Best tofu

The best brand of tofu I’ve found to date

I’ve tried so many brands and variations of tofu over the years, and there have been many good ones.  However, the best to date in my opinion has been Trader Joe’s brand Extra Firm tofu.  The reason I love this brand is that it is SO firm that you don’t even have to press it to get extra water out.  Literally, I’ve tried pressing it and nothing comes out because it’s already so firm and “desiccated”.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area; just buy extra firm in any brand, but you’ll likely have to press out the excess water.
If you don’t have TJ’s brand tofu:
Press tofu by placing the block (or blocks, side by side) between two plates (turn the top plate so that the bottom is on top of the tofu block), then place a phone book or other heavy book on top of the top plate.  You should notice a pool of water on the bottom plate within 20 minutes.  Press for an hour if possible, but a minimum of 20 minutes.

I typically use 2 blocks of tofu for the following recipe.

Cut the tofu: first cut it through the middle of the block, so that the block itself is in 2 parts (a top and a bottom “cutlet”, if that makes sense).  Then take the whole block, cut down the middle, then cut each of those 2 sections down the middle.  There should be 4 rows cut if you’re taking an aerial view of the tofu.  Then turn the tofu and start cutting cubes – about six cuts going the opposite way down the tofu block.  This should create several 1/2 inch cubes.

Meanwhile, heat about 3 Tablespoons (T) of canola oil in a skillet on medium heat.  When the oil is hot add the tofu cubes.  Saute the cubes until they’re golden browned on all sides, turning many times during cooking.  Cook for about 15 minutes total.
After 15 minutes add about 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s brand Soyaki or Island Soyaki marinade, then saute, tossing and turning frequently for another 10 – 15 minutes, until the cubes are now a very golden brown on all sides.  Careful not to burn.

Note: I’ve made marinades from scratch 1000s of times; and I have discovered some very good ones -which I’ll likely share later in this blog – but I’ve found that the TJs marinades mentioned above are excellent for a quick, delicious, and relatively healthy alternative to homemade.

Trader Joe’s Soyaki marinade – super good!

Use these tofu cubes in stir fries, stews, burritos, sandwiches, salads or just for a snack.  When I make this tofu recipe I usually do two 16-oz blocks of tofu, so even if I use some in a stir fry or other recipe, I’ll have some cubes leftover for snacking.

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