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How to Dry-Fry and Marinate Tofu Like the Pros

Melissa Ray Davis is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys writing about DIY topics, including cooking.

Dry-fried and marinated tofu, ready to be incorporated into your favorite stir-fry dish.

Dry-fried and marinated tofu, ready to be incorporated into your favorite stir-fry dish.

If you are a vegetarian, you know it well: tofu disaster. Cooked incorrectly, tofu can turn out slimy and disintegrate into a flavorless mush. How do restaurants do it? My special method uses dry-frying and marinating, resulting in firm, flavorful tofu that leaves even meat-eaters impressed.

Quick Guide to Dry-Frying and Marinating Tofu

To make your own delicious tofu dishes at home, do what the restaurant chefs do! Here's a quick overview of the steps. For a full ingredients list, marinade recipes, and detailed instructions, please continue reading below.

  1. Drain 16 ounces of extra-firm tofu and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips or triangles.
  2. Place between cloth napkins or towels and gently press to remove water.
  3. Slow cook in un-oiled pan on low to medium heat.
  4. Use spatula to press, releasing water.
  5. When golden brown, turn over. Tofu is done when golden on both sides.
  6. Stir pieces into marinade of your choice and allow to sit for 1/2 hour.
  7. Tofu is now ready to be incorporated into your favorite stir-fry.

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) brick of extra-firm tofu (feeds four people)
  • Prepared marinade in a bowl (see recipes below)

Supplies

  • Cutting board and knife
  • Cloth napkin or dish towel (not terrycloth)
  • Teflon or very well-seasoned cast-iron pan*
  • Spatula

*A note on the pan: Since no oil is used, your tofu will likely stick to a stainless steel cooking pan without a non-stick coating. Teflon isn't supposed to be dangerous at low to medium heat, but to be safe I've switched to using a very well-seasoned cast-iron pan. As long as I'm careful to watch it, I don't have trouble with sticking.

Marinade Recipes

Here are some example marinades that work well with dry-fried tofu. These also do well with meat. The following recipes should make enough for one 16-ounce block of tofu after frying.

Simple, All-Purpose Tofu Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos (for a salty, smoky flavor)
  • Splash of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • water to cover

Chinese Tofu Marinade

  • 1/2 cup shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine (or sherry)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Thai Tofu Marinade

  • 1/2 cup fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine (or sherry)
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Splash of rice vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 small shallot (or half onion), finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced lemongrass (fresh or dried)

Instructions

  1. Tofu comes packed in water. Drain and cut it so that your pieces are 1/2 inch thick. For most recipes, you will want to then cut it into triangles, but some recipes call for strips.
  2. Put the tofu pieces between two absorbent cloth napkins or woven dish towels (not terry cloth) and gently press, hard enough to get a lot of water out but not to squish.
  3. Use a Teflon or well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Heat on an electric range at medium heat or low to medium heat on a gas range. Slow cooking is the key to keeping the tofu from sticking to the pan and insures that the water has time to evaporate out before the outside is browned. Do not use oil. You want to leech all of the moisture out of your tofu, so do not use oil. Leave the pan dry.
  4. Place tofu in the pan leaving room around each piece. You may need to fry a few batches to give it enough room.
  5. As they cook, use a spatula to frequently press down on the pieces. You will see water seep out and sizzle in the pan. Once the bottoms are very firm and golden in color, flip and fry the other side. Again, frequently press each piece with a spatula. When they are golden and firm on both sides, they are done.
  6. It's time to marinade: The dry-frying method has left your tofu ready to suck up the flavors of a marinade like a sponge. Place the tofu pieces in the prepared marinade and stir well, making sure the tofu is submerged. Marinate for at least a half an hour.
  7. Use this delicious firm and flavorful tofu in a stir-fry. Combine with asparagus or your other favorite vegetable in season and serve over rice.

Photo Guide

Tofu drained and cut into 1/2-inch-thick triangles.

Tofu drained and cut into 1/2-inch-thick triangles.

Press with a spatula to remove water.

Press with a spatula to remove water.

The tofu is done when both sides are golden and firm.

The tofu is done when both sides are golden and firm.

Marinating tofu.

Marinating tofu.

Tofu asparagus stir-fry.

Tofu asparagus stir-fry.

