GETTING TO KNOW YOUR TOFU-Buying and Handling Tofu, Measuring Tofu, Blending tofu, Frozen Tofu, Marinating 



Buying and Handling Tofu


Tofu can be made or bought in several different forms. These range from silken tofu, which is the softest form, to a medium soft Japanese-style, to a medium firm Chinese-style, to hard pressed tofu, which is a very dense and firm cheese. There are many forms available in between, depending on how the tofu was made.

Fresh tofu has a fresh and delicate scent to it. This is tofu at its best. It barely has any smell at all when really fresh. Each package of tofu should show an expiration date. Be sure to check for this when buying tofu. 

If fresh tofu is handled right, it can keep for up to one week in your refrigerator. It should be kept submerged in cold water, and the water should be changed daily to keep it fresh and moist.

The firmer types of tofu are best used for slicing or cubing and sometimes crumbling. The softer tofu can be used for slicing and cubing also, but it does not hold its shape well if it is handled a lot. The softer kinds of tofu are best for blending, mashing, and crumbling.

If you want a firm tofu and you can only find soft, you can slice the tofu into slabs, place the slabs side by side between towels, and set another towel and a heavy breadboard or other similar weight on it for 20 to 30 minutes.

If the tofu you buy smells a little sour, it is still usable, but it is best to boil it for about twenty minutes, which will change its texture somewhat, making it harder and chewier. We do not recommend using tofu in this state for blending in a blender or for use in any dessert or fresh salad dip. If the tofu you buy smells very sour, we suggest that you return it to your grocer for a replacement and recommend that he keep it at a cooler temperature.


Measuring Tofu

There are a couple of ways to measure tofu when it is not pre-measured for you in a package. If you are going to slice or cube the tofu, use the water displacement method. Fill a 4-cup measuring cup with 3 cups water. Then float a block of tofu that brings the water level up to the 4-cup level. This will give you 1/2 lb. of tofu.

You may have to take a slice off the block if the water level rises above the 4-cup mark. If  the water doesn’t reach the 4-cup level when you put the block in, add a slice or two until the water level comes up to 4 cups. Be sure to check at eye level when measuring, and don’t press the tofu down under the water. If you are going to blend, mash, or crumble the tofu, you can measure it in a measuring cup in the mashed or crumbled form. One cup is equal to 1/2lb. of tofu.


Blending tofu

When you are blending tofu, there are a few points to remember. Blend it as you would any dense material and don’t try to do too much at a time. In a standard home blender, it is a good rule to blend no more than 1/2lb. at a time, but this could vary with different types of blenders and the softness of the tofu. It will help to mash or crumble your tofu before blending if it is not very soft.

Unless the tofu is quite soft, you will not be able to put everything in the blender, turn it on and leave it to blend. It will probably need to be coaxed from the sides gently with a rubber spatula to keep it circulating. Be careful not to touch the blades with the spatula. If you don’t have a blender, an electric mixer works well on the softer tofu. A food processor will also work, but generally does not make as creamy a finished product as a blender.

If a recipe calls for more than 1/2lb. of tofu to be blended in a blender along with other ingredients, you can break up the tofu in a bowl and add other ingredients. Then, stir it all up and divide the mixture into smaller batches to blend. Use only about 1/2lb. of tofu per batch. Then, put it all together again in a bowl and stir well.


Frozen Tofu

Freezing tofu drastically changes its properties, and transforms it into a unique protein food. When you freeze it, thaw it, and squeeze out the water, the tofu resembles a spongy latticework, which has a more meaty, chewy consistency than regular tofu. It soaks up marinades and sauces more readily than the plain form. Just drain it, wrap it in foil or plastic, and put it in the freezer until frozen until frozen into a solid block. You can let it thaw at room temperature or pour boiling water over it as needed. Frozen tofu adds yet more variety to an already versatile food.



Tofu and marinades were meant for each other. Always marinate in glass, stainless steel, or enamel. Marinating slices or cubes of tofu works best in a flat pan. The pieces should be carefully turned several times, or you can use a turkey baster to suck the marinade up and squirt it back over the pieces. With frozen tofu, you will need to mix and squeeze the marinade into the tofu. When a recipe calls for marinating tofu for one hour or less, it can be done at room temperature covered with wax paper or a towel. For longer periods of time, marinating should be done in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator because or the risk of bacterial growth.




Please publish modules in offcanvas position.