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How to Cook Tofu

  • Author: Virginia Vogel


Here’s how Virginia recommends cooking tasty tofu. Be sure to read the notes at the end of the recipe for all her tips and tricks!



1 package firm tofu

1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Organic San-J Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

1/4 to 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (see notes below)


Remove tofu cake from the package; wrap in a few layers of paper towels for about 5 minutes just to get the excess water off of the outside. Dice into 1+ inch cubes, slice into 1/2 inch slices, or crumble if you want to substitute it for ground meat.

Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet to almost smoking. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil. Immediately add the tofu. Use a spatula to toss or flip the tofu in the pan to evenly coat it with oil. Cook approximately 7-9 minutes, stirring or flipping every minute or so, just until the tofu starts to get brown and crisp. (It may stick a bit but that is okay.)

Towards the end of cooking, turn the heat down to medium low and sprinkle the tofu with organic tamari. If crumbled or cubed, toss to coat. If sliced, flip slices over and add a bit more tamari to that side.

Lastly, sprinkle the tofu with nutritional yeast. Stir to combine, if crumbled or cubed. If sliced, flip the tofu and sprinkle on a bit more. Let it brown up a bit, and you’re ready to serve.

Use cubed tofu as-is, or toss with southwestern spices or curry to give it different flavors. Use slices as-is, or on sandwiches. Crumbled tofu can be used in place of hamburger meat in chili, tostadas and more.


  • Nutritional Yeast: Adding nutritional yeast makes the tofu a complete protein, and adds lots of flavor and a bit of texture. It is also delicious sprinkled on popcorn. And, kids love it! You can find it in the bulk foods section at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores ~ just buy a cup or two.
  • Tofu: Buy a good, organic packaged tofu. I buy Woodstock or Soy Boy brands and I buy firm tofu, not extra firm.​
  • Cooking: The times I have above for cooking are approximate. The main thing is the pan needs to be very hot (but not smoking) when you are cooking, so the tofu releases its moisture quickly and begins to brown. I used to cook my tofu for a much longer time than I do now, until it was very crispy; now I cook it a bit less but enough to firm it up and give it texture.

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