Tofu is an excellent product for vegans to include in their meals because it’s a good source of calcium, protein, and minerals like copper, manganese, phosphorus, and selenium. The subtle flavor of tofu allows you to prepare it in all kinds of dishes, including desserts.
Tofu may resemble cheese, but it’s a curd made from soybeans. There are various textures of tofu, ranging from extra firm to silky. According to scholars, tofu has consistently featured in Chinese cooking for over 2,000 years, slowly spreading to other countries in the East, including Japan, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia.
Including tofu in your diet does have health benefits, so let’s discover easy vegan tofu recipes to try:
Delicious Vegan Tofu Recipes
Tofu may be bland, but it is a versatile ingredient you can cook in countless ways. The secret is to handle it correctly.
Rainbow Plant Life provides more than 40 easy vegan tofu recipes to inspire you with flavors from Far, Middle, and South East Asia, America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the Mediterranean. Fun recipes to try include Tofu Scramble, Vegan Jamaican Curry Tofu, Vegan Crispy Tofu Katsu 4 Ways, vegan Tofu Shawarma, Enchiladas de Suelo, and Tofu Tikka Masala.
When preparing tofu dishes, it’s good to know the following:
- Firmer tofu has less liquid because of the pressing process, making it ideal for scrambling and frying.
- Silken tofu works best in pureed dishes like smoothies, dips, sauces, or creamy desserts.
- Use extra-firm tofu if you want a crispy result when frying or grilling it.
- Super-firm tofu gives the most compact and dense result for grilling.
- The less watery the tofu, the easier it will absorb flavors and the more crisp it will become. Therefore, press firm and extra firm tofu for 10 to 30 minutes, but never press the soft and silken varieties.
- Press tofu by weighing it down between a paper towel or dish towel. Freezing tofu has the same effect as pressing, but thaw before cooking.
Quick and Easy Tofu Recipes
It may sound daunting if you have never cooked with tofu before, but it’s easy to cook, whether you want to crumble it to make a scramble, grill it to add to a stir fry or use it as a substitute for soft cheese in a lasagne.
Tofu can also make a delicious filling for a sandwich with vegan mayo or with avocado. Cube it, and add it to a poke bowl or a miso soup. Learn more about making quick and easy tofu recipes like a delicious Vegetable Vegan Frittata or the Black Pepper Tofu from The Simple Veganista.
Mouthwatering Vegan Meals with Tofu
You can eat tofu raw, but cooking it allows you to elevate its flavor. There are several ways to prepare it to add to mouthwatering meals, depending on how tasty or crispy you want. You can bake, sauté, or fry the tofu cut in any way you desire to add to meals. You can also boil or warm it with other ingredients like soups or curries.
Here’s how to bake crispy tofu to add to your mouthwatering meals:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Press the block of extra firm tofu for 30 minutes or more if you aren’t in a hurry.
- Cut the tofu; cubes are easiest.
- Place the cubes in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Use a piece of parchment to line your baking dish and arrange the tofu pieces on the tray.
- Drizzle with sea salt and olive oil.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until as crispy as you desire.
- Toss the tofu into a salad or stir-fry, or serve as a starter.
Variation: Marinate the tofu in soy sauce for 30 minutes instead of dusting it with cornflour. Then, arrange on your baking tray lined with parchment and bake for about 40 minutes, turning once during the baking process.
Best Vegan Tofu Recipes to Try Now
One of the reasons tofu makes such an excellent addition to vegan meals is its neutral flavor. However, it has an interesting texture and pairs well with flavors from several cultures. That’s why it allows you to turn any meal into something exciting.
If you want to serve the best vegan foods that will make your family and friends want to go meatless, don’t hesitate to try these easy vegan recipes from Delish. The Vegan Lasagne is an all-time favorite for entertaining, as is the Vegan Potato Curry. However, if you are only preparing a meal for yourself, why not try the Collard Wrap or the Jerk Tofu Grain Bowl? Another must-try from this recipe collection is the Pretty in Pink Raspberry Smoothie.
Flavorful Tofu Recipes for Vegans
Tofu might have a bland flavor, but there’s no reason why you cannot spice it up. Soy sauce is the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s not the only way to give it some zing. Another classic is salt and pepper. Use this traditional combination just like on any other food to produce a flavorful tofu dish, especially when doing something with a Mediterranean flair.
Use paprika if you want a Creole-inspired diss. Turn to cinnamon and turmeric to provide a pleasing Eastern palate. Experiment with other spices like coriander and cumin; don’t forget the chili if you like hot things.
Finally, when making a vegan “egg” mayonnaise sandwich or scramble, look to the herb kingdom for inspiration to add a fresh flavor. Chives or dill are two great accompaniments to tofu in this case.
Tasty Vegan Dishes with Tofu
As a meat alternative for those eating only plant-based food, tofu is an excellent source of protein but with minimal fat. Tofu is not known as an exciting ingredient because of its bland taste. However, you may not know this is also a great advantage because it allows you to imbue it with flavors to create tasty and unforgettable dishes.
Try these dishes from the Green Loot, and you will have difficulty convincing your family and friends that you have prepared them with tofu. These recipes are all exceptional, but some stand out because they give everyone the impression that you’re a pro in the kitchen. They are easy to prepare and tasty. Impress with favorites like the Vegan Sesam Tofu Dumplings, Peanut Tofu Rice Paper Rolls, Ultimate Chili, Glazed Tofy Ham, and the most delicious Mapo Tofu.
As you can see, there’s no limit to the flavors you can create with tofu. Use these vegan recipes to encourage you to experiment further.
Simple and Satisfying Tofu Recipes
Tofu makes it easy to serve simple and satisfying meals. Serve it grilled or fried as protein, accompany it with grains or pasta, and add some vegetables to ensure a balanced meal.