How to Store the Tofu

  • If you have leftover uncooked tofu, simply store in a sealed container completely submerged in water (a Ziploc baggie will do in a pinch, but some sort of Tupperware container is best).
  • Cooked tofu, on the other hand, can be stored just the same as any other leftovers.

Comments

alstr on June 23, 2016:

I've been using this method of years and it never fails to yield exceptional results!

Goringe Accountants from London, UK on September 21, 2014:

Delicious, thanks!!

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 16, 2014:

My cousin loves Tofu, I think he'll find all this very helpful to take it all to the next level.

Violet Redfield from Australia on January 06, 2014:

Ahh yes, I've always made the mistake of not pressing my tofu. Thanks for the tips!

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on October 28, 2013:

I'm not a vegetarian, but I like tofu quite much. It's really versatile. It's best when paired with noodles and soup. Now I've found other ways to prepare it. Thanks for sharing!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 17, 2013:

It's breakfast time, and I want to eat tofu. Not just any tofu. I want to eat the tofu that you photographed. It looks soooo yummy. I have been cooking (or trying to cook) tofu for years and had never heard of dry frying. Thank you for this wonderful hub.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 08, 2013:

Thank you for this. I would actually do more vegetarian if tofu worked for me and now you have divulged the secret to cooking tofu. Voted up and more.

katieA on October 20, 2012:

so glad I found this site.... I dry fried my tofu and marinated it for about 30 min. in my own concoction of teriyaki sauce, vinegar and some spices. I grilled the tofu with some tuscan vegetables and it was so delicious!!!!! It was the first time I had ever cooked my own tofu and about the third time I had ever tried it. I love it that its low carb as I am a diabetic.

Meredith on August 29, 2012:

Yes! It worked! Thank you!!!

KIC on August 04, 2012:

Used the George Foreman on low. (Heated up to high first then turned down.) YumMO! It didn't stick around long enough to use in a salad. I just dipped it in that Trader Joe's Island Soy dipping sauce. Super! and easy. Who knew?

Dfelker on July 31, 2012:

Delicious, just tried your recipe with the Thai marinade, I cut the soy sauce amount by half and only used 1 tbsp brown sugar with chili garlic sauce. Very umami as the Japanese would say, yum!

purpleangel47 from Baltimore, Maryland on June 26, 2012:

Thank you Melissa. For my last 20-plus years as a vegetarian, cooking tofu has totally baffled me. Now that I'm vegan though, I'd like to create dishes that include tofu and I thought to have it come out firm, I'd have to deep-fry it. Glad to know I don't. ;)

Thank you for this post. :)

Vicki

Kim on June 21, 2012:

The tofu turned out GREAT. I added a Wegman's pre-made curry sauce ,red cabbage and shredded carrots. SO GOOD! Next time I would add cashews and really enjoy! Thank you for sharing I am now better at preparing!

Amelia on June 17, 2012:

I just made this for dinner tonight (using the Chinese marinade) in a quick stir fry with aubergines - and it was perfect! Thanks for the great recipe.

Nptexas on June 05, 2012:

I'm a tofu novice and this article with photos is BEYOND helpful. Excellent. Been at it now a few weeks and this is no-fail for me. Just need to find more marinade recipes to change things up a bit. Thanks a million. I'm marinating a small batch now in nonfat Italian dressing to try in salad for protein. Great post. Really!

Gina on May 25, 2012:

Thank you for the recipe my husband is vegan and we always have to go out and eat tofu. Now I can prepare it at home for him just like the restaurants do. :)

reagu from Los Angeles on May 24, 2012:

These look so good. I bet they taste great, too.

tippykayak on April 20, 2012:

I made this tonight and had to throw it out! It was like shoe leather. Very disappointing. About how long should it dry-fry? I did mine in my panini maker and assume I fried it too long.

felix on April 19, 2012:

thanks so much! just today i was breaking my head over how to do tofu differently than frying. you have some very useful comments that make sense, so i'll give this another try in a few days ...;-)

jane on April 15, 2012:

we are trying tofu for the first time tomorrow in a stir fry however my daughter wont try it with a marinade. How can I ensure it has flavour for her.

Stephanie on April 13, 2012:

Did this with my Lodge cast iron - huge success! Thanks!

DK on March 31, 2012:

K, you should taste your marinade before using it.

