If you’re looking to incorporate more protein into your diet, or if you’re looking for a tasty meat alternative, tofu is an incredibly popular choice. Made from soybean curd, tofu comes in a variety of different forms. Tofu has a lot of health benefits, providing you with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin B1, iron, and calcium.
The most common form of tofu is firm tofu which you can buy from any supermarket near you. Firm tofu is popular for its sturdy texture which replicates the textures of chicken and beef very well. Firm tofu comes in a lot of different flavors too such as smoked and teriyaki, and also comes in extra-firm or super-firm blocks.
Silken tofu is only available at selected stores but is also very popular for its smooth and silky texture. Silken tofu is widely used in cooking as it provides a creamy texture and taste to sauces and soups, making it an effective dairy replacement in cooking.
Tempeh is from the same family as tofu as it is made with soybeans, except the soybeans in tempeh are whole instead of curdled soybean milk like tofu. Tempeh gives a nuttier flavor and has a firmer texture than tofu, and is very high in protein and nutrients, making it a very healthy alternative to any meats or fish.
So, as you can see, tofu is very popular and has a lot of range for you to use in your cooking. Below are some of the best tofu recipes for you to try at home, and there are lots of classic recipes below with a vegan twist. These dishes will make sure you will never miss out on traditional dishes which are extra tasty given that they are completely cruelty-free!
These tacos are a true taste of Mexico, and to make them even better, they’re totally vegan! These tacos are super easy to make as they contain all ingredients you can buy easily from any store, and they only require basic cooking skills, making them perfect for first-time cooks or vegan bakers.
To make the tofu ‘beef’, combine all of the spices that you would usually add to ground beef. These can include black pepper, salt, and herbs, paprika, garlic, a hint of chili, or anything you like! As we are looking to make a paste for the tofu, be sure to add water or lime juice to the spices and mix well so that your tofu is able to be coated in it. Then you crumble the tofu into the bowl so that it resembles a mince-like texture, combine, and then place it on a baking tray to cook. Super-firm tofu is the desired tofu to work with here as it contains less water and doesn’t require any pressing or draining.
While the tofu is baking, you can prepare your other ingredients, such as warming up your tortillas, preparing your salsa, and gathering your favorite condiments such as sour cream, mayonnaise, or guacamole.
Once the tofu is baked, it should be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, resembling beef mince. Transfer the tofu to a dish and put it out with all of the other ingredients ready to serve.
This recipe for Crispy Tofu Nuggets is perfect for introducing some more plant-based recipes into children’s diets, or just because they taste so good! A classic American delicacy, nuggets are a staple in anyone’s diet.
Firstly, prepare the tofu. Now, there is a method to make your tofu resemble chicken more than usual if you desire. This is achieved by freezing your tofu overnight and defrosting it in the refrigerator the next day, causing the tofu to have a chewier texture that resembles a better chicken-like taste. This, however, isn’t necessary, and some people prefer the tofu texture so choose not to freeze it.
Just like the taco recipe, you will first need to prepare a paste to coat your tofu in. You can use any herbs and spices that you like, but it is recommended that you use garlic and onion powder, paprika, and maple syrup in your paste as well as plenty of herbs to replicate that chicken flavoring. Be sure to mix well until the paste is smooth, adding liquid such as water, lime juice, soy sauce, or lemon juice to make the paste more of a liquid.
After preparing the nugget paste, you will use the same method as the taco tofu mince. Instead of crumbling the tofu, you will need to break the tofu apart into your desired size for your nuggets. You can also use this method for tofu fillets, but make sure you prepare your desired nugget sizes. Imperfections are perfections!
Carefully coat the nuggets in the paste by individually dropping them into the bowl and evenly coating them, before removing them and placing them on the baking tray. By individually coating them, this will ensure your tofu nuggets keep their shape and all of the nuggets are evenly coated in the paste.
Bake the nuggets until golden brown. Transfer them onto a plate to share out, or keep them all for yourself!
This recipe is extremely easy to make and tastes just as delicious as restaurant Thai curry. The tofu instructions are fairly simple on this recipe and it requires extra or super-firm tofu. As we are looking for the tofu to resemble chicken, the freezing method applies again if you wish, however, this is not necessary.
Firstly, begin boiling your rice. Rice can take longer to cook than pasta, and you want to make sure you aren’t waiting for your rice after you have prepared the curry.
As you prepare the curry paste, you can either make this from scratch or buy Thai curry paste from a supermarket near you. To make from scratch, combine ginger, lemongrass, chilies, turmeric, miso paste, coriander, cumin, curry powder, and shallots in a blender and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
Now, onto the tofu. Cut the tofu into blocks however big or small you would like. Season your tofu with your desired spices, or leave plain. Lightly fry the tofu in a pan until it is brown and crispy.
