I heart tofu. Silky, chunky, extra firm, blobby, slimy, slurpy… I love it all. I get why many people don’t, but this simple trick might have them changing their minds.
In our house we prefer fresh tofu (the kind found in the refrigerator section floating in water in a plastic tray) over the unrefrigerated kind that comes in that folded cardboard block. Every time we buy fresh tofu we immediately put it in the freezer and let it freeze solid. Once frozen, we let it thaw in the fridge until we’re ready to cook.
At this point the tofu has transformed from the solid white block of blobbiness into something that looks more like a cross between a loaf of bread and a kitchen sponge. In other words, when you cut into the now thawed frozen tofu, you’ll see it has taken on a new texture making it lighter and chewier in texture. At this point the tofu will absorb much more of the sauce you’re cooking it in… i.e. it becomes a glorious sauce sponge.
To take things a step further, we cube the thawed tofu and pop it in the air fryer** or frying pan for a few minutes to crisp up the edges. Now you have a firm and crunchy tofu that is perfect for stir-frying or eating as-is with salt and pepper (think popcorn chicken style).
To take things a step even further from further, we’ll fry the plain cubes until crispy, then dredge them in sauce or marinade, then put them back in the fryer for a second blast of crispiness. It’s like, whoah!
Here’s what that basic block of tofu looks like after it’s been frozen, thawed, and nuggetized….
**Our fryer is the Philips Viva and it’s on Amazon for less than a hundred bucks. It has become our #1 most used kitchen appliance and it has allowed us to make our favorite crispy fried comfort foods with little to no oil.