Okay hear me out, I thought I hated tofu. It never looked appetizing to me and it just felt too spongey to get past. That was until I started cooking tofu myself and experimenting with different ways of cooking, marinating, and making tofu! Now I'm obsessed with tofu it's cheap, filling, and healthy - not to mention it can be delicious! So even if you think you hate tofu too give some of the recipes a try before you ignore it on the shelf!
1. Marinated tofu bowls:
This recipe was the first recipe where I truly realized how delicious tofu could be. I found this recipe for marinated tofu and we figured we would make bowls out of them with some rice, vegetables, and top it all off with peanut sauce.
To make the tofu marinade, first take the extra firm tofu and wrap it in either a linen towel or some paper towels and press it with a heavy pan or cookbook etc. for 20-30 minutes. While that's pressing mix together the marinade.
To cook the tofu I put a few tablespoons of oil on a pan and let it warm up, I added the tofu to the pan on medium-high heat and let it sit for 3-4 minutes. After that with a spatula I would shift the tofu around to different sides and let sit for another 3-4 minutes without touching it. I kept doing this until all the sides were cooked and crispy! It's especially important to not stir the tofu in between because you want the sides to all crisp up.
While that was happening I had rice on the stove and to top off my bowl I added steamed broccoli, roasted red peppers, carrots, red cabbage and peanut sauce!
For peanut sauce I don't have a true recipe, usually I find a quick recipe online to get me started and then I continue to adjust to taste preferences. This is the recipe I went off this time:
2. Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup with Crispy Tofu:
I found this recipe from a blog I love called Pick Up Limes. I will say, I messed it up a little and it still turned out amazing, but the photo wasn't as appetizing so please enjoy the photo from their blog post instead to entice you to make this! I made this for lunches for a week and found it to be very filling as well and it reheated great throughout the week.
For the tofu: add coconut oil and one block of pressed and cubed tofu to a pan on medium high heat and let sit for 3-4 minutes before stirring.
Then in a large pot on high heat add:
Let it cook for 2 minutes adding in a splash or two of water if needed. Then add in 3 tbsp of Thai red curry paste and let cook for one minute before adding:
Then add in noodles that can cook in 3 minutes or less and let simmer for 3 more minutes.
Once done, add in the tofu and enjoy!
3. Sesame Tofu and Brocolli
This recipe made me feel like I was ordering Chinese food for lunches, while also being very healthy. In the recipe (linked above) she made her own sesame sauce. That seemed a little difficult for me given the ingredient list was a lot of things I didn't have on hand or know where to buy, so I ended up buying one at the store that was in an all glass container with an aluminum lid so I feel okay about "cheating" a little bit on the recipe here.
For the tofu however it couldn't have been more simple. After pressing the tofu rip it apart into bite sized pieces. Then with 2 tbsp of corn starch, sprinkle it over the bowl and then with your hands mix it all together helping to coat to tofu on all sides.
She also says to add in 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 1/2 cup of soy sauce here - I didn't but only because I totally missed it! I'm sure it would have tasted even better had I done this extra step.
Then lay the tofu out on a pan and bake in the oven for 25 min at 400F. After baking, I put mine in a bowl with some broccoli and covered in sesame sauce! It was delicious. You could put it over rice too but I just didn't because I was eating rice a lot the week before and just wasn't in the mood for it.
I hope that these recipes help convince you to give trying tofu a try! Honestly, you can buy a block of tofu for ~$1 at any grocery store and one block typically makes about 2-3 meals worth for me, so it's a rather cheap thing to try once! Plus it's a huge amount of protein (36 grams per block) and no cholesterol so it's great for you too. Happy eating!
Join me as I document my journey to becoming zero-waste through this blog as a resource to others.