Tofu, the protein-packed plant-based soybean food, is a staple in many diets and originated in China thousands of years ago. It’s packed with nutrients and protein to promote healthy eating habits and weight loss.
Despite its numerous health benefits and versatility in cooking, tofu often gets a bad reputation for being bland and tasteless. You’re not alone if you want to incorporate tofu into your diet but need help to make it taste good.
Fortunately, there are countless ways to jazz up this humble ingredient and turn it into a delicious and satisfying meal. Whether you’re a long-time tofu skeptic or a seasoned pro, keep reading for some tips and tricks on how to make tofu taste amazing. You’ll be making restaurant tofu in no time.
Benefits of Eating Tofu
Tofu, made from soybeans, is versatile in various dishes, from stir-fries to smoothies. It’s packed with nutrition and offers a range of health benefits.
Here are a few benefits of eating tofu:
- Nutrition Information
Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, with about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. It’s low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Additionally, tofu is a good source of iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients the body requires to function at its best.
- Variety of Tastes
Tofu’s mild flavor makes it a versatile ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. There are countless ways to enjoy this food, from crispy fried tofu to creamy chocolate tofu pudding.
- Health Benefits
Tofu has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. It helps lower cholesterol levels, improves bone health, and aids in weight loss.
Essential Steps to Make Tofu Taste Good
Tofu is unbelievably healthy for the human body. However, only some people like it.
If you’ve ever tried tofu and found it bland or unappetizing, we encourage you to keep reading. With the proper techniques and ingredients, tofu is a delicious and satisfying meal you’ll look forward to eating.
Here are the three ways to make your next tofu dish taste good:
Selecting the Right Type of Tofu
Selecting the perfect type of tofu makes all the difference when creating a delicious and satisfying meal. With several varieties available, from silky soft to firm, choosing the right one for your dish is vital.
- Opt for soft or silken tofu when whipping a luscious smoothie or creamy pudding. This tofu blends effortlessly to create a velvety texture that elevates any dessert.
- If you’re planning a stir-fry, making a hearty soup, or preparing a spicy curry, look for medium to firm tofu. These types hold up well in savory dishes and absorb flavors like a sponge, adding depth and richness to meals.
- For the ultimate crispy texture, reach for extra-firm tofu. It’s perfect for grilling or frying, and its chewy texture adds a satisfying bite to dishes.
Proper Tofu Preparation
Plain tofu needs to be more exciting, but with a few simple techniques, you can turn this humble ingredient into a tasty and satisfying dish with taste buds dancing.
The key is to start with adequately prepared tofu, improving its texture and flavor.
To get started, drain the tofu and press out the excess water. Use a tofu press or simply wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel and place a weight on top.
This step is essential to help the tofu absorb more flavor from the marinade or sauce you’ll use later. Trust us. It’s worth taking the time to do this step properly – your taste buds will thank you!
Now comes the fun part–cooking your tofu!
The trick is to cook until golden brown and crispy to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Accomplish this by grilling, baking, frying, or sautéing the tofu. Let your creativity run wild, and experiment with different cooking methods to find your favorite.
Add flavorful spices, herbs, or sauces to take your tofu dish to the next level. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s a savory stir-fry with garlic and ginger or a sweet dessert with cinnamon and vanilla.
What can you put on tofu to make it taste good?
Tofu may be known for its versatility, but how can you take it from bland to delicious? Here are ten ways to elevate your tofu game:
- Soy sauce or tamari: Tofu and soy sauce are a match made in heaven. Drizzle it while cooking, or use it as a dipping sauce for a savory and salty punch.
- Sesame oil: A little sesame oil goes a long way in adding a nutty flavor to your tofu dishes. Use it for a delicious twist on your favorite tofu recipe.
- Garlic and ginger: Add some depth of flavor to your tofu dishes by finely chopping garlic and ginger. The result is a fragrant and savory flavor that complements tofu perfectly.
- Curry powder: Spice up your tofu dish with some curry powder. It’s an easy way to add flavor and heat to any tofu dish.
- Chili sauce or sriracha: Add some heat with chili sauce or sriracha. These spicy sauces give your tofu a fiery kick, tingling your taste buds.
- Nutritional yeast: Sprinkle on some nutritional yeast for a vegan source of umami flavor. It adds a cheesy and nutty flavor that pairs well with tofu.
- Lemon or lime juice: Fresh citrus juice brightens any tofu dish. The acidity adds a tangy kick that balances the tofu’s natural flavor.
- Herbs: Dried or fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, or thyme are excellent for tofu dishes. They’re an easy way to add freshness and complexity to your meal.
- Barbecue sauce: Who says tofu can’t be barbecued? Use your favorite barbecue sauce to give your tofu a smoky and savory flavor that’s perfect for grilling season.
