Today, we will talk about how to stir fry tofu. Let me tell you that after reading this article, you will that it’s a piece of cake. Even if you have never gotten your hands around the kitchen, you can ace this task. For starters, you only need the basic ingredients for stir frying – oil and salt – and of course, the chief material, tofu. You can easily cook this on a skillet heated in a stovetop. In less than thirty minutes, you have a sizzling healthy dish ready!
The Backbone of Stir Frying Tofu
Before you get excited about taking your stir-fried tofu on a whole new level, it is best you get acquainted first on the fundamentals. Learn the basic steps of how to stir fry tofu and on your own, you can customize it depending on your preference.
- 16 oz tofu (1 block)
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
- A dash of salt
- Remove excess water from the tofu by pressing in between layers of paper towel. You can do this by lining sheets of paper towel on a flat surface such as plate. Lay the tofu block here and cover it with another layer of paper towel and plate. Press until tofu expels moisture and is absorbed by the paper towel. You can place any heavy objects on top of your set-up such as stockpot or a glass bowl.
- On a chopping board, use a kitchen knife to cut a block of tofu into 1-inch cubes.
- Once done, put a skillet on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium.
- Add cooking oil and spread evenly coating the entire cooking surface of the skillet.
- Toss in the tofu and cook for about a minute. As much as possible, arrange them in one layer only for even heating.
- When the bottom side has turned golden brown, turn to the other side and cook. Do this for all the sides.
- Add a dash of salt to taste.
Points to Remember In Stir Frying Tofu
While stir frying tofu might seem like a no-brainer, we came to supply you with some useful hacks for more successful tries.
First and most important of all, before cooking, squeezing absorbed water in tofu is fundamental to every stir-fried recipe. Aside from preventing oil splatters and ugly burn scars later, removing excess moisture allows tofu to absorb flavour when cooked. Otherwise, it will turn out flat. When manufacturers pack tofu, they do so with a lot of water inside and this is what we want to get rid of. An alternative to pressing is microwaving. Just place layers of paper towel in between the block of tofu and microwave for a few minutes. The heat will force the water to be expelled from the inside. This is a friendly option for a quicker way to excrete moisture.
Another practical tip is to be acquainted of the right firmness of tofu. For stir frying, choose ones which are extra firm. If none, firm tofu will do. Our goal is to remove as much water as we can and you can do this more easily with a more solid one.
Among the most common difficulties you will come across when stir frying tofu is that it easily crumbles. Don’t worry. Even experienced chefs still face this. If you have a wok, this allows easier cooking than a regular skillet. Also, before stirring, make sure that the side underneath the tofu is cooked well so it is tough enough to be turned. Before you plan to add other ingredients, let the tofu cook well first until it has a toasted surface so it will not fall apart. Keep an eye on the amount of oil too. If the pan is not coated enough, tofu will stick on the pan and it will leave bits of charred pieces when you turn.
How to Jazz Up Your Stir-Fried Tofu
Now comes the fun part. We came not only to teach you how to stir fry tofu but also how to spice it up. Let’s be honest. Nobody finds thrill in eating plain stir-fried tofu. Why make life difficult when you can do something about it? Below are some suggestions on how to make plain stir-fried tofu come to life.
- Try incorporating other ingredients on your dish. Tofu works well with a lot of food items be it plant or animal-based. You can stir fry it with any kinds of meat such as beef, pork, chicken, and even seafood. Lately, tofu has been gaining more importance as the population of vegetarians widens. If you’re among one, our picks include spinach, bell pepper, broccoli, and legumes. You can practically toss in any meat or veggies on your stir-fried tofu and it will result to an even better dish than the plain one.
- Experiment with different kinds of sauces and flavorings. The most popularly used for this recipe is oyster sauce and soy sauce. Other non-conventional sauces and ingredients used are wine, honey, and maple syrup. We have seen others make bolder moves by incorporating coconut milk or even concocting their own sauce.
- Use stir-fried tofu as an ingredient of a recipe. I have seen this done in a variety of dishes such as pasta, salad, sandwich or burrito filling, and fried rice topping.
Why Stir-Fried Tofu Should Be Part of Your Meal
You have learned how easy it is to stir fry tofu and if that alone is not convincing enough, we have other good news for you. We showed you ways on how to play around with flavors and ingredients so you can customize your stir-fried tofu depending on your preference. Plain stir-fried tofu can be eaten on its own and you can judge by yourself that it is affordable. It is considerably a healthful dish and it is vegetarian-friendly. Especially if cooked at home, it uses less oil compared with the deep fried version. Toss in more vegetables and it is the perfect nutritious dish for a weeknight meal. Now, who says trying to be healthy is costly?
If you haven’t yet, go get your apron and try this very simple, healthful, and delicious recipe of stir-fried tofu.