Tofu. I can still remember the first time I heard about this thing also known as bean curd. And I remember thinking, “ummmm, yea, but NO! That’s a hard pass for me.” Flash forward 20-some-odd-years later, and just look at me now. Tofu has finally found its place in my kitchen, and on my table. Admittedly, my husband cringes when he sees me take it out of the fridge, but alas, he always loves what I make, so there’s that.
My favorite way to cook tofu is with a touch of olive or sesame oil in a non-stick pan, typically with some teriyaki or curry seasonings. But, it also turns out perfectly without much of a recipe (see below), and it’s perfect when you make it ahead to add to salads or snack on during a busy week.
So, I’m not going to get too much into the whole “what is tofu” because one, chances are you already know, and two … well, you can Google it. But here’s the basic info regarding the various types of this protein-rich bean curd … oh, and a super simple way to cook it too : )
Silken: Use it in the blender for smoothies, to thicken soups, to add texture to salad dressings
Regular: Similar to silken, a great choice for making dips or scrambling like an egg
Firm: Super versatile, holds marinades well as it’s softer than extra firm but it’s a bit trickier to fry
Extra firm: Perfect as a meat substitute, still holds marinades well and will retain its shape and texture when cooked a variety of ways including baking and sauteing
Super firm: If you can find it, also a great substitute for meat as it holds its form when frying
Easy Peasy Tofu
PREP TIME: 30 minutes | COOK TIME: 20 minutes
- One block (or two) extra firm tofu
- Olive oil for sauteing
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 15 button mushrooms (or a combo), sliced
Open the tofu block and drain it with a tofu drainer, or, place it in between two plates and put something heavy on top to “press” it and let the water drain out. This should take about 5-10 minutes total. Dump the water. Next, slice tofu into your desired thickness, I like ½ inch slices. Warm a little oil in a nonstick pan (REPEAT THAT!! NONSTICK PAN!!). Saute the onion and mushrooms for about 10 minutes then push to the sides of the pan and add the tofu to the middle. Saute on each side for about 5 minutes each or until it’s nicely browned. And that’s really about it. Dish up with some rice, or sauteed spinach, or even just a simple salad. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins that we replaced with plant-based options, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; ) Now for the serious part … periodically this site does offer health, nutrition and exercise information. The information provided is not intended as medical advice and is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice given by a licensed physician or other health-care professional. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, consult your physician and never delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.
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This was a great blog post on tofu, and it’s amazing how versatile it can be. I appreciate the breakdown of the different types and their uses. Have you tried frying firm tofu? If so, what’s your favorite way to season it?