- Miso paste: Miso paste is a must-try ingredient for any tofu lover. Its rich, savory flavor complements tofu perfectly and adds depth to any dish.
Best Techniques for Flavoring Tofu
Tofu, the plant-based protein superstar, is a blank canvas, flavored countless ways. If you’ve ever struggled with making tofu taste as good as possible, you’re not alone.
The key to unlocking tofu’s full potential lies in flavoring techniques. Using the correct methods and ingredients turns this humble ingredient into a delicious and satisfying meal.
Marinating it is one of the easiest ways to add flavor to tofu. Simply mix your favorite marinade ingredients, such as soy sauce, vinegar, honey, and spices, and let the tofu soak up the flavors for at least 30 minutes. This process infuses the tofu with flavor, making it taste excellent.
Stir-frying is a classic technique that is perfect for tofu. It involves quickly cooking the tofu in a hot pan with oil, veggies, and spices. This method adds flavor to the tofu and gives it an irresistible crispy texture.
Like stir-frying, sautéing involves cooking the tofu in a hot pan with oil. The difference is that sautéing involves fewer ingredients and a slower cooking process, which allows the flavors to blend more thoroughly.
Roasting tofu is another great way to add flavor and texture. Simply toss cubed tofu with your favorite spices and roast in the oven until the outside is crispy and the inside is tender.
- Adding Spices
Spices are the magic ingredient for flavoring tofu. Whether it’s a pinch of chili flakes to add heat or a sprinkle of cinnamon for sweetness, adding spices is an easy and effective way to take your tofu from ordinary to extraordinary.
Tofu Recipe Ideas
Discover the delightful range of tofu dishes that will awaken your tastebuds and satisfy you.
From the refreshing Lemon Dijon Tofu to the indulgent Thai Coconut Tofu Curry and the flavorful Sesame Garlic Tofu, these recipes will surely win your heart. Whether you’re a tofu novice or an expert, these meals are simple to prepare and impress the most discerning palates.
Lemon Dijon Tofu
If you want a tofu recipe full of vibrant, zesty, and delicious flavors, try this Lemon Dijon Tofu dish! This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients, resulting in a tasty and satisfying meal you can enjoy anytime.
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to cook
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Drain and press the tofu for at least 30 minutes to remove excess water.
- Whisk together the dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the tofu and toss until each piece is well coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the tofu cubes in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through until the tofu is golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Serve the Lemon Dijon Tofu hot with your favorite side dish.
Thai Coconut Tofu Curry
Get ready to savor this delicious Thai Coconut Curry Tofu in only 30 minutes! With Thai red curry paste and coconut milk, this one-pot meal will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Serve it with jasmine rice, rice noodles, or your favorite vegetables for a fun and flavourful dining experience.
- 1 block of firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Cooked rice or quinoa for serving
How to cook:
- Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
- Add cubed tofu and cook until golden brown (5-7 minutes).
- Remove tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Sauté red onion and bell peppers in the same pan until tender (5 minutes).
- Mix coconut milk, red curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Pour mixture into pan and stir until combined.
- Add cooked tofu to the pan and stir gently.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer (10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Serve Thai Coconut Tofu Curry over cooked rice or quinoa with cilantro for garnish.
Sesame Garlic Tofu
Get ready to be delighted by the fantastic flavors of this Sesame Garlic Tofu recipe!
Coat the tofu perfectly with a delectable marinade infused with sesame and garlic’s aromatic and delicious flavors. This dish is perfect for anyone who loves to explore new and exciting flavors.
Its crispy exterior and flavorful sauce make it an ideal choice for any family dinner or gathering. Give it a try, and be prepared to be amazed by the explosion of flavors in every bite!
- 1 block of firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
- Green onions, chopped for garnish
How to cook:
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk minced garlic, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and add to the marinade. Toss gently to coat the tofu with the marinade.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the cubes to the skillet and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until crispy and browned.
- Transfer the cubes to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the sesame seeds are golden brown and the tofu is firm.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and serve hot with your favorite sides, such as rice or veggies.
Tofu for the Win!
Tofu is a remarkably versatile ingredient that can be transformed into a savory and nourishing dish when prepared and seasoned correctly. By following the essential steps of selecting the correct type of tofu, proper preparation, and cooking techniques, create mouth-watering recipes that impress you and your family.
Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just searching for healthier meal options, tofu provides your body with essential nutrients while delighting your taste buds.
With a bit of imagination and experimentation, tofu is a delightful addition to any meal. Embrace your creativity and try new ways to prepare and season your tofu. You might be amazed at how much you like it.
Anna is a 33-year-old registered dietitian based in Orlando. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, Anna enjoys staying active through Crossfit and indulging her sweet tooth by baking. She is dedicated to helping her clients achieve their health and wellness goals through evidence-based nutrition advice and has spent the past 4 years writing for online publications on nutrition and fitness.