100g serving of tofu provides:
4g fat (0.5g saturated fat);
making carbs count
Types of tofu
These are the main types of tofu
and how to use them.
Silken tofu: has a smooth and custard-like texture.
It is often used in soups, smoothies, and desserts. It
makes a great soft-cheese substitute. It is delicate and
doesn't hold its shape well, making it unsuitable for
grilling or frying.
Firm tofu: has a slightly denser texture than silken
tofu. It holds its shape better and is suitable for stirfrying,
grilling, baking, and adding to salads or stews.
Extra firm tofu: has the firmest texture among all
the types. It holds its shape exceptionally well and
is ideal for grilling, pan-frying, or adding to dishes
where you want the tofu to retain its texture.
Smoked tofu: has a distinct smoky flavour and a
firmer texture. It is pre-seasoned and can be enjoyed
as it is, or used in a variety of dishes like stir-fries,
sandwiches, or salads.
Flavoured or marinated tofu: can be found premarinated
or flavoured with various herbs, spices, or
Tofu nuggets or bites: are small, pre-cut tofu
pieces that are usually coated or seasoned. They are
convenient for snacking or adding to salads, wraps, or
If you're keen to introduce tofu into your diet, there's a
few things you should know about the different types
available and how to cook them. You can buy most types
in UK supermarkets or find a wider range in specialist
shops. Tofu is generally found in the chiller section of
the supermarket and sold in a sealed pack in water. Some
brands are sold in UHT-style Tetra Pak and others are
available in cans.
Once you've found your source of tofu, which typically
retails at around £3 per packet of the fresh, chilled variety,
cooking it is easy if you follow this basic guide:
Choose the right tofu: select the desired type of tofu
based on your recipe. You won't get good results trying
to stir-fry silken tofu or the creamy dessert you desire by
trying to blend the extra-firm type.
For best results you should consider pressing the tofu.
This improves the texture and allows it to absorb flavours
better. Remove from its packaging and drain any excess
liquid. Place it between two plates with a weight (such
as a heavy can) on top for about 15-30 minutes. Once
pressed, cut the tofu into desired shapes. Cubes, slices, or
strips are common options.
Marinate - if you want to infuse the tofu with
additional flavours, you can marinate it. Prepare a
marinade of your choice using ingredients like soy sauce,
garlic, ginger, herbs, or spices. Place the tofu in the
marinade and let it sit for at least 15-30 minutes (longer
or overnight for more flavour). Or dust lightly with salted
and spiced flour before cooking.
Technically, tofu does not need to be cooked. It is ready
to eat straight out of the package. The most common tofu
to eat raw is silken tofu. It's often used in vegan desserts
to achieve a creamy texture. Firm tofu, while able to eat
raw, is best used in various cooking applications, and you
can do pretty much anything to it.
Stir-fry: heat some oil in a pan or wok over a medium
to high heat. Add the tofu and cook for a few minutes
until it turns golden brown and crispy on all sides. You
can add vegetables, sauces, and seasonings to create a
Bake: preheat your oven to the desired temperature.
Place the tofu on a lined baking sheet and brush it with oil
or marinade. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until the tofu
is golden brown and has a slightly crispy texture.
Grill: preheat your grill to medium heat. Brush the tofu
with oil or marinade to prevent sticking. Grill for about
4-5 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear, and the
tofu is heated through.
Pan-fry: heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan over a
medium heat. Add the tofu and cook for a few minutes on
each side until golden brown and crispy.
Once cooked, serve the tofu as desired. It can be
enjoyed on its own, added to stir-fries, salads, noodle
dishes, curries, or used as a protein component in various
savoury recipes. For sweets and desserts silken tofu adds
a little luxury to vegan smoothies or as the star ingredient
in a cheesecake.