I just tried this dry frying technique to marinade tofu before putting in a simple olive oil and white wine pasta dish. Yes tofu in an Italian dish, and it was the most flavorful tofu I've ever made. Just marinaded it in some white wine garlic and green onions for 30 min before.

I've been cooking tofu for a decade, how have I never learned how to actually make it flavorful?

Can't wait to try it in an Asian stir fry!

K on March 30, 2012:

Evil! I just wasted an entire block

Of organic tofu, huge broccoli which was very expensive, tons of carrots, peppers and the rest, hours of my time preparing this beautiful dish only to have to throw it in the trash can! The tofu was beautiful and perfect until I used your Chinese marinade which fouled up the entire dish. I've never been so overwhelmed by a salty flavor that left this inedible. Now I have to feed my family of 5 a quick dish of cereal as I cry over this disaster! Please please, anyone reading this - dry fry the tofu but skip this horrible marinade!!!

Amee on March 27, 2012:

This is exactly what I was looking for! Finally my tofu turned out the way I wanted it to! Thanks

Shonna Luten on March 23, 2012:

can you deep fry this after the marinating method...?

Lisa Gaines on March 22, 2012:

I think I'll be trying this.

louromano on March 21, 2012:

I can't wait to try this tonight! Have you ever tried a barbeque marinade?

michael on February 25, 2012:

The pictures look like tempeh to me

Ginzipper27 from Columbus, Ohio on February 24, 2012:

Just made the best tofu I've ever had! Thank you so much for sharing this method!

Mary on February 08, 2012:

Works like a charm! Thanks so much!

Ripspa on February 07, 2012:

Amazing..tried this evening and it was indeed delicious!!!!

John UES on February 05, 2012:

Finally! I've always wanted to replicate the texture of fried tofu from Chinese take-out joints, my result was always a bland disappointing mush. I am now a dry frying convert!

calypso_jimmy on January 17, 2012:

trust me ... I have done this a dozen times now, and the basic message here is sufficient to deliver restaurant-quality tofu dishes.... definitely experiment... I also find that, to save my non-stick frying surfaces... a small misting of olive oil does not make a measurable difference, re dry-frying the tofu triangles.

Roz B on January 15, 2012:

Even my better half thought it was better than any tofu he had tried before (not that we have much experience but yum all the same). Marinated in a chilli sauce mixed with peanut butter.

Meg on January 11, 2012:

thank you for this recipe. I hate baking tofu - its never crispy! finally, after 10 years of being a vegetarian, I've found my perfect tofu recipe. I used this in a thai curry soup, which I'll put on tastykitchen. I'll be sure to cite your method!

Jmm on January 02, 2012:

Yesterday I had an example of how not to pan fry tofu. New raw vegan no oil diet

This is what I am talking about!

Jmm

ajit das on December 30, 2011:

Sir,

Thank you so much. such a wonderful,even without rice wine.

katie on December 18, 2011:

i tried baking it but it never toasted..it was still mushy.

Carrie on November 30, 2011:

I made this for dinner using the Chinese marinade and it turned out great. A bit tedious with the two step process but worth it to get firm, seasoned tofu. Thanks for the tip!

Brandi on November 26, 2011:

I have a friend coming in to town tonight, and I wanted to make her cilantro lime tofu fajitas, I'm hoping that this method of cooking works out well! I've never cooked tofu before, but this seems like a great recipe! The only thing I have to worry about now is the chosen marinade...

steffsings from Pacific NorthWest on November 25, 2011:

Excellent! I've had trouble with too soft tofu, the specialty firm/toothy types are more expensive, so this is a great recipe. I went a little different route though - dredged large slices through buttermilk & a seasoned flour mix (salt-cracked pepper-pulverized garlic-paprika) fast fried in olive oil THEN smothered in sliced onion & mushroom gravy 'YEP over rice... mmm-mmm... thanks for this! Every now & again I miss southern food this hit the spot! (I might try tempur next time)

PhiH on November 19, 2011:

Wow, I never saw so many comments for a recipe. But the kudos are deserved - I just tried it and it was great! I'm not a great cook but this tasted great. At last, I have a technique for cooking tofu that even I can be successful with. Thank you!!

thespiangirl on November 19, 2011:

Always wondered how they get the tofu brown in restaurants....Could never figure it out. Thank you for this interesting method. I'm gonna try it tonight. YEAH!

