Asian Recipes/ Entrees / Appetisers/ Recipes/ Roundup/ Side Dish

13+ Easy Tofu Recipes & Marinade Ideas


These incredibly easy tofu recipes are delicious, healthy and FAST. Learn our best tips and recipe ideas for how to cook tofu in stir fries, hot pots, rice bowls and more!

A pair of wooden chopsticks hold up a piece of silken tofu topped with bonito and spring onion.

Why We Love This

These easy tofu recipes are deliciously filling and satisfying, whether you’re a seasoned tofu lover or just starting out. Most are vegan and vegetarian friendly too.

Learn how to choose the best style of tofu to suit your dish. Silken tofu, fried tofu or firm tofu all have different textures and flavours that suit different styles of cooking. 

Unlike meat, there’s no need to worry about ensuring it’s fully cooked, tofu can be enjoyed raw as long as it’s been properly stored. Use it as a healthy protein alternative to chicken, beef, seafood or pork in a huge range of recipes.

Related: Easy Daikon Recipes / 20+ Epic BBQ Recipes

Click here to jump to our easy tofu dishes

A colourful sushi bowl with tofu and vegetables, next to a bowl of sauce.
Teriyaki tofu stir fry is amazing as part of a homemade sushi bowl.

What is Tofu?

Tofu or bean curd (豆腐, sometimes written as dòu fu or dofu) is made from fresh soy milk that is curdled with a coagulant, then condensed and pressed into blocks. The process is actually quite similar to making cheese! 

Different coagulants will lead to different firmness and texture in the finished tofu. Store bought tofu often uses calcium sulphate, magnesium chloride or calcium chloride as the coagulant. At home, you can use lemon juice or rice vinegar to make your own homemade tofu.

Tofu is said to have originated in China and has spread over thousands of years to become popular across many Asian cuisines, such as Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese to name a few.

Chopped pieces of firm tofu on a plate.
Firm tofu is easy to slice and soaks up lots of flavour from marinades and sauces!

3 Common Types of Tofu

While there are lots of different varieties of tofu out there depending on the region or country of origin, they generally fall into three main categories: soft or silken tofu, firm tofu and fried tofu

These tend to be readily available where we live and all are great for cooking. You might find other varieties at your local supermarket or grocery depending on where you live, such as medium firm, extra firm tofu etc. 

  • Silken Tofu / Soft Tofu – Very smooth and quite fragile, this is one of the types of tofu. You’ll need to take extra care when slicing into blocks to ensure it holds its shape. Soft tofu works great in dishes like miso soup and yudofu (hot simmered tofu). We also love it with Vietnamese sweet ginger syrup as a light and refreshing dessert!
  • Firm Tofu – This holds its shape much more easily than silken tofu, making it perfect for pan-fried tofu recipes like dubu jorim (braised spicy tofu), teriyaki tofu, or hot pots like Korean army stew. It works so well in these recipes because it takes on all the delicious flavours AND you can easily grasp it with chopsticks. 
  • Fried Tofu – This style of tofu comes pre-fried and, depending on the brand, can be lighter, puffier and spongier in texture than the other types of tofu. It soaks up flavour really well, so we especially love it in Indonesian gado gado salad with peanut satay sauce.

More Tofu Resources

Watch the below videos to learn a little more about the process of making, pressing and slicing tofu:

How to Press Tofu

YouTube video

How to Make Tofu

YouTube video

How to Slice Tofu

YouTube video

Click here to jump to recipes!

Fresh plate of Indonesian gado gado salad topped with peanut satay sauce.
Fried tofu is perfect in Indonesian gado gado salad.


  • Extra Crispy Tofu – When using firm tofu, it’s a good idea to press out extra liquid using a heavy weight. Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess moisture.
  • Storage – Fresh tofu (homemade or store bought) should always be stored in the fridge in its original packaging or in an airtight container. It should be covered with fresh cold water to seal the edges and help it last for another 2-3 days. Change the water daily to keep it at its freshest. Shelf stable tofu can usually be stored in the pantry until opened, then stored in the fridge for 3-5 days max.