Then, place mushrooms, peppers, courgette, and sugar snap peas in the pan and sautee them until soft. Once the vegetables are at your desired softness, combine coconut milk and your curry paste into the pan and stir until you are happy with the consistency of your sauce.
Once you’re happy with your sauce, add the tofu and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Serve your curry along with your rice and enjoy!
This Asian-style dish is a favorite all around the world and tofu works perfectly in this dish. This dish is quite heavy on spice, so if you aren’t a fan, there is the option to reduce the spice level or to use this method and create a BBQ sauce instead of a spicy one.
To begin, cut or break the tofu into chunks of your desired size. Add the tofu to a bowl and mix with soy sauce for flavoring and cornstarch for crispiness. After preparing the tofu, place the chunks on a baking tray and bake until the tofu is crispy or until you are happy with the texture.
While waiting for the tofu to bake, add gochujang paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and tahini to a bowl and mix into a paste. The gochujang paste is what makes this dish so spicy, so add as much or as little as you desire. For a milder option, sriracha works just as well and is easier to buy at supermarkets.
Once the tofu is baked, add it to a pan along with the sauce and mix until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. The best consistency for this dish is sticky, but it is up to you how you would rather eat your tofu.
Best served with rice or in tacos.
Breakfasts aren’t the same without beloved scrambled eggs, but what to do if you want cruelty-free scrambled eggs? Well, don’t worry at all, because your scrambled egg-less breakfasts won’t be here for much longer.
Firm tofu works best in this recipe, but it all depends on how you like your scrambled eggs or how you like your tofu texture. Super-firm tofu will have a harder texture, and silken tofu will have a wetter look and texture. The choice is yours, but firm tofu should be the answer to all of your vegan scrambled egg dreams.
Break the tofu into your desired size. A mix of crumbled tofu and tofu chunks creates the most authentic scrambled egg texture. Turn the heat of your pan up and add nutritional yeast, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, plant milk, and Kala namak into the pan and lightly fry the tofu until the tofu is of scrambled egg consistency.
The Kala namak is a Himalayan black salt that has an ‘egg’ flavoring to it. This is what makes Kala namak a staple in recreating an authentic egg taste to vegan dishes. Some people prefer not having egg flavoring on their tofu, so the Kala namak is optional.
Add as much milk as you want for a creamier consistency. Adding spinach, tomato, and vegan bacon is optional, just make sure to lightly fry before adding to the scrambled tofu. Serve however you like, either on toast, in a sandwich, or on its own!
This takeaway classic will be unlike any other that you’ve tasted before. This Chinese Takeaway Style Orange Tofu is complete with all the freshness of your favorite takeaway dish, but tasty, healthy, and vegan!
First, you’ll need to prepare your tofu to be baked. Combine water, chicken seasoning (check that it’s vegan, a lot of them are but you’ll need to read them carefully), fresh ginger, fresh garlic, onion powder, and soy sauce to a bowl and mix until smooth.
Breaking the tofu into sizes of your choice, place the pieces individually into the bowl and coat them evenly, and then place them on the baking tray. Bake the tofu until crispy or until your desired texture.
Next, prepare the orange sauce. It is optional to either use store-bought orange juice or fresh orange juice, it is up to you. For those using fresh orange juice, slice the oranges into halves and squeeze the juice into the pan along with water, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Next, add some chopped garlic and orange zest for some extra flavor and texture to the sauce.
Once the sauce has thickened and has reached a sticky consistency, stir in the freshly baked tofu and coat the pieces evenly. This orange tofu is served well with rice, in a pitta, or in a wrap.
This recipe is very versatile as this tandoori tofu can be used in sandwiches, curries, as a snack, or to impress guests at a dinner party. It’s a vegan version of a classic we all know and will be fresher and tastier than any microwaveable curry around.
To make the tandoori tofu, mix water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, cornstarch, powdered vegetable broth, and tandoori spice in a bowl. Break apart the tofu block into chunks and individually coat the pieces in the mixture, place them on a baking tray, and bake until brown. It’s up to you how crispy you’d like the tofu to be, as some people prefer a softer texture to a crispier one.
It’s completely up to you how you want to use your tandoori tofu. If you want to add it into a sandwich or panini as it is, then once the tofu has baked, you can leave it to cool before eating. However, if you are looking for a sauce to accompany your tofu, we have a recipe just for you!
Add ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, lemon juice, tandoori spice, cardamom, nutmeg, salt, and onion into a pan and cook until the onion is soft. Add tomatoes into the pan and stir, and then blend the maple syrup, lemon juice, and cashew butter until it forms a consistency you’re happy with.
