I shied away from tofu for a long time after becoming vegetarian. It didn’t really do it for me and making it at home always felt like a letdown. But in an attempt to diversify Noe’s palate I started buying it again. This time determined to make it better. I’ve learned there is really only one secret to perfect tofu and it’s completely, stupidly simple.
Ready for it…
Here it comes…
Yeah, yeah, yeah you’re telling me. I’ve heard this all before. But seriously, this is the secret to perfect tofu.
I’ve also found that the longer you can press it, the better. I’ve read a lot of tofu tutorials that say, press for 30 minutes or an hour. Sure, it’s better than not pressing it at all but if you have the forethought, I’d say leave it for a minimum of 4 hours and ideally, up to 2 days.
Yes, that seems like a crazy long amount of time but a few days ago I prepped some tofu and there it sat, in the fridge for 2 days, maybe a day more, and when I made it, it was the best flippin’ tofu I’d ever made.
The key is to get the moisture out of it. That will ensure a super firm bite and then you can leave that crumbly, soft, falling apart tofu in the dust.
If you’re doing a Sunday food prep, I made it really simple for you. Use the same marinade that you need for my coconut bacon and cook both at once.
I also recommend a few other tricks for the perfect tofu.
- Use a cast iron skillet if possible.
- Add oil to the marinade and oil the pan. It will keep the tofu from sticking and leaving the crunchy, delicious outer layer in the pan.
- Saute on medium low heat and if you can, be patient, letting each side brown completely before flipping to another side.
Oh, and for the record, even with this perfect tofu recipe, Noe still won’t eat it, haha.
The perfect tofu.
- 1 block firm tofu
- ½ tablespoon olive oil plus an extra teaspoon to drizzle directly into the pan
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari
- Remove tofu from packaging.
- Wrap the tofu in a dish towel. Place it on a plate then put a heavy pan or pot on top. I use a cast iron skillet.
- Place tofu in the refrigerator and press for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 2 days.
- Unwrap tofu and cut into small cubes.
- Mix olive oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, onion powder and Braggs/tamari in a bowl.
- Place tofu in marinade and mix well. You can leave the tofu in the marinade for 30 minutes if you'd like.
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium low heat.
- Place tofu in skillet in one layer.
- Let the tofu brown on one side then turn with a spatula. Continue to turn tofu until most sides are browned.
- Serve in stir fry or on top of salads.