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Basic Vegetarian Tofu Recipes & Tofu Tips

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Basic Vegetarian Tofu Recipes & Tofu Tips

How To Cook Tasty Tofu: Savvy Vegetarian's Quick, Easy All Vegan Basic Tofu Tips and Tofu Recipes

The Number One Tofu Tip: The Fresher the Better. The ideal is made today by your local tofu maker - it tastes wonderful! Failing that, favor organic, get some that isn't anywhere close to it's sell-by date, and use it quickly. Avoid the vacuum pack keep forever varieties.

Tofu Storage: If you need to use only part of a block of tofu, drain, rinse, and submerge in fresh water in a clean, sealed container. Store in the fridge for no more than a few days.

Soy Allergies: Soy has 16 known allergens - go very easy with tofu at first until you see how you and your family tolerate it. Start with a small serving once a week, progress to twice a week, and stop at three times a week.

Tofu Caution: This isn't a popular view, but after reading up about it, I've concluded that soy consumption should be approached with caution, and perhaps limited to tofu and other traditional fermented tofu products like miso, tempeh, soy sauce, soy milk and other more exotic items, because they're whole foods, which soy isolates are not.

FYI, here's a well balanced and informative article about soy in vegetarian diets by Christa Novelli, M.P.H.

A Little Tofu Goes A Long Way: Tofu is a concentrated protein, and should be eaten in small quantities, combined with grains and veggies. 4 Tblsp is an adult serving. Abandon the idea that tofu is a substitute for meat, therefore big slab of meat = big slab of tofu. Meat should also be eaten this way (sparingly), or better yet, not at all.

Simple Ways to Cook With Tofu:

  • Use firm tofu for the following recipes. If it seems too soft, you can wrap in a dishtowel, and press it with a brick or pan of water, or something heavy to squeeze out excess water, just for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Small children will eat tofu straight up, raw, sliced, but since it's raw, it should at least be steamed, to kill any nasty bacteria, and prevent gas.
  • Slice the firm tofu in 1/2 x 1" pieces, marinate, then fry both sides til crispy. Kids love this, and you can toss the pieces into pasta, rice, casseroles, stir fries etc. See Fried Tofu Recipe below for more details.
  • For more adult tastes, add spices like ginger, cumin, etc to the marinade, OR use a spicy marinade, then stir fry with veggies OR add an Indian or Oriental spiced sauce. Serve with rice or noodles.
  • Cut tofu in 1/2" slices, or in 1" sticks or fingers, marinate and bake or broil, serve with a grain and vegetables or salad. If you want to get fancy, coat with fine dry bread or cracker crumbs first. Great with catsup! See SV's baked tofu recipe for more details
  • Add raw sliced tofu to any veggie dish, or sauce. It'll soak up the flavors. It goes well with stir fried greens. Especially if you throw in a few spices, like cumin, turmeric, ginger, hing.
  • There are quite a few Tasty Tofu Recipes on Savvy Vegetarian, for example tofu burgers, which have been a weekly staple at our house for many years.

What To Do With Fried or Baked Tofu

  • Serve with pasta and steamed veggies, with a little tomato sauce and parmesan cheese
  • Serve with rice or quinoa, baked squash and steamed veggies, or salad
  • Combine with roasted or sauteed veggies and salsa in a wrap
  • Add to a grain based pilaf, or veggie stew
  • Cool and make a sandwich or two for your lunchbox

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