Whenever I tell people that I’m a vegetarian (I mean pescetarian…), the most common response is, “what do you eat for protein then? Tofu?” While I hate getting asked this question (I’ll save why for another post), my answer is almost always “YES!” – lending support to the idea that vegetarians eat weird foods…
And to that I say…
I love me some tofu. I love it so much that I do believe if I ever started eating meat again (which I don’t plan on), I would still eat loads of tofu.
I know a lot of people avoid eating too many soy products, and I do too. I eat tofu about 1-2 times a week. I think that’s a reasonable amount.
I remember the first time I made tofu it was an absolute disaster – which I’m sure happens a lot, steering people away from wanting to try again.
I think the mysteriousness of tofu comes from the fact that you can’t really compare it to anything else – it comes in a watery package and looks like a big block of gooey sponge. And since it’s like nothing else, most people have no idea what to do with it.
Well, I’m here to change that. 🙂 I want y’all to love tofu just as much as I do.
A lot of people bake it in the oven, but I don’t find it gets crispy enough. There are actually a LOT of different ways to prepare tofu, but I am going to show you the easiest, and my personal favorite. Since one of the things people fear most about tofu is the texture, this stovetop method is good for first-timers, since it should be wonderfully chewy and not so sponge-like.
Okay, let’s get to it…
Let’s start at square one – the grocery store. There are sooo many tofu options! So which one should you buy? Tofu comes in a range of firmness, from extra firm to silken. For our purposes here, you want firm or extra firm. My personal favorite is Nasoya’s Organic Firm tofu…
(sorry, I tore open the package before realizing that I hadn’t snapped a photo) My B…
Start by cutting open the package and draining out the scary water. Place the block on a cutting board and cut the tofu into 6 rectangular pieces (as evenly as possible).
Take the blocks and lay them out on an absorbent towel (or a few layers of paper towels). Wrap the tofu up so that it’s covered on all sides, and put something big and heavy on top – I always use cookbooks!
Let sit for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, drizzle a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive (or coconut) oil in a large non-stick pan. Heat it up.
After ten minutes of pressing the tofu slices, add them to your hot pan – you should hear a sizzle. Lay them all out in one even later, and give another spritz of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let them sizzle over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes. If you are feeling antsy, you can check one piece to see if it is browned yet, but wait until they have a good amount of color before flipping.
Once the bottom side is browned, go ahead and flip over – using a fork or spatula.
Let it cook long enough to make sure each side gets good brown color. Once each side is browned, flip a few more times for a minute or so, just to make sure it is all crispy enough. 🙂
Trust me on this one…
That’s all there is to it! Serve these by themselves or dip them in a yummy sauce – my favorite is spicy dijon mustard!
This is my absolute favorite way to make tofu. And now that you know how to do the basic process, you’ll be able to try all sorts of variations. Hopefully it seems a little more tasty and easy. I made this for my meat and potato lovin’ dad once and he loved it!
Give tofu a chance!
Happy Sunday y’all!