How to Season Tofu: Quick and Easy Recipes and Tips

how to season tofu
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / waichi2021

Do you think tofu is bland and tasteless? Think again! We'll share a few quick and easy recipes for how to season your tofu. Get ready for some flavor explosion!

What is Tofu?

Tofu is made from mature soybean curds that have been pressed into a thick white block. 

Tofu is known for being an important source of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians. It is also naturally gluten-free, low in calories, cholesterol-free and is an equally great source of iron and calcium. With these recipes, you’ll learn how to season different types of tofu, so you can get into the kitchen and start adding this nutrient-packed ingredient to your favorite recipes and dinners.

It’s important to pay attention to the kind of tofu you need. Tofu comes in different textures: firm, extra-firm, soft and silken. Choosing the right one depends on the specific cooking method you’re using, be it oven-roasting, frying, baking, or blending. Don’t forget to check which type your recipe calls for!

How to Press Tofu Without a Tofu Press

Pressing your tofu before seasoning it is an important step that should not be missed. Pressing the tofu releases the excess liquid in the block, which will help the tofu keep its shape when frying or baking, as well as making sure any seasoning you add does not get diluted. 

All you will need to press your tofu at home is two small sheet pans, a clean kitchen towel or cloth, and some heavy objects, like canned goods, a fruit bowl, or some cookbooks.

Step 1: Drain the tofu and remove it from its package.

Step 2: Place half of the kitchen towel on one of the sheet pans. Place the blocks onto the kitchen towel, and fold the other half of the towel on top. Now place the other sheet pan on top.

Step 3: Place your heavy objects on top of the sheet pan. Try to spread the weight of the objects out evenly over the tofu. Press for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for up to an hour. Swap the wet kitchen towel halfway through with a fresh one for best results. 

How to Season Tofu in 5 Different Ways

Seasoned tofu is packed full of flavor and really versatile
Seasoned tofu is packed full of flavor and really versatile
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Devanath)

The key to cooking delicious tofu is the seasoning! Tofu is like a sponge, and will soak up any flavors you add to it, making it a really versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen. 

For best and tastiest results, marinate your tofu in your seasoning of choice for at least 30 minutes. Marinating for over 1 hour, or even overnight, is ideal.

1. Teriyaki Tofu Seasoning

Stir -fried teriyaki tofu is an essential ingredient for a noodle dish
Stir -fried teriyaki tofu is an essential ingredient for a noodle dish
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / yuelanliu)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp grated garlic
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (optional)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir your tofu in until coated. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. 

This tofu seasoning is best served with an Asian noodle stir-fry, on top of rice dishes, or as a vegan alternative to bacon bits on top of a salad. For these types of dishes, firm tofu works best. 

2. How to Season Mexican Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 – 2 tbsp chilli powder (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • Dash of liquid smoke (optional)

This tofu seasoning is delicious with fajitas. Mix all the ingredients together and use it to marinate the tofu for at least 30 minutes. Use extra-firm tofu and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. BBQ Tofu Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • ¼ cup ketchup 
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (or vegan Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Dash of liquid smoke (optional)

Grilling the tofu will give you the stickiest bbq flavor, so you’ll want to use extra-firm tofu, which won’t fall apart over the coals. Serve on skewers along with other veggies of your choosing. 

https://utopia.org/guide/can-you-eat-raw-tofu-heres-what-you-should-know/

4. Cilantro-Lime Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Good pinch of salt 
  • 1 tsp chopped jalapeño or serrano pepper (optional)

This tofu seasoning is best for firm tofu. After marinating your tofu, bake it in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use your tofu as taco toppings, or add it into your burrito.

5. Balsamic Tofu Seasoning

Marinaded tofu will make for a tasty addition to a salad or a topping for a soup.
Marinaded tofu will make for a tasty addition to a salad or a topping for a soup.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Martin-Staffa)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt

This sticky and sweet tofu seasoning recipe is delicious for making tofu to use as a topping for salads or soups. Marinate firm tofu for thirty minutes and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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