This. post. is. URGENT!
The reason for its urgency? It’s because I recently (as in like 8 months ago, but still, recently) found a new way to prepare my tofu, and I am NEVER going back.
I clearly feel very strong about my new tofu prep method, hence why I very badly need to share it with you guys!
So what’s the deal with how I prepare my tofu? Lemme break it down for you guys.
First things first, I always freeze my tofu. Have you guys ever frozen your tofu before? It creates a WHOLE other texture that, in my opinion, is way more lovely to work with. When you freeze tofu, then defrost it and press it, it has this spongy texture that wasn’t there before. With this spongy texture, the tofu soaks up 100 times more flavors than when it was unfrozen and pretty dense and solid.
In order to freeze tofu, I like to take it out of its container, drain as much liquid from it as possible, then wrap it in tin foil and place in the freezer! One thing that is nice about freezing it is that you can stock your freezer with blocks of frozen tofu. Pretty handy!
Once the tofu is fully frozen (I usually leave it in the freezer overnight) it’s time for it to thaw. I always just throw it in the microwave on a microwave safe plate for 5 minutes, pour the liquid that has melted onto the plate in the sink, and do this 2 more times for a total of 15 minutes in the microwave. (Wondering why I microwave my tofu for so long? It’s because the microwave that my boyfriend and I have in our apartment is ANCIENT. It’s an oldie, but I’ve learned to work with!)
After this, you’ll have a thawed (and very hot!) block of tofu. Now, there’s 2 things you can do next. I used to swear by pressing my thawed tofu for an hour in a tofu press, because it squeezes everrryyyyy last drop of liquid out of it, leaving room for seasoning and flavor, but there is a problem with my old method. From squeezing it like crazy, it creates a super dense, flat piece of tofu. If that’s what you’re going for, then there’s you’re method! But I prefer another way. Instead of pressing it for an hour, after I’ve taken my tofu out of the microwave, I simply press it with my hands between 2 plates over the sink for 10 seconds or so. Just get some of the liquid out, and you’re done. This method leaves the tofu pretty much 3 times thicker than if you pressed it for an hour, and it’s also a lot fluffier and lighter. I prefer it that way!
Alright, now it’s time to reveal my biggest tofu secret…
Are you guys ready?!
I always marinate my tofu in spiced up veggie broth for at least 24 hours before cooking with it!
Well now that that is off my chest, lemme explain!
One day, I was thinking about how people prepare chicken/other types of meat, and how I can apply that to tofu. (Side note: I never aim to make my food taste like meat, but I do enjoy taking little tid bits of non-vegetarian cooking for inspiration!) I was thinking about the use of broths for marinades, and kinda made a connection that since I’m squeezing all of this liquid out of my tofu, leaving it semi-dry, that there’s all this room for a delicious marinade!
I’m prob not the first person to think of this, but the thought process kind of happened naturally so it feels very much like my own and near and dear to my heart ❤
(I love food, can you tell??)
Marinade wise, clearly homemade veggie broth is always optimal, but store bought absolutely does the trick as well! Whether I’m using homemade or store bought broth, I always add a TON of herbs and spices to zest up the broth a little bit. Fresh or dried basil, dried thyme, lots of pepper, both fresh chopped garlic and garlic powder, and cumin. Whatever your go-to spices and herbs are for your everyday cooking, add them!
When marinating my tofu, I like to slice it a certain way to optimize surface area, while also making cooking with it later a breeze. After I have defrosted my tofu and let the piping hot block cool down a bit, I slice it down the middle on its side, so that I have 2 slabs of tofu that are the same looking size, but half the thickness. Does that make sense? Hard to describe without pictures!
(And while we’re on the topic of blog pics, I was going to provide my strange overly sunny outdoor photos that I usually do my for recipe posts, but this one seemed too instruction-based to photograph. I don’t know, it just felt like I would be taking weird pics of murky looking broth and uncooked tofu, and that they wouldn’t really be necessary!)
Anywho, here’s a lil life changing tip about marinating your tofu: so you know those rectangular white plastic containers that Chinese takeout comes in? They are the PERFECT size for marinating tofu! 2 tofu slabs fit swimmingly in one of those containers, and then you have a nice snap-on-lid for your container after you’ve poured your marinade in.
And that’s pretty much the deal with my tofu prep. I like to let it marinate for at least 24 hours, and then you’re free to cook with it as you’d please! My absolute FAVORITE way to utilize this tofu prep method is to slice the slabs in half diagonally so you have 4 big triangles, batter and bread it with cornflakes, and then deep fry it! I have plans to post about that tofu recipe, so expect a mildly unhealthy and extremely delicious tofu recipe soon 🙂
This tofu is also amazing raw as it is in salads. It has SUCH an amazing taste from the broth and herbs, and is really juicy and delish. I also love to cut the tofu into strips, dust it with flour, and pan fry it in some olive oil until the outside is super crispy.
So let’s recap. My tofu prep method goes like this:
- Freeze it
- Defrost it
- Press it
- Slice it
- Marinate it
- EAT IT!
Let me know how you guys like my tofu prep method! Have you been doing the same thing all along and we’re actually tofu soul mates?! Let a girl know!
Have a great night everyone and hug a veteran today in honor of Memorial Day! (My dad is a veteran! Hi dad! Thanks for your service!)