Tofu is what I consider a “super ingredient.” It’s a blank canvas, just waiting to take on any flavor and seasoning you’re craving. That same blank canvas ability is the very reason some people cringe at the mere mention of the “T” word. Commercial tofu on its own is rather bland (homemade tofu is a whole other story), but with minimal effort you can transform it from boring to mind-blowing.
I prefer cooking with extra-firm tofu, since you can cut it into “steaks” or cubes for making stir-fries. Taking the time to drain any excess water helps the tofu hold its shape better too, so plan on an extra thirty minutes of “hands-off” for prep work.
Draining the tofu is super easy. Start by slicing it into slabs, about 1-inch thick for “steaks”, and 3/4-inch thick for cubes to sauté. Lay the slices on a cloth or paper-towel lined tray. Cover the slices with another layer of towel. Place a cutting board or cookie sheet on top of the tofu slices, and weigh it down with a heavy pot (watch this video to see the technique). Let the tofu sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. During that time the tofu will firm up as the excess liquid absorbs into the towel (and you can started on other dinner prep work while you’re waiting).
You can then use it to grill, sauté or make a quick, easy and flavorful stir-fry.
—Story and recipe by food blogger Jennifer Perillo.