Whether you’re a tofu connoisseur or a little wary of cooking with the block o’ soybeans, we are here to tell you that tofu isn’t really as scary as it seems—and that there are SO many ways to use it (whether you’re a vegetarian or not). Which is why we’re sharing with you some top tofu tips and some more unique ways how to use tofu in all of your favorite dishes.
And these tofu tips aren’t just from anyone. They’re courtesy of Gabriele Corcos and his wife actress Debi Mazar, who are hosts of the Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin. Recently, Debi and Gabriele began working with House Foods America, which offers a wide variety of tofu and tofu shirataki products. Having developed an assortment of delicious recipes that incorporate House Foods tofu, here are their personal tofu tips.
Debi Mazar’s and Gabriele Corcos’ Top Tofu Tips
1. Don’t be afraid. Tofu is very easy to work with once you try it. As you learn the range of tofu styles available, you’ll discover how it can add a new dimension to your cooking.
2. Incredibly versatile. Substitute tofu for heavy, caloric ingredients like sour cream, heavy cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese or ricotta. It can even be used to make a lighter and more delicate dessert such as tofu tiramisu.
3. Not just for Asian cooking. House Foods Tofu and Tofu Shirataki work well with many other cuisines, especially Tuscan. We can be true to our cooking style and focus on simple ingredients and flavors, but with a new twist.
4. Recipes will specify the style of tofu you need. Soft tofu is best used in dips, smoothies, desserts and salad dressings. Medium Firm tofu works well in casseroles, soups and salads. Firm and Extra Firm tofu are great meat substitutes and ideal for stir-frying, grilling, deep-frying, crumbled in chili and much more.
5. Preparing tofu is easy. Drain as much water as possible, wrap it in paper towels to blot, and slice it according to the recipe. Cut into small cubes if blending or mashing. For most recipes including soft tofu, skip the draining step.
6. Preserving tofu is easy. Store leftover tofu in a water-filled, airtight container in the fridge. It can keep for two to three days, but change the water every day or two.
7. Tofu can be frozen. Freeze tofu in its original container or a freezer bag. To thaw, just leave it out on the counter for a few hours (don’t microwave it!). Defrosted tofu’s texture becomes spongy, and it soaks up marinade sauces well and is great for the grill.
8. Buy premium quality tofu. When buying your tofu, check your label! House Foods uses only non‐genetically modified (non‐GMO) soybeans grown in the USA. All House Foods Tofu products are Non-GMO Project verified and certified gluten-free.
How to Use Tofu: More Unique Ways
- Extra Firm Tofu can be marinated in soy sauce and then chopped into blocks and grilled (or grilled kebab-style).
- Firm Tofu is delicious when crumbled and mixed with ground turkey, onion and breadcrumbs for tasty meatballs.
- Try Medium Firm Tofu in your next breakfast eggless tofu scramble.
- Soft Tofu tastes delicious in a healthy mango smoothie that is blended with orange juice, mango, honey and milk or soy milk.
- Soft Tofu can also be used as a lower-fat, cholesterol-free ingredient in dressings.
- Cube Medium Firm Tofu and toss it into soups or broth (prior to seasoning) as an alternative to meats.
- Mash tofu with cottage cheese, avocado or even mix with hummus for a fun appetizer.
- Create your own tofu burgers with mashed tofu, bread crumbs, chopped onion and seasonings.
Okay, so we had no idea tofu could be frozen. Talk about a good tofu tip! And kebab-style tofu? What a fun way how to use tofu! Gonna have to bust out the grill for that soon…
Tell us: what’s your favorite way how to use tofu? Any tofu tips you’d share? And check back tomorrow when we have an interview with Debi Mazar! Love her! —Jenn