Freezing Tofu: Dispelling the Myth that Tofu is Tasteless

There's a common misconception that tofu is tasteless.  I ask my non-vegetarian friends this - If you ate a piece of raw chicken, would it taste good?  No, it needs to be marinated, seasoned and cooked.  The same goes for tofu.  

Tofu, unfortunately, does not absorb marinades very easily.  You could put a block of tofu into a marinade and let it sit overnight or a few days, and yet if you cut into the pieces afterwards would find a white center.  The marinade just doesn't seem to get absorbed.  So what do you do?

As soon as I bring a block of tofu home from the store, I put it in the freezer.  This is a good move for two reasons.  First, the tofu stays good for longer.  Two, freezing tofu makes it take on sponge like properties. The texture becomes completely modified.  Here's how to freeze and use tofu.

Depending on how much time I have to allow for defrosting, the day that I'm going to use the tofu, I remove it and place it in the refrigerator. If there's not enough time for that, you can put it into a bowl of hot water (replacing the water as it cools) until the block defrosts.  Then open the package and defrost the block in the microwave.

Place the tofu between two papertowels and squeeze over a plate.  Gently squeeze the tofu until the water is all removed.  The tofu will now look and act like a sponge.  This means marinades can be easily absorbed.

Make a marinade.  Cube the tofu and combine it with the marinade in a freezer bag or large mixing bowl. Allow to marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer.  Remove the tofu cubes and use in a stir fry or other dish.  We like to grill the tofu on a Cuisinart grill before using.   

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