This paste can be used in paninis, baguettes, or tandoori tofu wraps, but adding coconut milk to the paste, will form a curry sauce. Just add coconut milk to a pan and stir in the paste, and add the baked tandoori tofu into the pan. This curry sauce is best served with rice and naan bread, perfect for a cold winter night.
A party classic, devilled tofu will be sure to steal the spotlight at any event. The tofu is used instead of the egg yolks, but we have the creaminess covered. Using plain vegan yogurt or mayonnaise, this deviled tofu will soon become a firm favorite however you choose to eat it.
Crumble chunks of tofu into a pan and lightly fry the tofu along with garlic and onion powder, turmeric, nutritional yeast, and black pepper. Add the Kala namak and leave to rest.
To make the creamy deviled egg element, add plain vegan yogurt, mustard, Kala namak, finely chopped pickle, white wine vinegar, and dill to a bowl and mix until well combined. Next, add the tofu to the mixture and make sure that the chunks are evenly coated.
This tofu mixture goes exceptionally well in a fresh baguette or is to be served as appetizers at a party. Instead of using egg whites like traditional deviled eggs, a great substitute for the egg white boats is boiled new potato halves with some of the inside scooped out.
This chili and lime tofu recipe is perfect to add to salads, tacos, and burritos. You can make this recipe as spicy as you want, as the spice comes from fresh chilies or chili powder, so you can as much or as little as you like. If you aren’t a fan of lime, you can substitute it with lemon or orange depending on your tastebuds.
To begin, combine water, fresh lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, powdered vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and fresh chilies or chili powder in a mixing bowl and combine until it forms a paste. This is the chili and lime mixture that you will be coating your tofu in, so if you want to substitute the lime, use fresh lemon or orange juice instead of the lime juice.
Break the tofu into chunks and coat them in the chili and lime paste. The chunks should be coated evenly so that each piece is just as tasty as the others! If any of the chili and lime paste is left, pour it over the tofu for extra flavoring!
Carefully transfer the tofu onto a baking tray and bake until they are golden brown. Bake until they are as crispy as you desire! Add into a burrito, taco, or to brighten up any salad!
As a vegan, it can be difficult to find a good cheese alternative. But in this recipe, the cheese is not missed at all! Tofu is a great substitute for paneer as the creaminess makes a fantastic replacement, so you never have to worry about missing out on an Indian fakeaway again!
Firstly, make a paste with water, salt, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, and stir to create a smooth texture. Break apart the tofu into the bowl and coat in the mixture. This will evenly coat the tofu ‘paneer’ before baking. Add the evenly coated tofu to a baking tray and bake until they are lightly browned.
While the tofu is baking, you will need to make a start on the palak sauce. Don’t worry, it’s easy!
Add onion, coconut milk, chili, and spinach to a blender along with cilantro, garam masala, fresh garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, and fresh ginger. Blend until smooth, and then transfer into a pan until the sauce is of desired consistency. Once the sauce is as thick as you’d like, add the tofu and mix well.
This dish is best served with rice and naan bread, and no cheese! Dairy definitely won’t be missed here at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
As tofu has lots of health benefits. It is very good for your body and provides vital nutrients. It is extremely high in protein, calcium, and iron, aids kidney function, and protects against type-2 diabetes.
Tofu is extremely low in saturated fat and is believed to aid in lowering cholesterol. Tofu is thought to have properties in protecting the body against cancer and other diseases too.
Tofu contains phytoestrogens which can reduce the risk of your body developing cancer. Studies have shown that consuming tofu daily can reduce the potential risks of breast and prostate cancer.
It is possible to eat too many soy products, but between 3-5 servings of soy products a day are beneficial to your health. It is never good for your body to have too much of one thing, but in moderation, tofu is perfectly healthy for you to eat daily.
Virtually anything! As tofu is so versatile, it is a great meat substitute. Therefore, adapting any recipe is easy as you can replace the meat with tofu and treat the recipe no differently. You can marinate your tofu for stronger flavoring, and it’s very easy to replicate your favorite dishes with tofu with the right ingredients.
For some people, tofu can be hard to break down due to the enzymes that are found in tofu. However, this does not mean that tofu is bad for digestion, it just depends on the person. Tofu has many health benefits and potential digestive problems shouldn’t put you off, but if you do find that tofu doesn’t agree with you then there are plenty of other options for you to choose from.
Tofu is an incredible alternative to a variety of meats, and hopefully, these dishes will prove that. If you already love tofu, these recipes will allow you to try tofu in new ways and discover some new favorites. If you aren’t vegan, these dishes will definitely give you a new perspective on cooking and will allow you to experience new tastes and discover healthy options of classic favorites.