The secret to perfect tofu is in the preparation. If you take tofu out of the container, cut it into pieces and toss it into a stir fry, you will be very disappointed. Anyone who has eaten meat most of his/her life will not find biting into mushy white blogs appealing. Don't feed it to them. They will swear that they hate tofu and never try it again. It's not the tofu. It's the cook, which could be you. I say that in love!
The first step should actually be to purchase the right tofu for this process: Extra Firm Tofu. I've tried Firm and I really notice a difference.
As many people know, pressing tofu is key. You must get the water out so it can absorb the delicious sauce that you are going to marinade it in. You are going to marinade it, aren't you? If you weren't planning to, you should. Just my 2 cents.
There are many ways to press tofu. Search YouTube and you'll find many.
A few years ago, I decided to invest in a TofuXpress and I haven't regretted spending the money since. In fact, I purchased another one since I normally prepare 2 packages of tofu at a time. Enter our Ambassador giveaway and you could win one!
Tofu pressed with this gadget do not compare to those pressed the old fashioned way. I always press my tofu for an hour.
2. Dry Fry
Next is dry frying. I learned this online in an article entitled, "How to Cook Tofu Like the Pros: Dry-fry and Marinate Method" and this technique was later reinforced in a cooking class I took a few years ago. Dry frying helps remove more water so the tofu can absorb the delicious marinade you have ready.
Buy a bottled marinade from the store or whip up your own. Just marinate your tofu. It wants it and it needs it. The How to Cook Tofu Like the Pros article includes marinade recipes.
I usually marinate my tofu at least 4 hours or overnight. It depends on how organized I am. I think there could be a point where longer doesn't mean better when it comes to tofu absorbing flavor, but I don't know what it is. 1 hour could be sufficient. Experiment and do what works for you.
I'm going to share my favorite marinade tomorrow. The recipe is from the class I took and it is amazing!
Bake the tofu on 350° for 30-45 minutes. What you get when you're done is chewy, flavorful tofu. In the class, we put it on top of a vegan caesar salad. I've made hoagies with it, adding sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms. I've eaten it alone. The possibilities are endless.
Yes, this is not exactly a simple process, but you should try it at least once before you decide it's not worth it. This is how I prepare tofu for my non-vegan friends and family and they really enjoy it. My grandmother, bless her 95 year old heart, was even motivated to try making tofu after eating mine on several occasions. She thought it would look like mine when she opened the package and was horrified to find a white glob in water. There is no way I could explain this process to her.