Learn to cook easy and quick tofu recipes from Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Or, if you’re feeling creative, take on a tofu marinade and add it to any number of dishes. Whether you have silken tofu or golden fried puffs, we have you covered!
Why We Love Cooking with Tofu
Silken, firm and fried tofu varieties are filling and satisfying, but with the added benefit of being vegan and vegetarian friendly!
Unlike meat, you don’t need to worry about ensuring it’s fully cooked, as properly stored tofu can even be eaten raw.
Use tofu as a substitute for chicken, beef, seafood or pork in a huge range of recipes! See below for more delicious ideas.
What is Tofu?
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made from soy milk that is curdled, condensed and pressed into blocks. The process is quite similar to cheesemaking.
Commercially made tofu uses coagulants like calcium sulphate or salts like magnesium chloride or calcium chloride to curdle the soy milk, while homemade tofu recipes often use lemon juice or rice vinegar. Different coagulants will lead to different firmness and texture in the final pressed tofu.
While there are lots of different styles of tofu, there are three main types of tofu readily available in our area that are great for cooking: soft or silken tofu, firm tofu and fried tofu. You might also find other varieties at your local supermarket or grocery, like medium firm tofu etc.
3 Common Types of Tofu
- Silken Tofu (Soft Tofu) – Very smooth and quite fragile, this is one of the softest tofu types. Take care when slicing into blocks to make sure it holds its shape. It works great in dishes like miso soup and yudofu (hot simmered tofu). We also love it with 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 stir fries and dishes like teriyaki tofu, and hot pots like Korean army stew (so you can easily lift it out of the soup with chopsticks).
- Fried 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 love it in Indonesian gado gado salad smothered in spicy peanut satay sauce.
Further Tofu Tips
- Pressing Tofu – with and without a tofu press
- Making your own tofu from scratch using fresh soy milk.
- How to cut tofu
Fresh tofu (homemade or purchased from the fridge section of a supermarket) should always be refrigerated. If you’ve bought shelf stable tofu, it can usually be stored in the pantry until opened, then stored in the fridge for 3-5 days max.
Tofu is said to have originated in China and has spread over thousands of year to become popular across many Asian cuisines, such as Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese.
Yes, to freeze tofu just drain it first and then slice into portions or cubes. Freeze in an airtight container and it will maintain its flavour and texture for around 2-3 months.
Tofu doesn’t have much flavour on its own, so it can be served with savoury and sweet dishes alike. Many recipes often marinate or season the tofu first to help to give it extra flavour.
Just about anything! You can cook it in a dish, serve it alongside a main meal as an entree (yudofu, agedashi tofu), add it on top of sushi bowls (teriyaki tofu), or scramble in mentsuyu sauce and serve in a wrap with thinly sliced veggies.