Ever wonder how to cook tofu? This recipe is for you! My top three ways to cook tofu, so you can use this delicious garlic tofu as a protein-packed addition to any meal!
This recipe is long overdue-You know when you’re so involved with something, you forget that other people don’t really know anything about it? That’s how I feel about tofu. I’ve been eating tofu for so long I forget that a lot of people have no idea how to cook tofu.
I’m sharing with you the three main methods that I use to cook tofu. These methods are baking, pan-frying and air-frying. They all result in pretty much the same outcome-Cubes of crispy, flavourful tofu that’s perfectly cooked on the outside and still nice and fluffy and soft on the inside-but allow you to use whichever cooking method works well for you.
Why I love tofu:
- Tofu is an incredible source of plant-based protein. The extra-firm variety has a whopping 14 grams of protein per 85 grams (usually 1/4 package!)
- There are so many different textures of tofu- I usually recommend cooking with extra-firm tofu since it holds its shape well. Soft tofu can be great blended into soups and smoothies. If firm tofu is all you can get your hands on, just make sure you press the tofu for at least 30-minutes before cooking it (more on that soon!).
- It’s also a great source of iron and calcium- I recommend looking for calcium-set tofu most often (it’ll have calcium sulphate in the ingredient list) as an extra calcium boost.
- It’s a low-fiber plant-based protein option, which is actually great when feeding plant-based kiddos.
- Tofu takes on the taste of whatever it’s cooked with, which is why adding tons of spices and sauces is so important.
Cooking tofu can seem incredibly intimidating, but it’s really not. Actually, it’s one of the most simple things you can cook. The trick really is flavouring it correctly. But first, let’s talk about the process of how to cook tofu.
Do you need to press tofu?
While a lot of people might disagree with me on this, my answer is no. If you’re choosing extra firm tofu, it’s already pre-pressed. The caveat here is if you’re looking for extra-crispy tofu, pressing beforehand is a good idea.
Press tofu by simply wrapping it in a clean dish cloth or paper towel and setting something heavy on top-books or a heavy pan work great! Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, or more time if you plan ahead! You’re basically trying to get as much liquid out of the tofu as possible.
How to make tofu taste good
Not flavouring tofu correctly is one of the biggest mistakes I see people making when cooking tofu. As I mentioned, tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. I always recommend tossing cubed tofu with garlic powder, salt and pepper, and any other spices that you love depending on what you’re cooking.
The spices and sauces that you choose will depend on what you’re serving the tofu with, but in general here are some spice mixes I love, and make sure to add them generously!
- Garlic and onion powder
- Chili powder and smoked paprika
- Garlic, turmeric and black pepper
- Old Bay seasoning
- Basil and oregano
3 Ways to Cook Tofu
All three ways of cooking tofu start out the same. Cube your tofu into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, flour or cornstarch, garlic powder and salt.
Bake: Bake at 450 F for 25-30 mins, flipping once half way through.
Pan-fry: Heat a cast iron pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook tofu over medium heat for 15 minutes, flipping every couple of minutes to cook all sides.
Air-fry: Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes, shaking the air-fryer container half way through.
- While it’s recommended that you toss tofu in flour or cornstarch to get optimal crispiness, it isn’t completely necessary.
- I recommend making a big batch of this tofu to use in salads, bowls, sandwiches, wraps, or even to snack on itself!
- Feel free to try any seasonings that you like!
- You can cut the tofu into strips instead of cubes to add to sandwiches and wraps.
How to use this tofu:
This crispy tofu is delicious in:
- Stir fries
- As a snack on its own!
How to Cook Tofu (3 Ways!)
This easy crispy garlic tofu is the perfect protein-packed addition to salads, bowls, wraps and stir fries!
- 1 block extra firm tofu 400 g
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp flour or corn starch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Cube your tofu into 1-inch cubes. Toss with olive oil, flour or cornstarch, garlic powder and salt.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Bake for 25-30 mins, flipping once half way through.
Heat a cast iron pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook tofu over medium heat for 15 minutes, flipping every couple of minutes to cook all sides.
Cook at 400 F for 20 minutes, shaking the air-fryer container half way through.
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