Tofu is a versatile source of protein that is a prime candidate for marinating because it absorbs flavours very well. It is popular with vegans but there is no reason you couldn’t enjoy tofu as a meat-eater. Alternatively, why not try these marinades with chicken?

Depending on how you marinate it, tofu can make a delicious and healthy addition to many kinds of dishes, including Asian, Mexican, and more. Learning how to cook tofu in different ways is a crucial part of a vegetarian diet as well as a more healthy diet in general.

Here is how to prepare a block of tofu to be marinated, as well as several tofu marinade ideas.

Nutritional Value of Tofu

Tofu is a good source of protein, calcium, iron, and some B vitamins; it contains no cholesterol; and is low in fat, carbohydrates, sodium, and sugar.

Soybeans are genetically modified crops and are heavily sprayed with pesticides. When purchasing, look for organic or pesticide-free tofu.

Freezing Tofu

Tofu becomes chewy when frozen, giving it a texture similar to meat or chicken.

To freeze a block of tofu, slit a corner of the package top and pour out all water.

Remove the top of the package and keeping tofu in the package, cut tofu into 6 to 8 slices.

Place the entire package in a food storage bag and freeze overnight.

Carefully separate the slices as they defrost.

How to Prep Tofu For Marinating

Firm or extra-firm marinates best, so use that unless a recipe instructs otherwise. Drain the tofu and cut it into slices.

Wrap the slices in paper towels and place a pan atop the paper towels for at least 15 minutes up to 30 minutes to dry the tofu out. This will allow your tofu to soak up more of the marinade later.

Once the tofu is dry, you can either cut it into cubes for stir-fry in a frying pan over medium-high heat or keep it in slices for sandwiches or patties.

tofu sliced on a board

How to Marinate Tofu

Now mix your marinade in a re-sealable container, such as a glass container with a lid. Then add the tofu and shake or stir until the marinade completely coats the tofu.

Tofu can be marinated for as little as 20 minutes or as long as overnight, depending on how much time you have.

If you are marinating tofu for longer than 20 minutes, you should do so in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.

Tofu marinades

Barbecue Tofu Marinade Recipe

Marinate the tofu in your favourite barbecue sauce. Then bake or fry the slices of tofu and serve on skewers or in a sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and extra barbecue sauce.

Asian Tofu Marinade Recipe

Combine two tablespoons each of sesame oil, tamari soy sauce, and water with one tablespoon rice vinegar, one garlic clove minced, one teaspoon grated gingerroot, three tablespoons water, and a ½ teaspoon hot chilli paste, optional. Cut tofu into cubes or triangles and marinate overnight. Add to stir-fries or salad.

Italian Tofu Marinade Baked Tofu Recipe

This works best with ¼ cup white cooking wine, two tablespoons each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tamari, fresh lemon juice, plus two cloves of crushed garlic, and a big pinch of each of your favourite Italian herbs, including basil, marjoram, and thyme.

Cut tofu into triangles and marinate overnight.

Bake on a baking sheet on both sides at 400°F, then finish under the grill.

Mexican Tofu Marinade Recipe

Combine three cloves of crushed garlic, one tablespoon chilli powder, one teaspoon cumin, one teaspoon oregano, the juice of one lime, two tablespoons fresh coriander, and salt, to taste.

Cube tofu and grill on skewers or bake in the oven, then serve in tacos, fajitas, or salads.

Sesame Ginger Tofu Squares

The chewy texture of frozen and defrosted tofu works best in this recipe. The tofu is tangy and spicy, similar to the Chinese buffet standard of Sesame Chicken.

In a shallow plate, mix ½ cup soy sauce, 4 tbsp sesame oil, 2 cloves garlic (crushed), 2 tbsp grated ginger, and half a tsp red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a small, shallow bowl mix half a cup of wholewheat flour with half a cup of panko breadcrumbs.

Cut each slice of tofu in half. Quickly dip each half in soy sauce mixture and then into flour/panko blend, pressing the mixture into tofu to coat. Place breaded tofu in a single layer on a plate and reserve marinade.

Pour 3 tbsp oil into a large pan, and bring to a sizzle over medium-high heat. Add tofu squares, 3 or 4 pieces at a time. Sauté on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tofu. Replenish oil when necessary.

Reserve 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. In a small bowl, stir ½ cup water into 1 tsp cornstarch. Stir until cornstarch has dissolved.

Pour reserved marinade, remaining soy sauce, and cornstarch mixture into the pan and stir until heated through and thickened to desired consistency. If too thick, add water, one tablespoon at a time.

When ready to serve, drizzle tofu with sauce, and sprinkle with chopped spring onions and a few sesame seeds.

Agedashi Tofu with Chilli Oil and Spring onions

Agedashi Tofu has a crispy coating and is creamy in the centre. For this recipe, the cornstarch-coated tofu cubes are pan-fried in a small amount of oil.

Cut drained tofu into cubes. Pour ¾ cup cornflour into a large food storage bag and add half of the tofu cubes. Twist the top of the bag closed to form an air pocket in the bag and holding the top closed, gently shake the bag to evenly coat.

Heat a small amount of peanut oil, just enough to cover the bottom, in a large pan. When oil sizzles, add tofu cubes (do not crowd) to pan and sauté over medium-high heat until bottom surfaces are crisp and golden.

Continue to cook until all sides of tofu are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining coated tofu cubes.

Before serving, drizzle with chilli oil and sprinkle with spring onions and peanuts if desired.

Geetas kebabs

Other recipe ideas

Another recipe with tofu is these tasty skewers, why not give them a try if you enjoy these.

This sweet and sticky marinade is perfect for tofu.

If you don’t fancy any of the above why not use spice blends to create your own flavour?

If you are considering or already following a vegan lifestyle then these articles may be helpful.

A few vegan recipes that are popular – Moroccan tagine, banana pancakes, aubergine soup, carrot soup, chia pudding,

Vegan drinks you may enjoy in the summer

How to raise a vegan child to be healthy

Vegan and vegetarian recipes

Benefits of a vegan lifestyle

Can a vegan pregnancy be healthy?

Myths about being a vegan

Top tips for going vegan

Mistakes to avoid on a plant-based diet

Vegan alternatives to eggs

Vegan carrot soup
Vegan carrot soup

Other ingredients tips you may like

If you like to cook with different ingredients and find different ways of using them then here are a few other articles I think you might like.

All you need to know about celeriac and how to use it

Oats an original superfood with lots of uses

Is couscous healthy, how you can use couscous well

How to grow your own vegetables from scraps

Jackfruit – what is it and how to use it

Cranberry juice – what are the benefits of it and how can you enjoy it

Seaweed – an unusual ingredient you should consider

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