What To Do With Tofu

For a new tofu-eater, a plain, white block of tofu can be as daunting as a blank canvas to a new artist.  The pale slab certainly doesn’t look all that appealing on its own.  However, tofu’s plainness makes it extremely versatile, and if you know how to prepare it, it can be quite tasty.

As a vegetarian, I frequently cook with tofu as a way to incorporate some protein into my diet.  Per serving, tofu has about 7 grams of protein, or 14% of your daily recommended intake.

It absorbs the flavors it’s paired with so when put together with tasty ingredients, this meatless source of protein can easily be turned into something that tastes delicious.

During the weekdays when I’m often rushing to get in lunch before the afternoon’s over, I often whip out some tofu and quickly whip it into something good.  If you’re not sure what to do with that block of tofu hanging in your fridge, check out some of the quick and easy ways I utilize tofu.

Level 1:  The Plain and Simple

Tofu Sandwich

-2 slices of whole grain bread

-2 1/2 inch slices of extra firm tofu


-1/3 of an Avocado, sliced

-Sprouts/lettuce/any other of your favorite sandwich toppings

-Salt and pepper

Spread a layer of mayonnaise one side of each of the slices of bread.  (You can also experiment with mustard, hummus, or any other spread, but I prefer a simple layer of mayo).  Sprinkle salt and pepper on one of the slices.  Firmly pat dry the tofu to remove any excess water.  Place the slices of tofu onto the bread and add the avocado/lettuce/sprouts/etc.   Cut in half, and enjoy!

Level 2: Adding some heat

Fried Tofu Sandwich

2 slices of whole grain bread

-2 1/2 inch slices of extra firm tofu

-Soy Sauce

-2 tsp. Olive Oil


-Lettuce and/or sprouts

Toast the bread, and then spread a thin layer of mayo on one side of each slice.  Add a sprinkle of S&P to each mayonnaised side.  Use a paper towel to firmly press and remove any excess water from the tofu.  Heat a small frying pan and add the oil.  Place the tofu into the pan and coat the top side with soy sauce.  Cook until the edges become crispy (2-5 minutes), and then flip the tofu.  Drizzle the top layer with soy sauce.  Cook a remaining few minutes until the bottom face is crispy.  Remove tofu from pan and place on bread.  Add the lettuce/sprouts, cut in half, and enjoy.

Level 3:  Changing Shape

Mashed Tofu

-1 inch strip of extra firm, or firm, tofu (about 1/3 of a block)

-1 Tbsp sesame tahini

-1/2 tsp of miso paste

-1/4 tsp cumin

-Whole wheat pita

Use a paper towel to pat the tofu dry.  Place tofu in a bowl and mash with a fork until it’s almost fully crumbled.  Add tahini, miso paste, and cumin and mash until completely crumbled.  Place in a pita pocket, or if you don’t have pita on hand, use it as a dip with some chips.

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  • Reply
    Simply Life
    November 23, 2009 at 7:45 am

    I have yet to cook with tofu, but always like it when we go out, so thanks for the tips!

  • Reply
    Abby's Vegan Eats
    November 23, 2009 at 8:09 am

    Um can I please forward this post to everyone who asks me “what the heck do you do with tofu?? It looks so nasty”. Great ideas!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Corinne Dobbas
    November 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for the comment!

    What a great post! It can be really confusing when you’re first cooking with tofu because you have to get the texture just right! Personally, I like the texture when it is really cooked, crispy and soaks in the flavor of what you’re cooking. So–I adore your crispy tofu recipe! I found the best way to get mine crispier is by getting all the water out before cooking by pressing with a paper towel and buying the firm kind. I’ll do this AND use your recipe!

    Thanks for the post!

    • Reply
      November 23, 2009 at 9:17 am

      You’re definitely right! I just updated the post to make sure I told my readers to dry the tofu first!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Another great post as usual! I love tofu – although I’m not a vegetarian! – but have never thought of just eating it ‘raw’ right out of the package like #1 – I’ve always grilled it. What’s your take on the whole ‘soy controversy’ and that tofu is processed or that too much soy is bad for you, etc…also, I plan on writing a post soon about the yoga and the commercialization aspect as well – we talked about it this weekend and it’s very interesting topic. Love your posts girl 🙂

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    November 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Great post! I wrote this down for future reference. Although I don’t eat tofu (my GI system doesn’t handle it at all) I have many clients who ask me questions about how to use it and what to do with it. I appreciate the great tips!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    this is a great post! I have been dying to cook tofu but didn’t know where to start lol. Thanks for all the great tips =)

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 11:13 am

    mmm tofu is so versatile! So many people think it’s icky, but it’s really the way that it’s prepared that makes it. Yum!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Tofu is good. I try to have tofu, or tempeh, or edamane sometimes during the week. I wonder how much is too much though. I might have tofu a couple of times, tempeh once, etc. to add up to 3-4 times a week, but not sure if I can do more or should do less. I picked up some Wildwood Tofu also, which is processed and not as “healthy”, but I don’t think it is healthy to be too obsessive about that either.

  • Reply
    Michelle Nardine R.D.
    November 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Love my tofu fried up firm with some added spice. It is such a great versatile protein, it can be added to almost anything. Glad I found this site, looks like you have really great content in your posts!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    i’m not a big tofu eater, since i don’t eat much soy.. but i have to say, your sandwiches look tasty! and i’m pretty sure tahini tastes anything taste scrumptious. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I second Abby’s comment! Even my husband used to give me grief about tofu, and now he loves it! …especially in stir fry. Fried tofu is absolutely wonderful and I had some Thai soup this weekend (Tom Kah) with tofu and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD! There’s pictures on my post from yesterday. Seriously, so yummy!!! Great post!!

  • Reply
    Gelareh @ Orange Truffle
    November 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Hi there! I stopped by to say thanks for stopping by my blog and found myself reading halfway through your blog. I wish we had a vegetarian day here in the states as I feel like the general population consumes WAY too much meat! When did we become the high protein consuming society? Oh I guess that’s right after becoming a fast food loving nation and found ourselves obsessing to become skinny.

    I will be adding your blog to my blog roll and will keep up with you 🙂

  • Reply
    November 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    great post! i am obsessed with tofu, despite the fact that im not a vegetarian.

    My favorite how-can-i-use-all-the-leftover-veggies-in-the-fridge? meal is tofu curry –> cubed firm or extra firm tofu, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, leftover spinach, etc etc. if i want something thai, i add low fat coconut milk, chili powder and lime juice. if i want something a little more hearty, ill add some tomato sauce (even marinara works), a can of garbanzo beans, a dollop of plain yogurt (gross maybe, but i use it in everything) and a ton of curry powder. both are delicious and super filling served over salad greens or rice!

    oh, and you need to try the key lime pie at tarte!

  • Reply
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