Your Basic Guide to Tofu



Buddha bowl with tofu, avocado, rice, seedlings, sweet potato, and tahini dressing.

Tried tofu in a restaurant, but have no idea what to do with it at home? Tried it, but hated it?! Don’t you worry – we’re here to help! 

Tofu is made out of soy, which is a special, healthy legume, packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. So tofu is not only an extremely versatile ingredient but also a really healthy one, which means it would be a shame to miss out on it.

Firstly, there are two main types of tofu: regular tofu, which you’ll find in the fridge section, packaged in water; and silken tofu, that’s shelf-stable and in aseptic packaging.  For most recipes, you’ll need regular tofu, but silken has its place, especially for blending into desserts or if you’re looking for a tasty substitute for fried eggs.

The two types of tofu, silken tofu, and regular firm tofu.

To transform your tofu from bland to delicious, follow one of our two methods, either:

  • Drain it well before you use it (wrap it in paper towels, then in cloth, and place a weight on the top to squeeze out as much water as possible. Leave it for at least 15 minutes),
  • or freeze it to change its texture (it gets chewier, ‘meatier’, and absorbs sauces wonderfully). For the best texture, freeze for no more than 24 hours. Then thaw and either use it immediately or place it into a marinade to sit for a while. No need to take it out of its package either – just pop the whole thing into the freezer.

If you do either of those, you will most likely come back for more. Slice or cube it, marinate it in whatever you fancy (or you can cover it in breadcrumbs), then bake at 350°F/175°C/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes, flip it over, bake for 15 minutes more. If it’s not done enough for your tastes, flip and bake a further 10-15 minutes.

Once baked, use as a salad topping, with fresh veggies and rice (or make sushi!), in pasta sauce (lemon and herbs make a nice marinade for this), in sandwiches… however you prefer. It’s really adaptable, satisfying, and it’s even nice cold.
Here are more than fifty recipes, for when you develop as deep a tofu love as we have! And also check out our delicious Tofu and Seitan Kebabs for some extra flavorsome grills.

For more recipes and tips from experienced mentors and certified dietitians, join Challenge 22 for free!

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