Recipes for firm Tofu / Complicated Recipes

1/2 block of extra firm tofu

Recipes for firm Tofu

The goal with most firm tofu recipes is to get a crispy exterior and a creamy, soft interior. Learn three ways to cook tofu to perfection, below.Cooking tofu is both an art and a science. Getting a crispy outside with a softer inside is the goal for most marinated tofu dishes. Cooking directions might be different when tofu stands in for another food (like faux ricotta in tofu lasagna, for example).

The key to the perfect tofu texture – and to avoiding the sliminess that everybody hates – is cooking marinated tofu over a high heat.

Only Cook Firm Tofu at Higher Heat

These three ways to prepare tofu are for firm or extra-firm tofu only. Firmer tofu has a higher protein content and a lower water content compared to medium and soft tofu. This allows it to hold its shape when cooked over high heat.

Marinate tofu at least an hour before cooking. Some methods of cooking work best with certain types of marinade – like sugary or high-oil marinades. Suggestions are included with each cooking method below.

Tofu Cooking Method 1: Frying

Frying is best for:

  • Sugary marinades (e.g. cold rolls)
  • Stir-fries where the tofu is fried ahead of time
  • Short marinating times – cooking the tofu in its liquid here helps to retain the flavours.
Frying Directions:
  1. Cut the tofu into small triangles or cubes. Larger pieces will be difficult to remove from the pan without breaking them.
  2. Heat the burner to medium-high heat (an 8 on most dials). Heat a generous layer of vegetable oil, preferably one with a high smoke-point, such as grapeseed or peanut.
  3. Heat oil until very hot – to test, drop one piece of tofu into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s hot enough.
  4. Fry the tofu pieces until golden brown between 5 to 10 minutes. Flip gently using a spatula and fry the other sides. Resist the urge to stir or flip the tofu constantly – it will crumble and break.
Try it: Sesame-Hoisin Tofu from this Cold Spring Rolls Recipe makes a great snack

Tofu Cooking Method 2: Grilling

Grilling or barbequing is perfect for health-conscious vegetarians who don’t like to cook with a lot of oil. Extra marinade drips off and the rest caramelizes and helps the tofu reach golden brown. Plus, the tofu takes on those sought-after grill lines.

Grilling is best for:

  • Low-fat marinades
  • Main dish tofu cutlets
  • Tofu sandwiches or large pieces of tofu
  1. When grilling tofu, it’s important to marinate the tofu for at least two hours. Allowing the marinade to seep in will help to stop it from burning on the grill.
  2. Grill the tofu over medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness, flipping only once. Tofu should be firm on the outside but tender on the inside.
Try it: Vegetarian Shish Kebabs

Tofu Cooking Method 3: Baking

Firm tofu can bake at a range of temperatures, depending on what else is cooking in the oven. As long as there’s enough liquid in the marinade to stop it from drying out, it can stay under heat for up to an hour. Cook at about 400 Fahrenheit for crispy tofu, or lower the temperature for a chewier, meatier texture.

Good-for-you grilling ideas  —
As you stoke the flames of your grill this season, choose a versatile canvas that allows you to build on flavors and textures, lending itself to a wide range of cuisine and preparation methods.

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