If you cook tofu regularly, you know that even buying the extra firm tofu at the store means it will still be a somewhat liquidy and soft — such is the nature of uncooked tofu. But if you want a tougher, less silky texture for cooking, try freezing it.
Photo by 621hjmi.
I was sceptical of this tip when I first read about it. You freeze the tofu, defrost it, then prepare it as normal, squeezing out the water. That didn’t seem like it would make any difference. But I gave it a try anyway, and lo and behold, the texture of my tofu was completely different. When I pan fried it, it came out much firmer and chewier.
Slate explains how to freeze your tofu and how it works:
As soon as you get home from the grocery store, drain your tofu and stick it in the freezer. (You can slice the tofu before freezing if you want it to thaw faster.) Freezing changes the texture of tofu drastically and almost magically: When ice crystals form, they create small holes in the tofu, making it far spongier, firmer, and chewier than it was before. No amount of draining, patting dry, or pressing tofu can minimise sogginess as much as freezing does.
I’ve seen recipes that recommend this method for kabobs. I used it in a stir fry recipe, and you can pretty much use it in any tofu meal in which you’re going for a drier, firmer texture. Slate has a great tofu banh mi recipe in their original article, so check it out at the link below.
You’re Doing It Wrong: Tofu [Slate]