One of the favorite ways to combine protein and vegetables with tofu is to add them to stir-fries that contain noodles or rice. If you are looking for easy vegan tofu recipes that are simple but satisfying, then Allie from Naturallie Plant-Based has many ideas. Learn to make tofu in several ways, including air-fried and Lemon Pepper Tofu, and how to serve it with flavorsome grain and vegetable combinations. Try the Thai Peanut Tofu Wrap and the Crispy Asian Tofu Buddha Bowl, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is to include the healthiest ingredients in your diet.
Must-Try Vegan Tofu Recipes
The popularity of tofu continues to grow as more people seek a plant-based lifestyle in the West. Bloggers and chefs have contributed to its popularity by encouraging people to become more aware of the versatility of this healthy plant-based protein option.
When trying vegan tofu recipes, remember that it’s essential to choose your tofu correctly to ensure you get the best results. However, there’s no reason you cannot allow your creativity to blossom by experimenting with tofu to match your cooking style and the things you like. Remember, tofu is popular in the East, so try it in traditional dishes, but don’t hesitate to combine it with other flavors.
When it comes to serving meatless meals, tofu is your delicious go-to. Some must-try vegan tofu recipes that will have everyone returning for more include these recipes shared by the Food Network.
Make the Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich for movie night because it’s easy to serve in front of the TV. Another great idea to serve guests with crackers for starters is the Whipped Tofu Dip. Here’s a recipe that removes the pork from the traditional Chinese braised eggplant dish – Braised Eggplant with Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms. Don’t forget to try the Silken Tofu Banchan and the comforting Tofu Puffs with Egg Gravy.
Dessert is a must for some occasions. Use tofu to create delicious ice creams, mousses, and cake ideas that are easy and delicious by Kim from Insanely Good Recipes. The Silken Tofu Chocolate Mousse takes five minutes to prepare and is always a favorite. If you want something slightly more challenging, try making a Vegan Crème Brûlée or the colorful Matcha Tofu Cheesecake.
These are just some examples of the easy vegan tofu recipes you can make. They will please your tastebuds and show your friends that tofu is not dull!
Mastering Tofu: Tips & Tricks for Vegan Cooking Perfection
After exploring the delectable world of easy vegan tofu recipes, it’s time to elevate your tofu game to the next level. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan chef or new to the plant-based scene, mastering the art of tofu preparation can transform your culinary creations. Here are some essential tips and tricks to help you always achieve tofu perfection.
- Press for Success: To achieve that coveted crispy exterior, press your tofu to remove excess moisture. This can be done using a tofu press or by wrapping the block in a clean kitchen towel and placing a heavy object on top for about 30 minutes.
- Marinate for Flavor: Tofu is like a sponge and will soak up any flavors you introduce. To infuse your tofu with deliciousness, marinate it for at least 30 minutes or overnight for an even deeper flavor profile—experiment with different marinades, from soy sauce and maple syrup to citrus juices and spices.
- Texture Tactics: Depending on the dish, you might want your tofu to have a soft, firm, or extra-firm texture. Understand the types of tofu available and which is best suited for your recipe. Silken tofu works wonders in smoothies and desserts, while firm and extra-firm varieties hold up well in stir-fries and grilling.
- Cooking Techniques: Explore various cooking methods to discover what you like best. Try baking, grilling, pan-frying, or air-frying your tofu for different textures and flavors. Remember that high heat will help achieve a crisp exterior, so don’t be afraid to raise the temperature.
- Seasoning Secrets: Don’t shy away from seasonings and spices. Tofu can handle bold flavors, so season generously. Nutritional yeast, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black salt (kala namak) can add layers of flavor to your tofu dishes.
- Sauce It Up: A great sauce can elevate simple tofu to a mouthwatering meal. Whether it’s a rich peanut sauce, a tangy barbecue glaze, or a spicy Szechuan concoction, always keep a repertoire of sauce recipes at your fingertips.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating sensational vegan tofu dishes that will impress you. Remember, cooking is an art, and tofu is your canvas – so get creative, experiment, and, most importantly, have fun!
Frequently Asked Questions About Vegan Tofu Recipes
Do I always need to press tofu before cooking?
Pressing tofu is recommended for most recipes, especially if you want a crispy texture. It helps to remove excess moisture, allowing the tofu to absorb marinades better and achieve a golden-brown finish when cooked. However, pressing isn’t necessary for dishes that require a softer texture, like smoothies or creamy sauces.
Can tofu be flavored to taste like meat?
Tofu can be marinated and seasoned to mimic the flavors of various meats. Using ingredients like soy sauce, liquid smoke, and nutritional yeast, along with the right cooking techniques, can give tofu a savory, meat-like taste.
What is the best type of tofu for baking?
It’s best to use firm or extra-firm tofu for baking because it holds its shape and texture well under heat. Silken tofu is too delicate for baking and is better suited for sauces and desserts.
How long can I store marinated tofu in the fridge?
Marinated tofu can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. Keep it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness and flavor.
Is tofu a complete protein?
Yes, tofu is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids your body needs. It’s an excellent protein source for vegans and vegetarians.
Can I freeze tofu?
Absolutely! Freezing tofu is a great way to extend its shelf life and can also change its texture. Frozen and then thawed tofu becomes more porous and chewy, which some people prefer for certain dishes.
Are all tofu varieties vegan?
Yes, tofu is inherently vegan as it is made from soy milk and a coagulant. It’s a plant-based product free from animal ingredients. However, always check the packaging for additional flavorings or additives if you have specific dietary concerns.
You can dive into vegan tofu recipes confidently and creatively by incorporating these tips and answering common questions. Happy cooking!