure.

Also, don’t get the kind packaged in “juice box” (aseptic, shelf-stable) packaging. Get the kind that’s sold in a tub of water with plastic over the top. I’ve never seen truly firm tofu from the aseptic packaging.

But a nutritious tasteless filler.

I like tofu because of its bland texture. Most protein foods are unpleasantly, well, organic, with bits of this and that and here’s a membrane in your beef*- it can be hard eating, picking out the gross bits. Plus, protein makes for dense, heavy foodstuffs. Tofu is about the only healthy processed food I know.

I sometimes use tofu in my Improvisational Stir-Fry. (Optional ingredients include wine, onions, garlic, oregano, peppers, butter, rice, grated Parmesan, cream, and whathaveyou).
*The above may not apply as mean to vegan proteins, but I don’t like beans and legumes very much, either. I’ll eat them in a dish, but tofu’s better.

I find the best trick to do with tofu is freeze it first. Then that will change its texture to more firm. then you can thaw and stir fry or whatever and it is delicious.

Tofu goes well with an alfredo sauce, too, with some roasted red peppers and broccoli. YUM!

You can also press it and drain some of the liquid out.

Buy Mapo Tofu sauce, get a half pound to one pound of ground beef. Cook the beef, mix in the tofu and the sauce. Spread over white rice and eat

Or try a cold dish. Cube the tofu into little squares, dice a couple of preserved duck eggs and mix it, along with a bit of soy sauce and chopped green onions on top.