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Video:How to Cook With Tofu

with Ben Kurtzman

You know tofu is good for you, but do you know how to cook with it? Watch how to drain, freeze, bake, and saute tofu like a pro.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Cook With Tofu

Hi, I'm Ben Kurtzman for About.com Food, and today we are talking tofu.

Ways to Cook Tofu

Everyone knows the health benefits of eating tofu. But when it comes to cooking it, another question comes up: What exactly do I do with this big block of compressed soy product?

Well, there are a lot of things that you can do with tofu. You can bake it, you can saute it, you can put it in any number of dishes as a substitute for meat.

Drain the Tofu

But before you cook it, you have to drain it. Most tofu that you buy at the store comes packaged in water. It is not enough to simply drain the water from the package. You also have to get rid of any water the tofu has absorbed.

Tofu is like a sponge in the sense that it absorbs a lot of water, but unlike a sponge in that you cannot just wring it out.

To remove the absorbed water from the tofu, put it on some paper towels on a plate. Apply pressure to the top of the tofu using a cutting board and a couple of cans of tomatoes. You can use whatever you have handy, but the important thing is to maintain the pressure on the top of the tofu.

Let the tofu stand like this for about 15 minutes, and then it should be properly drained and ready for cooking.

Freeze the Tofu

There are three general things you can do with the tofu at this point. You can freeze it, you can saute it, or you can bake it.

Freezing tofu changes its consistency. After it thaws it is almost like ground beef, so it is perfect for things like soups, chilies, and sauces.

Bake the Tofu

To bake tofu, cut it into pieces about 1/2-inch thick and put them on a single layer on a baking pan.

As I mentioned before, the great thing about tofu is that it is so absorbent. So you can use any number of different sauces--soy sauce, barbecue sauce, even salad dressing. The tofu will absorb it and become very flavorful.

After you have baked the tofu for an hour at 400 degrees, it should be ready to eat. You can eat it hot as a side dish, or in salads or sandwiches.

Saute the Tofu

If you want to saute tofu, cut it into cubes and add it to hot oil in a skillet. Sautee it for a few minutes until it turns golden.

When you saute tofu like this, it is delicious. You can either add it to a stir-fry or eat it alone with a dipping sauce.

Now that you know some of the basics of cooking with tofu you should feel free to experiment. I am sure you will find that it is great in all kinds of recipes and with all kinds of flavors.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at food.about.com.
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