Tofu, also called bean curd, is made from curdled soy milk that is pressed into solid blocks. A great source of protein, tofu has been used as a healthier substitute for meat, making it a favorite among vegetarians and health-conscious consumers.
You can choose between four different types of textures: silken, soft, firm and extra firm. Silken tofu is generally used for desserts and salads, while the other three can be used when tofu is the main ingredient of a recipe. The difference between these textures is the amount of water present within the tofu. Using a tofu press to remove the water can make it firmer. Keep in mind you can’t press silken tofu. Since it’s too soft, it will just turn into mush once pressed.
Normally, tofu lasts up to 3-5 days before getting spoiled and up to 5 months when frozen. You can use store-bought tofu in your recipes, or you can make your own using our recipe below. We have also prepared delicious and easy-to-make tofu recipes that you’ll absolutely love!
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Tofu mold or any square container
Soak the soybeans in water for 6 hours or more.
Drain the water and add the expanded soybeans into a blender or food processor for about 15 seconds. Add water from time to time to make it smooth and creamy.
Use a sieve to drain the mixture and separate the soy pulp from the milk. Place the soy milk in a pot and let it simmer over low-medium heat. Stir the milk occasionally and take out the foam forming at the top.
Once it starts to simmer, add the lemon juice and turn off the heat.
Stir the milk carefully then set aside. Curdles will start forming at this point. If it doesn’t, boil it again for a few more minutes and add more lemon juice.
Place the cheesecloth over a mold and use a skimmer spoon to transfer the curdles. Wrap the cheesecloth tightly.
Press the cloth by placing a heavy object over the cloth. This removes the excess liquid and forms the shape of the tofu. If you want a softer texture, press for about 10 minutes or less. Press for up to 20 minutes for a firmer texture.
Store in an airtight container. Make sure to add water since tofu tends to dry out quickly.
Extra firm tofu
½ tsp salt
2 tsp peanut oil
Rinse the tofu with cold water. Slice into cubes.
Press the tofu to drain excess water.
Heat the peanut oil on the pan. Add the tofu and let it cook without stirring for a minute to allow the bottom to turn brown.
Add salt then stir the tofu gently.
Place the tofu on a serving dish.
Tofu Pad Thai
14 oz extra firm tofu
8 oz rice noodles
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp oil
1 garlic clove, grated
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 sliced red pepper
¼ cup peanuts, chopped
2 scallions, sliced thinly
Press the tofu to remove excess water. Slice the tofu into cubes then place transfer them into a bowl. Toss to coat with cornstarch.
Cook the rice noodles and rinse it with water. Drain it afterwards.
Mix sugar, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, lime juice, and garlic in a bowl in a separate bowl. Set it aside.
Heat oil in a nonstick pan (preferably a carbon steel wok) on medium heat. Add red pepper and cook for about 4-5 minutes then remove it.
Saute the tofu for 4-5 minutes, tossing gently until it turns golden brown. Add the noodles and sauce mixture in the pan and toss to combine.
Add the red pepper, scallions, and sprouts and let it cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle crushed peanuts on top.
If you loved these tofu recipes, make sure to try out our other easy to follow, delicious recipes!