Sharyn DImmick on November 17, 2011:

Thanks for posting all of the different marinades: I usually use a teriyaki-style one that we use on chicken: tamari, garlic, crushed pineapple, a little oil. I'm going to print yours and try them all eventually.

hirundine from Nelson, B.C. Canada on November 17, 2011:

Thanks to Melissa for a great method for tofu. I have a couple of questions, a) I used pressed tofu which removed the necessity for pressing out the water. b) The third marinade seemed a little heavy on the fish sauce? A 1/2 cup of fish sauce seems a little on the heavy side? Since the concentrated sauce can be overwhelming. Has anyone actually tried this marinade?

I used your second marinade as a guide, with the addition of an onion and a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil into it.

Thanks, once more and cheers!

Jamie

---------------

angie on October 15, 2011:

first time making tofu and found this site the quickest and easiest to get the info- didn't feel like watching long drawn out videos of people making it- thanks- hope it will turn out ok!

C*Marie on October 15, 2011:

Yummy! As I was frying the tofu, my kids were eating it out of the pan. I used stainless steal with a spray of pam to prevent sticking! It turned out amazing & taste's soooooo good plain! Can't wait for it to finish marinating & throw it over some jasmine rice!

Aunt Bunnie on October 03, 2011:

I used a well seasoned cast-iron skillet and had absolutely no problem with sticking. Worked perfectly. Thank you.

nhenry :) on October 02, 2011:

thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike on September 28, 2011:

Well... It wasn't that yummy spongy fluffy stuff I get at chinese restaurants, but it was pretty darn good. I'll keep trying.

Yvonne on September 15, 2011:

I will definitely try this method as it seems close to the one our best Chinese restarant uses with excellent results and the tofu ends up really tasty. My previous method has been to cut into cubes and marinate in a polythene bad and then bake in the oven to dry out and then mix in with stir fry towards the end to reheat. Works reasonable well but tofu can end up slightly dry. I am diabetic so do not use sugar in the sauces but sometimes put a plum in instead. Use similar in my marinade ie soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, chilli, root ginger, spring onion tops, lemon grass, chives, white wine...

harmony74 on September 13, 2011:

I got the dry frying part down, but need to work on the marinade. This also takes quite a bit of time, so don't try it unless you have a lot of time and patience. I can see how it works though! Excited to try again, this time wasn't a complete fail, but needed more flavor.

sandy on August 29, 2011:

MMMM looks delicous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve on August 15, 2011:

Even surprised my Chinese wife by using this method . Great tofu thanks .

steve on July 03, 2011:

I notice all the vegan people start with firm/extra firm tofu in their recipes, and the Asian created recipes use soft tofu, with the Asians producing a vastly better dish

Marti on June 14, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this! I have been experimenting with tofu for several months now and the dry-fry method proved to be my most successful attempt!

SsvRrwQ on May 25, 2011:

Wow, this is great.

jestone from America! on May 16, 2011:

There is a trick to getting the most moisture out of the tofu and that is to boil the slices first. It sucks out the water in the tofu and then pat it dry and dry fry it like the article says. It works really well and give you the "Restaurant" quality of fried tofu that is the BEST!

tofu recipes on May 16, 2011:

Thanks for this tofu recipe. It is very delicious.

Stephanie Cheatley on May 13, 2011:

Tofu tip of the day - If you freeze regular tofu you can get about 99% of the water out. Start with the regular tofu, normally it would be way too soft to squish the water out. Then freeze solid, then defrost. It magically turns into the texture of of a kitchen sponge and you can squeeze all of the water out. then fry as the recipe indicated (and you can use oil to make it crispy since there is no water). It seems a lengthy process but if you always have a couple in the freezer it only takes a day on the counter to defrost.

Andrea on April 04, 2011:

Well I've got my dry fried tofu in the fridge right now! I fear that I might not have cooked them enough for to achieve that crunchy texture, but only time will tell I suppose. This is my first attempt at cooking tofu like a pro, or at all for that matter. I am letting it marinade for an hour, as opposed to half, just because I am a flavor fiend. So here's hoping my first attempt at tofu does not become my last. Awesome advice though!

