Seriously Good Tofu Recipes
Interest in vegetarianism–or plant-based eating as it’s now known–has surged in the past couple of years. Soy is one of the main ingredients that people are turning to as an alternative to meat. Among soy-based foods, tofu is probably the best known. It has a long history in vegan and vegetarian diets because it is a good source of protein and other nutrients, depending on how it’s processed. (Calcium and mineral content varies greatly between types of tofu. For a deep dive into this centuries-old food, I recommend this article from Today’s Dietitian.)
The mild taste and spongy texture of firm tofu makes it ideal for incorporating into meals because it easily absorbs the flavours around it. The texture can take a while to get used to, especially if you are trying vegetarian food for the first time. Tofu will never have the mouthfeel of meat, no matter what you do, so make sure you have the right expectations for it. It is endlessly versatile as far as flavour, so you are sure to find something you enjoy. The critical point is ensuring that you have enough seasoning in your dish; tofu may be generally bland, but it can still impart a very processed, soy-ish flavour on its own.
As a former vegetarian, I know how hard it can be to find good tofu recipes. I’ve tried and rejected many. Here are a few favourites that have stood the test of time for me. (Seriously: some of these are over 20 years old.) I’ll also add new ones as I come across them.
Mexican Grilled Tofu with Jicama Slaw from Vegetarian Times
This is a great summer dish with lots of citrus and bold flavours. I’ve done it on the barbecue and it works well, but I’ve also had success pan frying it.
Notes & Tweaks
- You have to use extra-firm tofu; anything softer will fall apart on the barbecue. Allow lots of time because you have to press the tofu to draw out the moisture and then marinate it. The recipe explains how to do this.
- The slaw is absolutely delicious and really refreshing on a hot summer day. I often make this as a side dish on its own.
Ready to try it? Visit Mexican Grilled Tofu at Vegetarian Times.
Vegan Crispy Korean BBQ Tofu
I was looking for something new in the tofu realm and recently stumbled across this BBQ-style recipe. It is delicious. As with the Mexican Grilled Tofu above, you need extra-firm tofu and time to press out the moisture. After that, this recipe comes together really quickly.
Notes & Tweaks
- I didn’t have agave syrup so I used maple syrup. I’m sure honey would be fine too.
- Instead of Gochujang paste, I used a Gochujang chili sauce, which seemed to impart enough heat to the sauce.
- I was also out of raw sesame seeds, so instead of adding any to the sauce, I just sprinkled toasted sesame seeds on top of the finished dish.
Ready to try it? Visit Vegan Crispy Korean BBQ Tofu at Rabbits & Wolves.
Tofu Chorizo from Veggie Life Magazine
I tried to find this recipe online, but the site I clipped it from no longer exists. (I may have found the cookbook where it came from initially, and provided a link in the recipe.) Tofu chorizo is a great vegan alternative for tacos and burritos. This recipe can be as spicy as you like, and has a lot of depth because of the balance between acid, spice, and the richness of peanut butter. Trust me, it all works really well together.
Ready to try it? Visit Tofu Chorizo, here on Supperstruck.
Tofu Wraps with Lime & Cilantro
A friend emailed this recipe to me many years ago, and I never did find the original. Red onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice, garlic: these wraps are loaded with flavour and are a great choice for lunch or a light dinner.
Ready to try it? Visit Tofu Wraps with Lime & Cilantro, here on Supperstruck.
Image of soybeans by Mariia Sultanova | Dreamstime.com