Not a fan of tofu? We honestly weren’t huge fans either. Actually, before Chris and I went vegan, and even shortly after, we were convinced that we did not like tofu. In reality, the problem was that we simply didn’t know how to cook it. Once we learned how to properly prepare tofu, this all changed and now we LOVE tofu, and we hope this tutorial will do the same for you too.
Not only are we going to share with you our absolute FAVORITE way to prepare tofu, but also a few tips on how to perfectly prepare tofu so that you can nail it every time you use it in the kitchen. The marinade for this recipe was inspired by our oil-free Carrot Lox recipe on the blog. We fell in love with the smoky flavor and knew we had to experiment in using the marinade on other ingredients, and we hit the JACKPOT with this smoky tofu recipe!
Here are a few tips for you to consider when preparing tofu that we think will help you out:
Number 1: Determine Which Type You Need
Keep in mind that there are two types of tofu, and each of these types comes in various consistencies, so you should be sure to purchase the right kind for specific recipes/preparation techniques.
The first type of tofu is Silken Tofu. This type is undrained and unpressed, meaning it has the highest water content and is custard-like. It is often labeled soft, firm, or extra firm, and is perfect for creamy and blended foods like smoothies,, puddings, dressings, dips and sauces.
The second type is Regular Tofu, which means it has been pressed. This too comes in various consistencies, soft, medium firm, firm, extra firm and sometimes even super firm, going from highest to lowest water content.
For this recipe, we are using regular extra firm tofu, and I would suggest you try to opt for super firm if it is available to you for the best results.
Number 2: Press & Marinate Tofu
It is often assumed that you need to simply remove the tofu from it’s packaging, dice it, throw it on a pan with some seasoning and voila… but that may result in bland/water tofu and is probably why a lot of people are not fans of it.
The key to delicious tofu? Pressing and marinating it first. Think of tofu as a big sponge. When you press your tofu, you remove all the water inside of it, allowing for it to soak up marinades more efficiently and pack in WAY MORE flavor.
How to press tofu? We filmed our easy fool proof method, a LIFE HACK that will help you enjoy perfect tofu. Check out the video below!
Number 3: Freeze Tofu
If you remove the tofu from its package and freeze it in a storage bag, then thaw when ready to use. This will give you an even denser, firmer and chewier texture, perfect for instances that you need super firm tofu that can be handled without breaking.
Another way to prepare this smoky tofu recipe is into slices rather than cubes, and you can serve them in sandwiches! Simply cut tofu in half width-wise, then cut each half into a total of 6-8 thin slices. Marinate it just as you would the cubes, then dry fry on a pan and voila, you have added an amazing flavor packed ingredient to take your school or work lunches to the next level!
Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!
Remove tofu from packaging, drain and press for 1 hour to release its liquid.
In the meantime, mix together the remaining ingredients to create your marinade.
Cut pressed tofu into 1/2-1/3 inch cubes and place into a large ziplock bag or a shallow baking pan.
Pour the marinade over the tofu, seal, shake up/turn over to ensure even distribution of the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours, the longer the better. Mix the tofu periodically if possible for even marinating.
Once the tofu is marinated, place it into a nonstick pan over medium-high heat with all of its liquid. Mix tofu into a singer layer, and allow it to cook until no liquid remains and the tofu has browned.
Reduce the heat to low, and flip the tofu. Allow it to sit for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and serve the tofu as desired. We love ours with rice, beans and vegetables.
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