Charles on March 22, 2011:

I just tried this for lunch. I have been a vegetarian for 6 months and vegan for 2 months. But, although I have purchased tofu several times, it always turned out soggy and slimey - so I have been mostly eating processed soy crumbles and tempeh for "meat". Using the method above, the tofu turned out just like an Asian restaurant - firm with a bit of chewy-liciusness. Yum! The keys, as detailed above: (1) NO OIL the first time you fry it, to dry it out. I was using oil every time in the past - we fry stuff in oil, right? Well, with oil the water is trapped inside the tofu. Without oil, it escapes and gets a nice crust outside and firmess inside. (2) Marinade after you get it dried and crusted. There are simple but critical steps. You, or Charlie Sheen, may say, "Well duh!" But I didn't know and now that I do I thank the author very much! My menu choices just doubled, thanks!!

wilhub on March 20, 2011:

every time i have made it, from the tetrapak you get in supermarkets, it ends up a slight disaster, but i am going to try it the way you put it here, and i BET it will be 1000% better, can`t wait to try it. here in the UK, it is quorn that is the main veggie meat replacement for veggies, and i love it!,but i just fancy a change, and tofu sounds like it!

Gemmie on March 19, 2011:

Thanks for the recipes and the dry fry directions. I don't have a cast iron or teflon pan, but I DO have a George Forman!!! I used the George as others suggested. What I did was: I cut the tofu into about 7 slices and pressed them. I then put them into a zip lock bag and froze them overnight. The next morning I took them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge. About 4:00 I took them out of the fridge and pressed them again. I then cut the slices into 3 pieces each while my George was heating up. I had the heat set at medium to warm up then I turned it down to medium low and put the tofu on the grill. I pressed it down a bit and carried on making my marinade. I would occasionally open the lid and press the tofu and you could hear the liquid sizzle on the grill, but there wasn't much. I cooked it for maybe half an hour or so, until it had golden grill marks on it and it was dry. Then I put it in my marinade... It was THE BEST tofu I have ever had!!!! My husband (who is a dedicated carnivore)told me that it was delicious as well, so I know it had to be good!!!! *Smile* Thanks again and thank you to the other posters for the suggestion on using the George!!!!

Sophie on March 15, 2011:

Even though I've been a vegetarian for a year now, the daunting task of cooking tofu always resulted in me avoiding it. But now, thanks to this recipe, I've probably made the best vegetarian stir-fry I've ever had. Thank you so much for making me love tofu!

kims3003 on March 08, 2011:

Love this - so helpful - have always wanted to learn this. Thanks1

çatlak kremi on March 06, 2011:

thanks so much, my stir fry turned out wonderfully ;)

Su on March 06, 2011:

I am in the marinating stage of this right now, so we'll see the final results. However, I used the Forman Grill (saw that in a previous posts) and the darn thing worked like a charm! I did a tiny bit of extra pressing with a spatula to get a tiny bit more water out, but really there was almost none left. I, too, use the TofuXpress, which is the absolute GREATEST thing on the planet if you eat tofu. http://www.tofuxpress.com/ I barely ate tofu before because pressing was such a hassle. Now I freeze firm or extra firm tofu in the original package as is from the store (I coupon shop and have gotten completely free Nasoya tofu for the past year-- so I have a freezer full). I thaw it out in the fridge, then put it into the TofuXpress. By the time it's completely pressed out, the brick of tofu is about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick and very dense (just the way I like it). As a former "meatatarian," I can honestly say this method has made the absence of meat a non-issue for me. I'm excited about the dry frying now-- I'm marinating right now in time for lunch. Can't wait!

Domelady from upstate New York on February 22, 2011:

Most excellent! Thank you for making tofu more appealing!

Carrie on February 07, 2011:

Wow, and I thought I could only get that restauranty quality by actually pan-frying my tofu in oil first. This is awesome! Also, I highly recommend investing in a Tofu XPress! I wanted one for eight months before somebody got it for me as a gift. Saying that it changed my life would be an exaggeration... but only slightly!

Lynda on February 05, 2011:

This sounds sounds delicious and will be on the menu tonight. Thank you! Another way to make tofu more palatable is to freeze it (while still in its package). Then, thaw the tofu completely, cut out the bottom of its package, and squeeze gently over the sink. Continue squeezing until no more liquid comes out.

