In all, it’s sponge-soaking glory…
We’re not trying to convince you to go vegetarian—or, gasp—even vegan. But, we are trying to introduce you to a healthy and ultra-versatile ingredient that you may be missing out on as you grasp at your “But…I’m a meat-eater!” mentality. Often mistaken for being boring and bland, tofu is a surprisingly delicious ingredient. It has the power to adapt to any food that you pair it with, and it acts like a sponge to absorb different flavours and ingredients (think soy sauce, sesame oil, honey & sriracha). Also, unlike many other proteins, tofu has the power to be soft, silky, creamy, crispy, juicy or crunchy, depending on your choice of preparation or cooking method. We’re sharing six insanely delicious ways to eat—even if it’s for the first time—tofu.
1. Toss it with some noodles
Asian flavours and tofu go hand in hand. So, it’s no surprise that tofu pairs well with noodle and rice type dishes, like stir-fries. Cut firm or extra-firm tofu (that has been drained and pressed to remove all liquid) into cubes and marinate in a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli sauce. Fry tofu cubes in a bit of oil for 5 to 6 minutes, until crispy on the outside. These cubes can then be tossed into any noodle or rice dish!
2. Make a tofu burger
If you love beef burgers, chicken burgers and even fish burgers, we’re betting you’d love a tofu burger too. This vegan BBQ tofu burger from the fantastic blog, Vegan Miam, is pressed (meaning the piece of tofu has been pressed down) and is spiked with Asian flavours like pickled cucumber slaw, toasted sesame oil, BBQ tofu and Sriracha sauce.
3. Bake it and toss it into a salad
It’s always a good idea to add a dose of protein to a salad, especially if you’re eating it for lunch or dinner. But fish, beef and even chicken can get pricey. Tofu is an excellent often-overlooked substitute—it’s healthy, filling and darned cheap. Start with extra-firm tofu, then press it beneath a weighted plate or large skillet to remove all excess water. Cut the tofu into whatever shape you like (think cubes, slices, or sticks). Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350 F oven until puffed and golden, about 20 to 30 minutes. Now you’ve got a delicious and nutritious protein-packed cube that can be tossed into any salad (we like mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado and toasted sesame seeds).
4. Blend it into a smoothie
When you think about smoothie ingredients, what comes to mind? Berries? Bananas? Protein powder? Yoghurt? How about tofu? You may not have thought about it, but adding tofu to your morning smoothie not only makes your smoothie more nutritious (1 cup can provide a whopping 16 g of protein, not to mention all that iron, calcium and magnesium), but it can make it more delicious too. We like to blend 1 cup mixed frozen berries with 1/2 cup silken or regular tofu, 1 tbsp chia seeds, one banana and 1 cup water or milk. Blend until completely smooth and top with dried goji berries, pumpkin seeds and blueberries for an added antioxidant kick.
5. Scramble it for breakfast
6. Make a stir-fry
One of our all-time favourite foodie sites, Minimalist Baker, is the source of many amazing recipes. This Crispy Peanut Tofu & Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry is no exception. If you want to experience tofu in all its sponge-soaking glory, this recipe is for you. Sticky, sweet, crunchy, it has it all.