Chef’s Trick: Firm Up Your Tofu

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Tofu is one of those foods. You’re either game or you’re not. Maybe an old roommate or girlfriend cooked it for you a certain way that made you do a double-take. Not half bad. But back at home, perhaps you’re still struggling. If this is the case, we have a trick you’re going to like.

In The Washington Post last week, Joe Yonan wrote a piece about tofu entitled Cooking For One: Tofu, Fuss or No Fuss. In it, he discusses the best way to prepare tofu, from marinating and baking to frying and tossing with whatever ingredients you have on hand in the refrigerator. But most importantly, he talks about a tip that many chefs and cookbook authors use to make their tofu even firmer.

They freeze it. That’s right: buy your favorite tofu, take it home and slice it, put it in the freezer, thaw, and squeeze out any remaining liquid before using. This will result in a “sturdier, chewier, more flavorful” tofu that absorbs sauce even easier than its right-out-of-the-package cousin. For all you skeptics out there, this might be a trick worth taking on a test drive.