At that point, the tofu has a spongy/chewy texture that some people may prefer. Plus, it can absorb more flavors than if it retained the original liquid.

natasha on January 26, 2011:

thanks so much, my stir fry turned out wonderfully with my, now, intact & marinated tofu! before it was crumbly and mooshy, now i feel like I ordered out!

Cycling Dove on January 24, 2011:

I have failed miserably at making good tofu at home -- that is, until I came across this recipe. I am living in Central Asia, and can buy fresh blocks of tofu at the local market. For my weekly dry frying, I use a grill pan, and it is amazing! Even my husband, who is not a vegetarian, likes to eat it directly out of the pan. Thanks!!

GUNTHER on January 21, 2011:

Just finished the "dry-fry". Marinating as I type. Going to try it as a sub for rice with a home made ratatouille tonight. Results to follow.

Tofu on January 18, 2011:

I am a big tofu fan. I prefer dry frying also, but I never tried marinating it afterwards.

Thanks for the great tip, I'll sure give it a try.

mmkg on January 09, 2011:

OMG! Now I realize what I've been doing wrong. This ifno is very helpful. Thx

Brittany on December 22, 2010:

Thanks, I have been messing up tofu for years now! I'd like to know if you just cook the tofu after it has marinated for a while, and just add veggies?

Timmy on December 02, 2010:

Excellent and so simple; there's no reason not to do this. After I pressed and dry-fried the tofu I marinated it in BBQ sauce for a BBQ Tofu Pizza. Most appreciated!

jmwid on November 29, 2010:

This method works great, but only if you properly press the tofu before dry-frying. The way I've always pressed tofu is to set the tofu on a large plate with four paper towels under it. Then I put an upside down plate on top of the tofu block and set a bunch of heavy canned veggies or soup on top. After 1/2 an hour, most of the liquid will be gone. You can also flip the block over and press again on the other side. After that dry-frying is a breeze.

As far as marinades go with this method, so far I've tried barbecue sauce with some spices and soy sauce and a pre-made Szechuan marinade by San-J. Both tasted great.

I'd imagine just about any strongly flavored liquid + spice mix will do the trick.

Also, once you prep the tofu like this, cooking in a wok or skillet is a breeze. It should take less than five minutes if your wok is a hot enough. Don't overload the wok and keep those veggies crunchy and it turns out great.

Lastly, Mori-Nu brand tofu in the vacuum packed boxes won't work at all with this method. You need to look for tofu in a water packed firm tofu in a plastic tub with plastic over the top. This is usually kept refrigerated in the produce section of most grocery stores.

cindy naude on November 18, 2010:

I have never heard of dry frying tofu ... going to definitely try it. sounds really yum! just a question, can i store the dry fried tofu in the marinade for an extended period of time? if so, how long?

Galaxy Harvey from United Kingdom on November 10, 2010:

Just tried this recipe for supper tonight, it was amazing, thanks for this great hub. I have been a vegeatarian for years and am always on the lookout for new ways to prepare veggie food.

sasy123 on November 10, 2010:

it was so much fun i did it mom i still haven't tried it yet but we had fun thanks 4 the tips melisa ray davis bye

Todd (April Maze) on October 28, 2010:

OMG! Thanks so much for the dry frying tip!! amazing! - for years I have been putting tofu in currys and wondering why it falls apart and isn't as nice as the restaurant dishes, and the pre-fired tofu is sooo expensive! Love it, will now check out your marinade suggestions!

scott on October 16, 2010:

Thanks for the wonderful tofu tip. I did the dry fry method in a cast iron skillet and it worked like a charm. Right now I'm marinating the tofu in a ziplock bag with a whole bunch of kim-chee. Can't wait to cook it all up for breakfast tomorrow. I just know it's gonna be good!!!!!! Thanks :-)

cat on October 13, 2010:

Thank you! This was great. I tried the chinese marinade. It's great. I think the key is to cook on low, cause mine browned a little too much, but now I fully understand the art of cooking tofu.. THanks

papaya on October 12, 2010:

i've been a vegetarian for 6 years, and only now do i understand how to cook tofu properly. thank you for your recipes. i tried it and it is delicious!

