How to cook tofu

Watch our video and learn how to cook tofu three ways, check out our top tips and try our favourite tofu recipes once you’ve mastered the technique

Tofu is a versatile ingredient often used in vegetarian and vegan cooking. It can be blended into smoothies, fried and served in salads and stir-fries or even turned into chunky veggie steaks. It is made by curdling fresh soya milk, pressing it into a solid block, then cooling it – in much the same way that traditional dairy cheese is made by curdling and solidifying milk. The liquid (whey) is discarded, and the curds are pressed to form a cohesive bond. A staple ingredient in Thai and Chinese cookery, it can be cooked in different ways to change its texture from smooth and soft to crisp and crunchy.

Check out the health benefits of tofu and the nutritional highlights of this super soya product. Want some serving suggestions? Try our top tofu recipes, from pancakes to pasta bakes. 

Types of tofu

These include silken tofu, firm tofu and marinated tofu:

Silken tofu contains lots of moisture so is perfect for recipes which require it to be blended, such as adding to smoothies or in this recipe for tofu brekkie pancakes where it is used as a substitute for eggs.

Firm tofu is a lot drier making it a good alternative to meat as it holds together much better. If shallow frying, wrap it in kitchen paper first, then place a weight on top such as a saucepan in order to squeeze out excess moisture. Coat it in your favourite spices, curry pastes, or marinades before frying. Try this technique with our spice-crusted tofu with kumquat salad recipe.

Marinated tofu has already been flavoured – try it in the following smoked tofu sandwich recipe:

How to cook tofu

  • Fry 100g sliced smoked tofu for 2-3 mins each side in olive oil in a non-stick pan until lightly golden (tofu can also be eaten uncooked).
  • To make the sandwich in the video above, fill a toasted bagel with 1 tbsp leftover mashed butternut squash and 1-2 baby gem lettuce leaves, then top with griddled slices of 1 baby courgette2 tsp tahini (mixed with enough water to create a smooth sauce), 1 tsp toasted pumpkin seeds, the fried tofu slices and 1 tsp aubergine pickle and serve.

Top tofu recipes

1. Satay tofu skewers

Tofu skewers with lime and pak choi
Serve up a summery treat with our satay tofu skewers with garlic & ginger pak choi. You can throw together this healthy vegan dish in just 25 minutes. They’re packed with flavour and ideal for a simple barbecue spread.
 

2. Next level pad Thai

Pad Thai in bowls with lime wedges and peanuts
Add crispy tofu, prawns, pickled turnip and tamarind to take this classic dish up a notch. Our next level pad Thai makes a decadent dinner for two, but it’s really simple to make. Spend just 10 minutes cooking up this delicious dish and serve with pride. 
 

3. Tofu scramble

Scrambled tofu on toast with tomatoes

Switch up your standard breakfast fare with our tofu scramble. Add some curry spices, sweet cherry tomatoes and whip up this healthy plateful for two. If you’re looking for something egg-free or a simple vegan breakkie idea, give this super scramble a go. 
 

4. Burmese tofu fritters (tohu jaw)

Tofu fritters with dipping sauce
Serve up our Burmese-inspired tofu fritters with an addictive garlic dipping sauce for a simple starter or a tasty snack. They’re everything we want from a canapé – soft and fluffy on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside. 
 

5. Smoked tofu vegan burger

Vegan burger with slaw on plate
Our smoked tofu vegan burger packs a punch. It takes a little more effort, but it’s well worth it. The crunchy veg slaw and spicy mayo is the perfect accompaniment to this brilliant burger. Come barbecue season, this terrific tofu creation will be top of our recipe list. 

You might also be interested in:

Our favourite tofu recipes
What is tempeh?
Learn more about seitan

What’s your favourite way to serve tofu? Leave a comment below...

 

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.