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 in Black Bean Sauce with Fried Enoki Mushrooms

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 »

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 »

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) »

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. Get the recipe for Sichuan Tofu and Ground Beef in Red Chile Sauce (Mapo Tofu) »

Spicy Yuba Stir-Fry with Edamame

Spicy Yuba Stir-Fry with Edamame

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

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

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.

Hot and Sour Soup (Suan La Tang)

Mild ingredients—mushrooms, tofu—are nestled in a fiery, vinegar-laced broth.

Kimchi Stew

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

Doenjang Jjigae (Fermented 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) »

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

Get the recipe for Bitter Melon and Tofu Stir-Fry with Pork Belly and Eggs (Goya Champuru) »

Spinach and Tofu Salad with Peanut–Miso Dressing

Spinach and Tofu Salad with Peanut–Miso Dressing

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 »
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 »