Melissa on October 11, 2010:

I tried it with Mori-Nu extra firm tofu and it didn't come out! It broke and never got that nice golden color.... what brand do you recommend?

Jo on October 09, 2010:

I am just elated at this wonderful site my search took me to. I am newly vegan and I really need successes to keep me moving forward. My tofu triangles came out golden and beautiful. My daughter said they looked like french toast....we're going through dairy withdrawals. Anyway, I cooked these to a background of show tunes, made my marinade with chili oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, a bit of sugar,vegetable broth, sesame oil, chopped green onions and chopped up smart style vegie chik'n strips. They are all marinating overnight. I can't wait for tomorrow's dinner. Thanks for keeping me on the course to healthier eating!!

Marcela on October 06, 2010:

I was really nervous about cooking tofu again as it always crumbles and is soggy. But, I tried this method and it worked wonderfully. Full of flavor. Thanks!

Kerstin on October 05, 2010:

Hi, I tried the dry-fry methode and it was really great :)

ReuVera from USA on October 02, 2010:

I tried this recipe today using my George Forman grill. It turned SO good, that I just ate several pieces of dry-fried tofu, as they were! Great!

mrsound on October 01, 2010:

I just made a tofu omelet just this week. And it was really good. I got the recipe here: http://www.foodista.com/recipe/2SZKXLLT/tofu-omele...

I think the dry frying you got here is really good. I will try this too. Thank you.

JCL on September 23, 2010:

The dry-frying method worked pretty well. I think I should have cut the tofu a little thicker actually because it was a bit too thin. One other thing. We tried the Thai marinade and either my fish sauce is too old or the recipe calls for too much. It was really very strong! I think I need to buy new sauce, but am curious if anyone else has tried the Thai marinade...thoughts? comments?

JCL on September 20, 2010:

We tried a thai tofu receipe last night not know how to cook tofu and needless to say the tofu was less than exceptional. Will try this recipe tonight. I do have a quick question though. I have a cast-iron pan but it is relatively new--how long did it take you to season yours before it was basically non-stick? WE used the stainless steel pan last night and just like you said, the tofu basically just stuck to the pan. thanks!

Laura on September 09, 2010:

I just wanted to thank you for this amazing post. I have been trying to incorporate tofu in my diet more because of health and financial reasons. (I can get tofu really cheap) But my issue with it has always been texture, my husband said eating my tofu was like eating a kitchen sponge. Not something you want to hear about your cooking. But I tried your technique and it turned out amazing!!! It was honestly the best tofu curry I have ever eaten and the tofu was perfect. Thank you so much, this has definitely made me a fan. :)

nutrigal on September 07, 2010:

This is the best tofu ever. Tried it today and worked like a charm. Who knew using no oil will give you the best tofu ever!

Good work!

Leah on September 04, 2010:

Mellissa you ROCK!!!! I can't tell you how many recipes I have tried with Tofu & they all end up mushy. My hubby is adventurous and will try almost any recipe I make, but Tofu is a hard sell... especially when it always coming out less that yummy.

I'm definitely trying this one out tonite. I like the idea of not using any oil. Every other recipe I have seen so far calls for a few tablespoons of oil which I think adds to my not cooking it properly & ups the calories.

Also... I love the idea of using the George Forman to help dry out the Tofu.

Thanks again! ;0)

angel custado on September 02, 2010:

yummy.... I can't wait to do try this!

Damon on August 24, 2010:

I tried this tonight, using a variation on the Chinese marinade (so that I could just then add some hoisin and corn starch to employ the "used" marinade as a sauce. Also I added some chili oil and garlic chili paste because yum.)

Anyway, this techique is just excellent. I was raised by vegetarians and once I rebelled against that thought I hated tofu, but I decided I'd try to eat a little less meat and this technique was perfect. The tofu actually had texture and held up without crumbling, Chinese people have been eating tofu for thousands of years, they have it figured out. This was an excellent dinner.

jennybeans on August 11, 2010:

This is by far the most awesome tofu I've ever made. I, too have struggled with barely edible tofu messes for the last twelve years. My husband even likes it made this way, and he's as carniverous as they come! Last night I made Pad Thai with dry fried tofu, and tonight I baked the other half block with BBQ sauce. I wish I had made a whole block of BBQ tofu...I'm so tempted to eat the rest before the hubby gets home!