For many people, going vegan or vegetarian is something they’ve always wanted to do, but something they find extremely challenging. It can be hard to cut foods out of your diet, especially food that is loved by so many people like chocolate, cheese, and meats like bacon and chicken.
This is especially true when you cannot find a good replacement for these foods. A common replacement for meat for vegetarians and vegans is tofu. Tofu is made from soybeans. It has become very popular in recent years because it is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein.
Tofu is often eaten cold or at room temperature, but it also tastes great hot. Many people like to try and emulate the flavors of meat through the use of tofu, but it rarely works, and consequently, they have left craving foods they no longer eat.
So, in this article, we will tell you how to cook your tofu so that it tastes just like fried chicken, and you’ll never find your new vegan diet difficult again!
What Does Tofu Taste Like?
As a product by itself, tofu is rather bland. However, it can take on the flavors of other foods very quickly if prepped well, and a great way to do this is by marinating the tofu. This means that tofu can taste anything you want it to taste like! Try adding it to stir-fries or creating tofu nuggets with fries. You can even try your hand at putting it in a dessert, the possibilities really are endless!
And of course, there is a way to make your tofu taste like fried chicken. But, it requires careful preparation if you are to be successful in replicating those delicious flavors.
How To Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken?
So, you’re going to want to prep your tofu before you can even think about cooking. Many people prepare their tofu incorrectly which does not help it absorb other flavors well. But we have a technique that can help!
All you need to do is freeze your tofu! It sounds crazy, but hear us out for a moment! When you freeze your tofu, it gains a meat-like texture that closely resembles the texture of chicken wonderfully!
How Does It Work?
the process can seem complex, but the way it works is actually very simple! When freezing tofu, ice shards will form on both the outside and the inside of it. These crystals change the texture of the tofu to make it far meatier and chewier, much like chicken!
Then, upon defrosting (and draining!) the tofu, the tears made by the ice crystals will help to soak up the marinade you use to make your tofu taste like fried chicken – and the results are uncanny!
An important step to remember is to press your tofu after it has defrosted. While this may seem like you’re doing the opposite of what you should be, this is one of the best things you can do to ensure your tofu tastes like fried chicken. This is because you are ensuring all of the flavorless water disappears, and thus you are making more room for the marinade to soak up.
How Do You Freeze Tofu?
It is important to try and freeze the tofu as soon as you return home from grocery shopping. You do not need to open or pierce the package, just place it in the freezer as it comes.
After you do this, you need to wait for around twelve hours to a full day for the tofu to freeze completely, this is a vital step that you do not want to rush.
How Do You Defrost Tofu?
For the best results, tofu is best defrosted slowly. This will allow for an amazing texture. So, we recommend putting your tofu in the refrigerator and leaving it for around 24 hours. Although, please note that depending on the type of refrigerator you have, this process may take up to 48 hours.
However, we understand that sometimes you do not have preparation time. In this case, it is best to place the tofu into a pie dish and leave it on the counter for around 12-24 hours. If you choose to follow this step, it is important to transfer the tofu to the refrigerator as soon as it has defrosted until it is time to cook.
Additionally, if you need to defrost your tofu as soon as possible, then leave the tofu unopened and place it in a large dish, container, etc, of warm water – and ensure that the water stays warm. If you choose to follow this step, then the tofu will defrost in around three to five hours.
Preparing Your Ingredients
You do not need many ingredients to prepare this tofu, but the ingredients that you do need are vital. Here is what you will need:
– Tofu – It is important that you use extra-firm tofu in water for this method of cooking, and you should absolutely avoid using silken tofu at all costs. This is because the texture of silken tofu does not freeze well.
– Marinating Sauce – We suggest using a soy sauce-based marinade, such as our recipe below. However, feel free to experiment with other types of sauces, including teriyaki, barbecue, honey mustard, etc. It is also good to use an oil-based marinade because the oil will help to make the tofu extra crispy. And try to avoid marinades that contain a lot of water.
– Chicken-style bouillon powder – Naturally, you’ll want to look for a vegan bouillon powder, so keep an eye out for that label. This will really help push those juicy chicken flavors, and you only need to add one or two tablespoons to the marinade for the best results!
Marinating The Tofu
When it comes to cooking tofu, it is all about the added flavors! This is why marinating it correctly is an essential step. When it comes to marinating, the longer you do it, the better! We recommend marinating overnight, but if this is not possible, then you should marinate your tofu for at least half an hour.
A great way to save time doing this step for the next time you make this recipe (and trust us, you’ll want to) is to buy extra tofu and freeze it in the marinade. This way, you have saved your future self a lot of time! Marinade-tofu can stay in the freezer for around two months.
How To Make Tofu Taste Like Fried Chicken?
So, now that you have frozen, defrosted, pressed, and marinated your tofu, all you need to do now is cook! There are many different ways to cook tofu. Here are some examples that we like for our marinated tofu!
Of course, the best way to make fried-chicken style tofu is to fry it! This will make the edges so crispy and perfect! All you need to do is add some oil, or some more of the marinade, and fry the tofu over medium to high heat. It is important to flip the tofu every few minutes.
A great way to cook this tofu is to slow-bake it. This is the best way to gain that meaty texture of chicken because any remaining water will cook out of the tofu and the outside will crisp up. It is best to bake the tofu at 350 degrees F for around 40-50 minutes. Once you sit down to eat, this recipe will have you questioning whether you’re eating tofu or fried chicken!
Other Ways To Make Tofu Taste Like Fried Chicken
While the above method is great, we understand that sometimes you just do not have the time! If this is the case for you (and trust us, we’ve all been there) then follow these steps to make your tofu taste like fried chicken!
– The first thing you should do is press the tofu. All you need to do to achieve this is place your tofu in a clean tea towel and press them lightly with your hands. This will remove the water.
– Then, you should place the pieces of tofu into a bowl and start sprinkling them with soy sauce, making sure you coat them all evenly.
– The next step is to cover the tofu in a light drizzle of oil, again making sure you get it all evenly.
– Cover the tofu with salt, ensuring you coat the tofu evenly.
– Cover the tofu with cornflour, ensuring you coat the tofu evenly.
– Now, heat up some oil or butter over medium heat in a pan. You may need to adjust the temperature depending on how hot your stove gets.
– Add the tofu and start frying.
Now, this next part is crucial. You must get the seasoning right if you want your tofu to taste like fried chicken. We recommend using the following spices!
– cayenne pepper
– garlic powder
– onion powder
– black pepper
and mix them together to create an amazing meal!
Tofu is quite a bland food on its own, but when prepared with care and cooked with the right ingredients and spices, it can become as delicious as your favorite meats, including the fried chicken! All you need to do to ensure you eat delicious tofu every time you make it is to follow the steps above.