What does tofu taste like?

Most common varieties of fresh tofu don’t have much flavour on its own, so they can easily be served with savoury and sweet dishes alike. Many recipes often marinate or season the tofu first to give it extra flavour.

Why does my tofu taste bad?

There are a few reasons why your tofu might taste bad. For example, it might be past its use by date, so always check the packaging when buying tofu. Tofu can easily go off if it’s kept for too long, or it was stored at too high a temperature (ie not stored in the fridge). Covering the tofu with fresh water (and changing it daily) can help to keep it for longer and maintain the proper flavour.

Can I freeze it?

Yep, you can. Drain it first, then slice into portions or cubes. Freeze in an airtight container and it will maintain its flavour and texture for around 2-3 months.

What can I serve it with?

Just about anything! You can cook it in one of our simple tofu recipes below, serve it alongside a main meal as an entree, add it on top of sushi bowls or curries, or mash it and fry it up into a tofu scramble with lettuce wraps.

What else can I do with tofu?

The possibilities are almost endless! Why not:
– Turn it into fermented tofu (tempeh or chao).
– Crumb tofu steaks to make tofu katsu, then serve with rice and katsu curry.
– Make scrambled tofu or tofu mince – then use it in spaghetti bolognese or tofu tacos.
– Pop it in a salad in small bites like you would cheese.
– Fry it in a saucepan or make air fryer tofu.
– Make tofu sesame toasts!
– Make Crispy Tofu – Toss drained tofu pieces in a mix of cornstarch, salt, black pepper and garlic powder, then deep fry.

