Many people find tofu to be an unpleasant food based on its natural and basic appearance and taste. Plain tofu that hasn't been prepared is simple and white, with an appearance and a taste similar to styrofoam. However, the fact that tofu is so devoid of color and flavor before it is prepared is actually a good thing for chefs in the know, because tofu will take on the color and flavor of many of the other things that it's prepared with. By knowing the best ways to go about preparing your tofu and cooking it, you can add a variety of flavors to this otherwise bland protein source. Read on for a list of some of the best ways to add flavor to your tofu.
1. Store It Properly
The best way to enrich your tofu with flavor is often completely separate from how you cook the tofu itself. When you're storing tofu prior to preparing it, you should plan to put it in the refrigerator and in a tub of water. The tofu itself should be completely submersed. This makes it so that the tofu doesn't run the risk of drying out, which can cause it to lose its ability to pick up on other flavors later.
2. Marinate It
The longer that the tofu that you're preparing is in contact with the other foods around it, the more that it will take on the flavors and colors of those foods. This means that, if you're planning on making a sauce or a marinade for any dish, it's a good idea to make it in advance and to allow the uncooked tofu to rest in it for at least a few hours. By marinating your tofu in a variety of liquids, you can infuse it with a hearty, rich flavor that will coincide nicely with the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
3. Grill It
Grilling tofu is a great way to add unique flavor to the protein source. It's also a very good way to turn plain looking tofu into something that is much more interesting and palatable. Put your tofu in a saucepan or skillet and grill it lightly with some oil and other spices. The color and flavor of the tofu will be enhanced greatly by even a light grilling.
4. Season Multiple Times
A good rule of thumb for seasoning and preparing tofu is to treat it in much the same way that you would treat meat. It's good to thoroughly season the tofu before you even begin cooking it. This can mean rubbing it down with dry spices or sprinkling other seasonings over it. After you cook the tofu, you can further enhance the flavor by including more of the same spices on the prepared tofu just before serving it.
Using these tips, your tofu will be delicious, both in terms of its visual appeal and its taste.