There are some foods that seem to suffer from a bad reputation through no fault of their own. And for a long time - in the West at least - tofu was one of them. Used by many as a byword for worthy-but-tasteless food, tofu was dismissed as bland and uninspiring, fit only for health obsessives and those whose diets didn’t allow them to eat anything else. Luckily, over the last decade or so, we’ve started taking a second look at this much-maligned ingredient, and begun to realise its true potential.
Originally from China, tofu is a traditional ingredient in the cuisines of many East Asian countries. It is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into blocks of varying densities, from creamy silken tofu, through soft, firm and extra firm to super firm tofu. Light and porous, it is great for absorbing other flavours, and is often soaked in flavourful marinades or deep fried.
In Western cuisine, tofu has been adopted as a healthy, vegan substitute for other proteins, and as East Asian cuisine becomes ever more popular in the West, we are finally learning how to cook and flavour it. These days, tofu is seen as a food to be savoured in its own right, and because it’s so adaptable, it can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes.
If you still think tofu has no flavour, try one of these delicious tofu recipes today, and prepare to change your mind!
12 Savoury Tofu Recipes
Tofu Breakfast Burritos:
If you’re looking for a hearty, flavourful vegan breakfast, these tasty burritos from Jo Cooks are stuffed with herby garlic potatoes, nutty vegan cheese and a rich, creamy ‘egg’ salad made with crumbled tofu, veganaise, cayenne pepper and turmeric.
Savoury Lemon & Herb Baked Tofu:
With a flavour and texture to rival the best crispy chicken skin you’ve ever eaten, these intensely savoury herb-marinated tofu bites from Connoisseurus Veg are great as a sandwich filling, or sprinkled onto salads.
This Korean-inspired grain bowl from Half Baked Harvest is bursting with fresh, healthy flavours, with crispy tofu, fried egg and avocado on a bed of quinoa with pickled and fresh vegetables.
If you like Chinese food, you’ll love this vegetarian alternative to Moo Shu pork, from Gimme Some Oven. Made with crispy tofu, eggs, a rainbow of mixed veggies, and a delicious hoisin-sesame sauce.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Tofu:
These Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls by Minimalist Baker are wrapped in a delicate translucent rice paper casing, revealing a brightly-coloured medley of mint, cilantro, red pepper, carrot and cucumber, with perfectly seasoned crispy tofu. These tempting bites are healthy, crispy and delicious, and come with a yummy almond butter dipping sauce.
Tofu Pad Thai:
Another Asian-inspired dish from Minimalist Baker, this simplified version of Thai favourite Pad Thai is packed with heat and flavour, with tofu, vegetables and chilis served in an aromatic tamarind and coconut sauce.
This creamy and delicious quiche from Minimalist Baker is both vegan and gluten free, with the egg replaced by silken tofu seasoned with nutritional yeast, hummus and garlic, and the crust made from a crispy sautéed potato hash.
Barbecued Waffle Iron Tofu:
Ready in just ten minutes, this gorgeously dense and chewy barbecue tofu from Fat Free Vegan makes the perfect gourmet vegan sandwich filler.
Korean Steamed Tofu:
Steamed tofu, or dubu tchim is a classic Korean dish, with the delicate flavour and texture of steamed tofu perfectly complimenting the rich flavours of a really good dipping sauce. Follow this quick and simple recipe at The Spruce Eats.
Grilled Tofu and Vegetable Skewers:
A vegan barbecue classic from The Spruce Eats, these simple but tasty skewers are made from marinated tofu, sweet bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini and onion, and grilled to perfection.
Vegan Old Bay Tofu 'Fish' Cakes:
These moist, crumbly vegan ‘fish’ cakes from The Spruce Eats are flavoured with white wine, nutritional yeast, lime juice, and spicy Old Bay seasoning. Perfect if you’re a vegan who misses seafood.
10 Minutes Tofu Enchiladas:
This super quick recipe from The Spruce Eats makes a great basic vegetarian enchilada. Add your favourite vegetarian ingredients to build on the basic recipe, or swap the cheddar for vegan cheese to make it vegan.
12 Sweet Tofu Recipes
Low-fat vegan chocolate spread:
Irresistibly creamy and delicious, this chocolate spread from Simple Vegan Blog is made from just three ingredients. Tofu, cocoa powder and maple syrup, simply combined to make the perfect vegan dupe for your favourite chocolate spread.
Quick and easy chocolate tofu pudding:
The easiest chocolate pudding you’ve ever made, this silky-smooth dessert from Fit Living Eats is ready in just five minutes. Great for a no-fuss finale to a dinner party.
Silken tofu chocolate mousse:
Another simple and delicious chocolate dessert, this 5 minute, 3 ingredient chocolate mousse from As Easy As Apple Pie tastes great garnished with fresh raspberries and a sprig of mint.
If you’re starting to notice a bit of a trend for fast desserts made with minimal ingredients, this strawberry mousse from One Green Planet doesn’t disappoint. With just 3 ingredients and 5 to 10 minutes prep, this is another great, time-saving dessert.
Vietnamese tofu pudding with ginger syrup:
This beautifully simple vietnamese dessert from The Viet Dish combines a delicately creamy, just-set tofu pudding with a sweet, aromatic ginger syrup.
Quick Vegan Chocolate Pie:
Pure decadence from The Spruce Eats, this sumptuous dessert is made from a golden pie crust, with a silky chocolate and peanut butter filling. Who said vegan food was bland?
Easy Vegan Sweet Potato Pie:
A vegan take on a fall classic from The Spruce Eats, this yummy dessert is spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla for a wonderfully warm, sweet taste.
Lime and vanilla vegan cheesecake:
This tropical cheesecake recipe from Quite Good Food is creamy, sweet and zesty, with a deliciously chewy crumb casing made from almonds, dates, seeds and coconut oil.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie:
Another dessert that takes advantage of the classic vegan dessert combo of chocolate and peanut butter, this irresistible dessert from Minimalist Baker has a delicious crumbly graham cracker case and a creamy peanut butter filling topped with chocolate ganache.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie:
The perfect vegan Thanksgiving dessert, this deep-filled pie from The Spruce Eats will have everyone asking for another slice.
Easy vegan tiramisu:
Another super-simple dessert, this time from Vegan on Board, this vegan take on everyone’s favourite Italian dessert uses a mixture of silken tofu and coconut cream to replace the mascarpone.
Vegan No-Bake Key Lime Pie:
This no-bake dessert from The Spruce Eats is a vegan take on the classic key lime pie. With a filling made from silken tofu and lime juice, it’s every bit as creamy, zesty and delicious as the original.
Super adaptable, with the ability to take on a range of different flavours and textures, tofu is an incredibly useful and often delicious ingredient. If you’re hungry for more, take a look at these 10 delicious recipes that will make you love tofu.