How to Marinate Tofu

Tips and Recipes Ideas for Tasty Tofu!

Back in episode 8 of the podcast, we talked “All About Tofu”, explaining what it is and sharing a few tips for cooking with it.

291 episodes later we’re back with another round of tofu talk, this time inspired by Peas and Carrots Society member Ron Kaufman-Schmick who posted in the group: “Looking for new ways to marinate tofu please…..annnnnd go!”

As usual, our fellow Peas and Carrots members jumped in with some great ideas!  In today’s episode of the podcast, we’re going to share some of their suggestions along with some tips for ensuring that your tofu is the best that it can be!



What is Tofu?

Tofu is a coagulated soy milk product that has been pressed into curds and made into solid white blocks with varying degrees of softness. The softness levels are silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Each type lends itself to a different type of dish. For example, silken tofu is great in smoothies and baking, but wouldn’t hold up to cubing, marinating, and baking or frying. 


For more in-depth information on tofu, be sure to check out episode 8 of our podcast, All About Tofu.


Why Should I Eat It?

Tofu is one of the most popular meat substitutes in vegan food recipes.  It’s low-calorie and a great source of protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Additionally, it contains all nine essential amino acids and in its plain, unflavored form is typically gluten-free. Just be sure to check the label if this is important to you.


Why Do I Need to Marinate Tofu?

Tofu in itself is pretty tasteless so if someone scrunches up their nose when you mention tofu, chances are they have a) never tried it or b) never had it cooked right!  

Because of its neutral flavor and texture it easily absorbs flavors, making it is extremely versatile in cooking.


Tips for Marinating Tofu

  1. First,  slice the block of tofu horizontally in half.



2. Then press the tofu for at least 30 minutes to ensure you remove the excess liquid from it. We usually press ours for an hour. While there are companies that make tofu presses, you really don’t need one. We like to put the tofu in a jellyroll pan (or something with sides so the liquid doesn’t seep out onto the counter). Place several layers of paper toweling (or a washable tea towel) on the pan and place the sliced tofu on top. Add a second layer of paper towels and cover with a cutting board. Place something heavy–we use a couple of our heavy Le Crueset frying pans–on the cutting board to press the liquid out.


le creuset


3. Once the tofu is pressed, it’s time to marinate! Your choice of marinade really just depends on what dish you would like to make with your tofu.


4. Cut the tofu pieces into cubes unless your recipe calls for longer pieces. The size is really up to you.

tofu cubes


5. Place the cubes in a sealable container (we use a Pyrex bowl with a lid). Mix your marinade ingredients and pour them over the cubes in the container. It’s important that the container allows for full coverage over the tofu. The longer you can leave it marinating the better. An hour would probably work too but just keep in mind that the longer you can keep it soaking, the more flavor will be absorbed.

tofu marinade


6. Once your tofu has marinated for a minimum of 20 minutes it’s time to cook!


Cooking Time!

One of the most common ways to consume tofu is in a stir fry, but it’s generally best to cook the tofu separately first.

While frying isn’t necessarily the healthiest, we usually do fry the tofu in a bit of grapeseed and sesame oil after tossing the cubes in some cornstarch. The trick is to ensure there isn’t a lot of marinade dripping from the the cubes as this can create a soggy mess when adding cornstarch. If you find yours is soggy, try patting off some of the excess marinades with a paper towel before tossing.

You can also bake your tofu until it is golden brown. 


tofu in a bowl


Favorite Tofu Marinades from Our Peas and Carrots Society Members

Marinade ingredients can obviously vary based on the dish you are preparing. As mentioned, we received some great ideas from our Peas and Carrots members so let’s talk about some of those now.


  • David Kapsch — “Frank’s Red Hot sauce is awesome! There is a recipe my wife and I really like called Buffalo Beans and Greens in the Plant Pure Nation cookbook.”
  • Elizabeth Fox — “Sweet Baby Rays Buffalo Sauce, House of Tsang Peanut Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, BBQ Sauce, but not all at once!”
  • Maggie Muck — “Maple syrup, soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic.”
  • Leanne Nagy — “Soy sauce, ginger paste chili garlic sauce, and a little sesame oil.”
  • Marta Wilson — “Sprouts Asian BBQ sauce.”
  • Erin Murr — “Soy sauce, veggie Worcestershire, sriracha, some sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar, and a dash of sesame oil. Good for dipping potstickers and springs rolls in also.”
  • Lisa  Farry-Jennings — “Buffalo sauce.”
  • Gwen Majercin — “Lemon slices and fresh rosemary.”


And finally, Amy Mullins asked, “After you dip your marinade in tofu, how do you cook it?” David Kapsh answered, “I bake mine at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.”


We hope this episode has given you some ideas for how to marinate tofu and has provided you with some tips to help ensure your tofu is amazing.


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Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:


Recipe of the Week


Thanks for listening!

Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa

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