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Ask Ginger: How to Prepare Tofu
Aug 08

Ask Ginger: How to Prepare Tofu

By Let's Move Pittsburgh

You've got questions ... we’ve got answers! Email your queries about healthy foods, physical activity and screen time for kids and Ginger will answer them here on the Phipps blog.

Q: I’m new to plant-based cooking and was wondering how to best prepare tofu, or if it could be eaten raw. Also, could you suggest a recipe that features tofu? (Danielle, Coraopolis)

A: Thank you for your question! Truth be told, all types of tofu can be eaten raw but the soft and silken varieties are best when eaten right out of the package! Just drain off any excess packing liquid and you’re good to go! Invite your friends to try silken tofu as part of this bright and beautiful Mango, Raspberry Smoothie Bowl.1

If you’re looking to add both texture and flavor to your mixed dishes, then cooked tofu should do the trick! Try this foolproof recipe for tasty tofu every time!

Step One: Drain it! A waterlogged block of tofu won’t absorb a marinade or get crispy in a frying pan. Luckily, draining tofu couldn’t be easier! Place your tofu (the whole block or slices) on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Then, place a heavy object (like a cast-iron skillet or a textbook) on top of the tofu and let stand for at least one hour in the fridge.

Step Two: The Marinade. When marinating tofu, skip the oil. Instead opt for soy, vinegar and citrus flavors. Let your tofu soak in its marinade for at least thirty minutes in the fridge. 

Step Three: Make it Crispy. Toss tofu pieces in cornstarch to create a crispy, crunchy crust! Tip: a light coating is best so be sure to shake off excess cornstarch.

Step Four: Blast the Heat! A room-temperature pan is a ‘buzz kill’ when trying to sear tofu. Give the oil (preferably sesame oil!) time to heat up before adding your tofu to the pan. Tip: As tofu is browning, sprinkle spices like garlic, paprika, or cayenne pepper for an extra fiery kick!

For mouthwatering weeknight suppers, try making these kid-friendly Crispy Tofu Fingers 2 or try this vegetarian Tofu Hot, which we featured in our last Ask Ginger blog3 Happy eating! 


Additional Resources:

Blair J. 5 Steps for Making Tofu Actually Taste Good. Delish. Published March 15, 2018. Accessed July 31, 2018.

Bone K. A Guide to Tofu Types and What to Do With Them. Serious Eats. Accessed July 31, 2018.


1. Valenti, Leah. This Mango Raspberry Tofu Smoothie Bowl Is Packed With Protein. Spoon University. Accessed August 8, 2018.

2. Monson, Natalie. Tofu: 3 Kid Friendly Ways to Make it. Super Healthy Kids. Accessed August 8, 2018. 

3. Ask Ginger: Meals on a Budget. Let's Move Pittsburgh. Accessed August 8, 2018. 


Photo Credit: The Splendid Table.