15 Ways to Make the Most of Tofu

Simmer, bake, and fry your way through our best tofu and bean curd recipes

Tofu is one of our favorite versatile ingredients—it's vegetarian-friendly, but can also add depth and texture to meaty numbers. Made from pressed soy milk, it's smooth, creamy, and can take on the flavors of whatever you add to it, which is why we like to put it in just about everything. You can incorporate it into a crisp fritter with bacon for a slightly less tofu-y way to enjoy it, or use it to soak up the flavors in a soup or braise. We also love tofu in sardine and miso balls that are served in a dashi broth. From easy vegan dishes to meat-and-tofu mashups, here are the best tofu and bean curd recipes to cook right now.

Morels in Black Bean Sauce with Fried Enoki Mushrooms

Morels with Fried Enoki Mushrooms and Tofu Skins
Morels are paired with pieces of yuba, or tofu skin, to soak up a pungent black bean chile sauce to create this rich, flavorful almost-stew.Joseph De Leo

Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce

Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce
A chilled tomato sauce with sundried tomatoes makes a pleasant contrast to these hot potato and spinach dumplings, which chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek binds together with firm tofu and durum wheat semolina. Dry the potatoes and spinach thoroughly so the dumplings will hold their shape. Get the recipe for Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross
Sardine Miso Ball Soup

Sardine Miso Ball Soup

"Sardines" and "miso soup" probably don't go in the same sentence very often, but here they make a great pair. Get the recipe for Sardine Miso Ball Soup »André Baranowski
Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters (Tofu Wanzi)

Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters (Tofu Wanzi)

China meets the American South in these tofu, bacon, and scallion fritters. Get the recipe for Fried Tofu and Bacon Fritters (Tofu Wanzi) »Todd Coleman

Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu)

Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu)
This spicy braise, garnished with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns, is one of the region's most well-known dishes.Ariana Lindquist
Spicy Yuba Stir-Fry with Edamame

Spicy Yuba Stir-Fry with Edamame

Stir-frying yuba crisps its edges, intensifying its flavor and texture.Todd Coleman
Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Crisp-tender Chinese long beans pair with silky tofu and an umami-rich dressing for this simple chilled salad from chef Matt Wilkinson.André Baranowski
Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing (Gado-Gado)

Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Dressing (Gado-Gado)

This popular Indonesian salad lends itself to creativity; nearly any combination of raw and cooked vegetables, along with rice or thin noodles, can be used. An addictive, aromatic peanut sauce ties it all together.Ingalls Photography

Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)

Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)
Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth.Todd Coleman
Kimchi Stew

Kimchi Stew

This traditional Korean stew makes good use of long-aged kimchi. Get the recipe for Kimchi Stew »Todd Coleman

Doenjang Jjigae (Fermented Soybean Stew)

Doenjang Jjigae Korean Soybean Stew
It took chef Hooni Kim one year to perfect his recipe for dashi, which he uses as the base of this everyday Korean stew. Gochujang adds a subtle layer of heat to the broth, and doenjang boosts its richness and silkiness. Get the recipe for Doenjang Jjigae (Fermented Soybean Stew) »Jason Lang

Bitter Melon and Tofu Stir-Fry with Pork Belly and Eggs (Goya Champuru)

Bitter Melon and Tofu Stir-Fry with Pork Belly and Eggs (Goya Champuru)
Soft tofu, scrambled eggs, and rich pork belly stand up to astringent bitter melon in this flavorful stir-fry. Get the recipe for Bitter Melon and Tofu Stir-Fry with Pork Belly and Eggs (Goya Champuru) »Justin Walker

Spinach and Tofu Salad with Peanut–Miso Dressing

Spinach and Tofu Salad with Peanut–Miso Dressing
Tofu adds creaminess to this spare salad of spinach dressed with peanut butter and red miso paste. Get the recipe for Spinach and Tofu Salad with Peanut–Miso Dressing »Andrea Fazzari
Bibimbap

Bibimbap

This staple Korean rice dish can be made with meat or seafood and served hot, but we love this fresh-tasting cold, vegetarian version. Get the recipe for Bibimbap »Todd Coleman
Black Pepper Tofu

Black Pepper Tofu

The recipe for this spicy, fried bean curd comes from Plenty (Chronicle Books, 2011) by Yotam Ottolenghi. This recipe first appeared in our December 2011 issue along with our cookbook roundup Readable Feast. Get the recipe for Black Pepper Tofu »Todd Coleman