There are still, in 2021, people in America who are resistant to tofu. You hear the usual complaints – it’s stinky, it’s got no taste – but this usually means that someone doesn’t know how to cook it. This article is going to explore how long you should cook tofu.
You should cook tofu in a pan or in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, but often a combination of both is preferred to cut down on time. You don’t technically have to cook tofu, but most people prefer it that way due to the enhanced flavor profile.
One of the tofu’s best assets is that it’s an incredibly versatile meat substitute, and it can be prepared basically any way meat can. In this blog, we’ll discuss some various ways of cooking tofu that help make it so delicious.
How Long to Cook Tofu
We don’t look at foreign food or alternatives to meat the way we once did. Going to a Japanese restaurant for miso soup was completely alien before the 1960s.
It was hard enough for Americans to pronounce words like Gyoza before learning what it is or if it was worth the trouble of finding. But today, foreign cuisine has helped ingredients like tofu become more commonplace, as has the focus on healthier eating.
There is always the possibility that tofu is not for you; that meat is perfectly fine the way it is and you’re not seeking out any healthier substitutions. This is a perfectly acceptable diet, though you have to naturally balance it appropriately with other food groups. Basic nutrition tends to be something we neglect far too easily.
When it comes to tofu, one of its most attractive qualities is its versatility and ease of substitution. Fast food restaurants such as Chipotle have started offering it, and there’s really no limit to how you can prepare it. Some even choose to ferment it to get more flavor.
But how long to cook tofu is really not the right question, as there’s no danger or risk to eating it raw the way there is with meat. Still, the lack of flavors and scents that cooking it brings out can leave many feeling underwhelmed. The last thing you want to do is disappoint someone new to tofu, especially if they already have a negative opinion of it.
Whether you’re making it for your friends or home alone, it’s always best to cook it. As it can be prepared anyway meat can, here are some preferred methods.
How To Cook Tofu in a Pan
The first step to preparing tofu in a pan is essentially what you usually do with the product: cube it. Cut strips of the block off, then cut those strips into cubes. This just makes it easier to eat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit as you’re preparing them. In a mixing bowl, season them how you enjoy them. A lot of people like to keep it simple, but any spice, curry, herb or other seasonings that you desire should be put on before it goes in the pan.
Heat some oil in a pan and saute the tofu for about five minutes. They’ll be ready when they’re brown on all sides. Move the tofu to some paper towels to pat dry.
Transfer the tofu onto a baking sheet and finish them off. This should take about 15 minutes, and they should come out crispy and golden brown.
Other Ways To Cook Tofu
Tofu can be cooked a number of different ways, but the real question might be, do you need to cook it at all? There’s something a little misleading about the term “raw tofu”, as it’s already been cooked before you purchase it.
When tofu is made, the soybeans are turned into soymilk. The soymilk is then cooked, which turns the product into the brick you see in stores. Though cooking it certainly has benefits, there are plenty of health benefits to eating it right out of the package, and many people do.
“Raw” tofu is best enjoyed in some salads. Tofu is a great source of protein, raw or cooked, but eating it raw means avoiding the fatty cooking oils that add calories to the meal.
Still, you can’t beat the taste of tofu cooked right. Here are some other ways people prepare it.
BBQ: Barbecuing tofu is no different than barbecuing chicken or steak. It’s often recommended that you marinate it well before grilling it, letting the tofu absorb the juices of the marinade so it can sweat them out under the fire later.
Remember that, on an open flame, it doesn’t take as long as in the house. Typically, grilling tofu takes about 15 minutes.
Air-Fried: Air-frying tofu is another, faster way to prepare it with a marinade. Usually, tofu marinades involve soy sauce.
There are plenty of alternative methods of preparing one of the best alternatives to meat, but you have to be willing to try it first. Once you do have it properly, there’s much less chance of being disappointed.