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Oct 6, 2010 08:28 AM

Disappointing Tofu Effort

I have never eaten much tofu, except for a few times in stir fry. I found a recipe that sounded good and pressed, marinated and roasted cubed tofu for about 40 minutes at 375. The glaze was very tasty but the whole thing was kind of MEH. The initial bite with the glaze was good but upon chewing was very bland and the texture was soft and rubbery.

Any thoughts on making it more "chewy" or am I just trying to make tofu something its not.

I guess tofu would be a good diet food. Its not revolting or anything, but you sure don't have an desire to eat more of it.

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  1. A quick and dirty method to change the texture and absorbency of tofu is to first freeze it. Once it is thawed, the tofu will be textured like a sponge and will absorb more of your sauces.

    You can also try buying the various grades of tofu (firm, medium firm) or tofu puffs etc.

    1. What was the marinade? I've found that the marinades need to be super flavorful to really give some life to the tofu. I also typically marinate for a full day or overnigt

      2 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17

        Soy, sushi vinegar, harissa, maple syrup, black pepper. I did not marinate overnight. I probably should have!

        The freezing is interesting. I had tofu once that was "spongy" and it had good flavor. I thought it was becaus it was deepfried, but could have been frozen first.

        1. re: Shann

          The marinade sounds very good. Next time try freezing, defrosting, blotting and cutting into cubes before marinating. I marinate in a ziplock bag and turn the bag over every so often. Oh, and when you bake the tofu, make sure the pieces are spread out in the pan.

      2. A few things. As someone mentioned your marinades have to be very strong..Tofu is pretty bland..Freezing is a must...As once defrosted you can press out more water..To really press as much water out as possible get a Tofu Press (Do a search on google..Its a platic box with a spring that lets you press the tofu..with the spring down I set it in the sink to let it all drain..) The you want to dry fry your tofu...(Do another search on Goggle for that technique) At first it takes a while to do it and you may burn a few since most people think they are cooking the tofu (You arent) but you are usig very gentle heat to get even more moisture out...I did all the above and then made a very strong marinade...Popped the Tofu in it and within an hour the marinade had been absorbed in (More time if you dont slice it thinner) I took it to the pan and cooked it up and tried it..DAMN was it good! I never had liked Tofu before cause the marinade just sat on the top or only absorbed a little..Only way around it was to mash the Tofu with whatever I wanted to flavor it with but with the above techniques it was delicious..With the right marinades and the above techniques it could taste like meat... I ate the entire block!
        Now here is a hint..Even with experience it can take a while to do the dry fry..So what I do is I make batches of dry fried tofu...MArinade them in whatever I want...Partially cook em and freeze em wrapped in foil or a freezer bag..Labeled with the flavor or recipe to use it in..Then I can just pull out what I need. Let it thaw a bit and cook away...Works great for all those marinades in the veg cookbooks and makes fantastic tofu bacon.

        1. i'd also recommend Deborah Madison's (of Greens and Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone fame) book "This Can't be Tofu!". Silly name (I've made many things in the book and none would have caused me to exclaim those words, they were all pretty clearly tofu), but it's a great slim volume packed with a wide variety of techniques and really easy, good recipes. It'll help you learn to work with tofu if that's something you're interested in.