Frequently Asked Question: What Do You Do with Store Bought Fried Tofu
Fried tofu is a popular ingredient in many Asian dishes. Made from soybean milk, tofu is versatile and can be cooked to suit different tastes. The process involves coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft, white blocks. Fried tofu is a popular dish that has become increasingly common in Western cuisine. It offers a crunchy texture and flavorful addition to salads, stir-fries, and sandwiches.
If you’ve ever purchased store-bought fried tofu and then not known what to do with it, you are not alone. Here, we answer frequently asked questions about store-bought fried tofu.
What is Fried Tofu?
Tofu (also known as bean curd) is an ingredient made from coagulated soy milk that is pressed into blocks. Fried tofu is simply tofu that has been cooked by frying it in oil until golden brown. While fried tofu can be made at home, it can also be found pre-made in grocery stores.
Store-bought fried tofu differs from homemade fried tofu in that it tends to be much easier to prepare and has a consistent flavor throughout. Pre-packaged fried tofu often comes seasoned and ready-to-eat rather than plain, like uncooked or homemade varieties. Additionally, the texture of store-bought fried tofu tends to be more uniform overall.
How to Use Store-Bought Fried Tofu
There are a few ways that you can use store-bought fried tofu:
- Add it to soups or stews for added protein
- Cut it into smaller pieces and add it to salads for extra crunch
- Use it as a meat substitute in stir-fries or sandwiches
- Eat it as a snack on its own
- Serve it as an appetizer with dipping sauce
When using fried tofu, it’s important to remember that it has already been cooked and does not need further cooking. This makes it a great addition to cold dishes or those that require minimal preparation.
- Cut into smaller pieces and add to your favorite pasta dish for texture and protein.
- Make a sandwich with your favorite veggies and include fried tofu for added crunch.
- Incorporate it into your rice bowls for an added kick of flavor and texture.
- Use it in vegetarian sushi rolls for a delicious veggie option.
Nutritional Value of Fried Tofu
Tofu is low in calories, carbs, fats, but high in protein. It is also a rich source of calcium and iron. The nutritional value of tofu changes slightly when it is fried. Fried tofu can be higher in calories and fat depending on the oil it’s cooked in and how long it is cooked.
If you’re trying to watch your weight or monitor your caloric intake, eating fried food regularly isn’t the best idea. However, eating store-bought fried tofu in moderation can still be part of a healthy diet, especially compared to other fried foods such as French fries, chicken wings or other greasy snacks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Store-Bought Fried Tofu
Here are a few frequently asked questions about store-bought fried tofu:
Should I heat up my store-bought fried tofu?
No, you do not need to heat up store-bought fried tofu. It is already cooked and ready-to-eat.
How long can I keep store-bought fried tofu in the refrigerator?
Store-bought fried tofu can typically be kept in the refrigerator for three to five days after opening.
Can I freeze store-bought fried tofu?
Yes, you can freeze store-bought fried tofu. It should be stored in an airtight container and can last for up to six months in the freezer.
Comparing Different Brands of Store-Bought Fried Tofu
If you’re curious about which brands of store-bought fried tofu are worth purchasing or if there is a variation between them, here’s a breakdown of some top contenders:
- Texture: firm but a little bit softer than other brands.
- Flavor: neutral flavor.
- Nutrition: low in calories and fat, high in protein (6 grams per serving).
- Shelf Life: lasts generally up to two weeks after opening
- Value: Generally budget-friendly option
Hodo Soy Beanery:
- Texture: thin and crispy texture.
- Flavor: has a note of smokiness on its own.
- Nutrition: Low in calories and fat with high protein content (8 grams per serving).
- Shelf Life: Should be consumed within one week of opening.
- Value: Mid to high range price-wise
- Texture: almost like a cracker – it’s really crispy.
- Flavor: slightly sweet, but neutral.
- Nutrition: Low in calories and fat, high in protein (6 grams per serving).
- Shelf Life: can last up to two months unopened in the fridge.
- Value: A bit more pricey than other brands
In general, store-bought fried tofu does not vary in taste as compared to its DIY counterpart. The key difference lies in texture. Some brands offer firmer and more flavorful bites. Prices vary drastically between each brand and for that reason exploring different brands might be a good idea depending on personal tastes and preferences.
Making Your Own Fried Tofu From Scratch
If you aren’t satisfied with store-bought fried tofu or want to try your hand at making your own, it’s a relatively simple process. Here’s how to make your own crispy fried tofu from scratch:
- Begin with firm, uncooked tofu. Drain all the water from the tofu block and press out any excess using weight or kitchen towels until there is no more moisture coming out of the block.
- Carefully cut the tofu into even-sized pieces (cubes or wedges are common choices)
- Season the tofu by sprinkling it with salt, pepper, cornstarch or your favorite spices. This will help create a crispy crust on the surface of the tofu when fried.
- Pour enough oil (vegetable or canola oil recommended) into a skillet that will cover at least half the tofu. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until the oil is hot enough to create a sizzling sound when you add the tofu.
- Carefully place the tofu into the oil and fry until golden brown. Turn each piece to fry evenly on all sides, then remove from oil and let it cool on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Tips on How to Store Fried Tofu Properly
Fried tofu should be stored properly to maintain its freshness and flavor. Here are some tips for storing store-bought or homemade fried tofu:
- If you have leftover store-bought fried tofu, keep it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator, where it can last for three to five days.
- Homemade fried tofu should be cooled to room temperature before storage. It can be re-fried for use later in a dish or kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- You can also freeze store-bought or homemade fried tofu. Wrap it well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it inside an airtight container. It can last up to six months in the freezer.
The Vegan Lifestyle and Fried Tofu
Fried tofu is perfect for vegans because it provides a significant amount of protein without relying on meat. There are many ways that you can incorporate fried tofu into your vegan lifestyle by using it as a meat substitute or incorporating it into recipes that would typically feature animal-based proteins.
Rice bowls, stir-fries, sandwiches and salads are great options, and experimenting with your favorite flavors and spices can add variety to your diet.
Vegan Fried Tofu Recipe:
- 1 block of firm tofu (pressed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch or flour
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place the cornstarch or flour in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the soy sauce with salt and pepper to create a marinade.
- Add cubed tofu into the marinade and toss until each piece is well coated. Let this sit for at least fifteen minutes.
- Dredge each piece in the cornstarch mixture, tapping off any excess.
- In a frying pan, heat oil over high heat.
- Cook tofu cubes in batches until golden brown on both sides, approximately four to five minutes on each side.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy!
Fried tofu adds a crunchy and flavorful addition to many different dishes, making it a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. Store-bought fried tofu can be versatile, healthy, and easy-to-use in cold or room temperature dishes while homemade fried tofu offers more control over the cooking process. When using store-bought fried tofu, it’s important to remember that it’s already cooked and does not require further preparation.
If you’re looking for a healthy meat substitute or are simply curious about trying something new and delicious, give store-bought fried tofu a try.
Remember to explore different brands to see which one you like the best and experiment with your own cooking methods to find your favorite fried tofu recipe.
What is store bought fried tofu?
Store bought fried tofu is a pre-cooked and seasoned tofu that has been fried in oil.
Can store bought fried tofu be eaten cold?
Yes, store bought fried tofu can be eaten cold. It makes for a great addition to salads or even as a snack.
How do I cook store bought fried tofu?
Store bought fried tofu does not require any additional cooking. However, you can heat it up in the oven or microwave if desired.
What dishes can I make with store bought fried tofu?
Store bought fried tofu can be added to a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, noodles, sandwiches, and wraps. It is a versatile ingredient that adds great flavor and texture to any meal.