Easy Tofu Recipes for Lunch or Dinner

Hiyayakko in a white dish in a shallow pool of soy sauce.
Hiyayakko – Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe
Get ready for the easiest 5 minute meal – Hiyayakko. This Japanese cold tofu recipe is ideal for a quick and healthy lunch you can have at work or home, with loads of topping ideas to get you started.
Hiyayakko – Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe
Bowl of Japanese miso soup with pumpkin and tofu.
Quick Japanese Miso Soup
Make this quick and easy miso soup recipe in just 10 minutes! Filled with the rich umami flavours of dashi and miso paste, enjoy this classic Japanese soup as a main or side for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Quick Japanese Miso Soup
Close up shot of sauce drizzling over the top of hot simmered tofu.
Yudofu – Japanese Boiled Tofu Recipe
Yudofu is the easiest Japanese hot pot ever. In just 5 minutes, you’ll enjoy delicious boiled tofu that’s healthy, light and full of satisfying flavour. Perfect as a tasty side dish or snack.
Yudofu – Japanese Boiled Tofu Recipe
Crispy fried teriyaki tofu chunks sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Super Quick Teriyaki Tofu
Whip up this easy teriyaki tofu recipe as a super fast weeknight dinner or delicious snack. It’s full of flavour and ready in just 5 minutes! Try these delicious teriyaki tofu bites on your next sushi bowl or as a filling for hand rolled sushi.
Super Quick Teriyaki Tofu
Close up shot of sushi bowl with teriyaki tofu and vegetables.
Quick Teriyaki Tofu Sushi Bowls
Sushi bowls are the ultimate meal after a busy day – healthy, flavour-packed and FAST to bring together. Try them with teriyaki tofu, teriyaki chicken, or simple tuna and mayo, and use pre-cooked sushi rice for even faster prep!
Quick Teriyaki Tofu Sushi Bowls
Agedashi tofu in tsuyu sauce in a white bowl.
Easy 20 Minute Agedashi Tofu (Air Fryer Recipe)
For a delicious appetiser that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, look no further than Agedashi Tofu! This simple air fryer version of the traditional Japanese deep fried tofu recipe is paired with a tsuyu sauce of dashi, mirin and soy sauce.
Easy 20 Minute Agedashi Tofu (Air Fryer Recipe)
Pieces of tofu cooked Korean style, known as dubu jorim.
Dubu Jorim – Korean Braised Tofu
Everyone will love this sweet, savoury and spicy Korean braised tofu! Dubu jorim is vegan and vegetarian friendly AND ready in less than 20 minutes! Serve it as a side dish or all on its own for a quick and healthy meal. 
Dubu Jorim – Korean Braised Tofu
A close up image of Japanese mapo tofu udon noodles.
Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Noodles
These spicy Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Noodles are totally delicious, packed with flavour and ready in 10 minutes! A lighter take on the traditional Chinese version, it's a super satisfying dish perfect for lunch or dinner.
Japanese Mapo Tofu Udon Noodles
Pork, udon and vegetables all cut up and ready to eat in a shabu shabu hot pot.
Quick Shabu Shabu Recipe
You're just a few tasty ingredients away from this simmering Japanese hot pot. Think thinly sliced pork, udon, tofu, vegetables and delicious homemade dipping sauces. Ready to get cooking? Let's learn how to make this 10 minute Shabu Shabu recipe at home.
Quick Shabu Shabu Recipe
Japanese tofu patties in a white bowl with dipping sauce.
Japanese Fried Tofu Patties – Ganmodoki
Crispy fried, golden brown and delicious, Ganmodoki are a great make-ahead entree or satisfying main. These Japanese tofu patties are naturally vegan and vegetarian friendly, serve them with your favourite dipping sauces for a quick, easy and nutritious meal!
Japanese Fried Tofu Patties – Ganmodoki
Close up shot of Korean army stew showing the various ingredients cooking in the broth.
Easy Korean Army Stew – Budae Jjigae
Spice things up with this quick and easy Korean Army Stew, on the table in less than 30 minutes! Filled with noodles, kimchi and veggies, this mouthwatering budae jjigae recipe is perfect for sharing and cooking with friends!
Easy Korean Army Stew – Budae Jjigae
Plate of Indonesian gado gado salad.
Indonesian Gado Gado Salad with Peanut Sauce
Take your taste buds on a Southeast Asian adventure with this crispy, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying, Indonesian Gado Gado Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce. It’s a deliciously cooling salad for a hot summer’s day, packed with healthy nutrients, protein and incredible spicy peanut flavour.
Indonesian Gado Gado Salad with Peanut Sauce
Close up shot of miso udon soup.
Miso Nikomi Udon – Miso Udon Soup
When it’s cold outside, make miso nikomi udon! This warm and comforting miso udon soup is filled with chicken, mushrooms and fried tofu to fill you up. The dashi and miso infused broth is full of umami flavour and will warm you up from the inside out.
Miso Nikomi Udon – Miso Udon Soup
A fish cake on a skewer is taken out of the oden pot.
Japanese Oden – Simmered Hot Pot Recipe
Warm up with a steaming bowl of Japanese oden! This easy nabemono (one pot) stew is so filling and tasty, featuring a simple oden broth and lots of delicious ingredient ideas from daikon to fish cakes to enjoy.
Japanese Oden – Simmered Hot Pot Recipe

Best Dipping Sauces for Crispy Fried Tofu

Teriyaki tofu chunks in a bowl sprinkled with sesame seeds and spring onion.
Firm tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce.

Check out these amazing recipe ideas next:

13+ Easy Tofu Recipes & Marinade Ideas

Browse all our most popular Japanese recipes

Japanese mochi, matcha green tea ice-cream. okonomiyaki, gyoza and chicken katsu dishes, with the words "Click here for Japanese recipes" overlayed.


  • Reply
    Lucretia Borgia
    17/08/2022 at 8:39 am

    Just love Tofu and make my own now and again!
    I’ve used Calcium Sulfate (available from home-brew suppliers) as the coagulant but lemon juice is easier and works just as well.
    My inexpensive wooden tofu press was boght online from China.
    Making Paneer exactly the same way is also fun, curdling milk instead of soybeans!

    • Reply
      19/08/2022 at 3:33 pm

      Oh that’s cool to know that the lemon juice is easier than the calcium sulfate! We haven’t given homemade tofu a go yet, only soy milk. What brand was the tofu press if you don’t mind sharing? Also, great work with the paneer too! 😀

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.