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For Perfect Tofu Texture & Flavor Every Time, Try This Easy Trick

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Darren Muir / Stocksy
April 15, 2021

There are two keys to making an amazing tofu dish at home: getting the texture right, and ensuring it takes on the flavors of your seasoning or marinade. Luckily, there's a clever trick that makes both goals easier to accomplish. Enter: this hack for perfect tofu from So Vegan, the blog run by culinary experts Roxy Pope and Ben Pook.

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Why you should freeze your tofu before you use it.

The advice is simple: Drain the tofu, put it in an airtight container, then pop it in the freezer overnight. The next morning, take it out and allow it to thaw on a rack, so excess water can drain (they say the thawing process should take about four hours). As it thaws, you'll be able to squeeze out even more water. It's important to note that the tofu will discolor in the freezer—but that's fine, and it should return to a more normal hue when it thaws.

"This method creates ice crystals in the tofu, which turn into pockets when you defrost it. The end result is a super-spongy block of tofu," Pope and Pook explain in the caption of their video post. "The tofu then absorbs way more marinade—giving it tons of flavor—and it also creates a chewy texture, which we love."

After it's thawed, you can cube or slice the tofu—depending on what you're making—and then let it marinate as usual. Then, So Vegan advises tossing the pieces with some corn flour or other starch to help it get crispy when it cooks. Then, reduce your leftover marinade to make a sauce, and enjoy your perfect little pieces of tofu.

The tofu takeaway.

Essentially, all you need to make this hack work for you is some time and a little bit of planning in advance. And when the payoff is more flavor and better texture—why wouldn't you give it a try?

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Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.