How to Cook Tofu

By Well Plated
Created March 7, 2017
How to Cook Tofu
Learn how easy it is to cook tofu, then add it to any delicious stir fry you want. MORE+ LESS-

Level up your stir-fry with the best tofu ever. 

Tofu can be a divisive issue. Some (like me) love it and will sing its praises for being an easy-to-cook, protein-packed super food. Others (ahem, my husband) think tofu is nothing but a mushy, squishy, flavorless blob. As with most difficult conflicts, there is truth to both sides.

When not cooked properly, tofu is everything that I don’t wish for in my food: squishy, mushy, and about as tasty as a cotton ball. With the proper treatment, however, tofu is firm on the inside, crispy on the outside, and a sponge for all manners of tempting flavors, particularly the yummy honey ginger sauce in today’s Ginger Tofu Stir Fry recipe.

Properly cooking tofu begins with selecting the tofu itself. For any stir-fry, be sure that you choose extra firm tofu—not firm, not kind of firm, and definitely not silken. Extra firm is the key to stir-fried tofu success.

The next step is to cube and press. Tofu contains a deceptive amount of water, and water is the enemy of tofu crispiness and crunch. Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, then arrange it on a paper towel-lined plate. Be generous with the paper towels—this tofu is about to squirt water all over them.

Lay additional paper towels on top of the tofu to make a tofu/paper towel sandwich, then place a second plate on top and gently but firmly press. Be awed as the water rushes out of the tofu and onto the paper towels. Wait 30 seconds, swap the wet paper towels for a dry set, and repeat.

Once you’ve pressed as much water out of the tofu as you can, it’s time to sauté. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large skillet over medium, and be patient—you want the oil hot and shiny before you add the tofu. Once the oil is ready, carefully place the tofu in the pan in a single layer, then allow the tofu a few minutes to cook undisturbed. When the underside is browned and crisp, flip and repeat. Golden cubes of crispy tofu goodness, yours for the eating!

At this point, the tofu is ready to be added to any of your favorite stir-fries and salads. It still has very little flavor (besides the oil it was cooked in), which makes it a blank canvas for all sorts of sauces or dressings. Today’s Ginger Tofu Stir Fry features a sauce with a vibrant blend of lime juice, honey, soy sauce, and lots of minced ginger.

To keep the stir-fry prep work quick and easy, I used a blend of fresh vegetables and Green Giant™ Frozen Broccoli. This stir-fry recipe is ultra versatile, so feel free to swap any veggies you love or have on hand.

Sauce meets sautéed veggies, meets tofu, and our meal is ready to serve! Even tofu skeptics can’t resist this big bowl of flavor.