College Kitchen: tofu

Yena Lee

Let’s face it, tofu is that weird textured thing vegetarians and vegans eat — and most people assume it’s flavorless.
 
 
But there’s a lot you likely don’t know about tofu. It’s nutritionally dense, high in protein and contains all eight essential amino acids. In addition, tofu typically contains plenty of phytonutrients.
 
 
Contrary to what you just read, tofu doesn’t have to beflavorless. Tofu tends to soak up flavors really well, so different marinades can totally change a tofu dish. 
 
 
Keep in mind, there is a fair amount of debate surrounding the amount of soy-based foods someone should eat on a regular basis, but that’s all up to you. 
 
 
Balsamic marinade
 
 
Before you marinade the tofu, you should press it. To press tofu, place the tofu block on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and press it down with a can on top of a plate. Press for about 15-20 minutes. 
 
 
1 block of extra-firm tofu
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pinch of dried herbs (thyme, oregano, basil or rosemary all work)
a pinch of salt and pepper
 
1. After pressing the tofu block, cut it into cubes. 
2. Throw all of the ingredients in a bowl.
3. Let the tofu marinade for about 30-45 minutes.
4. You can either pan-fry the marinated tofu or bake it. 
5. To pan fry: Add some oil to a pan on medium-high heat. Then add the marinated tofu to the pan. Cook until desired crispness is achieved.
6. To bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place your marinated tofu on a lined baking sheet, then bake for for 20-30 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, toss the tofu around for an even bake. 
 
Korean barbecue marinade
 
 
Put it in a taco. Do it. 
 
1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 green onion, chopped
 
1. Mix all of the ingredients except the tofu.
2. Toss the tofu into the marinade. 
3. Marinate for at least an hour.
4. Either pan-fry or bake them.