How Long Can You Marinate Tofu? Key Tips to Successfully Marinating Tofu

If you’re new at cooking tofu or are ready to give up trying to figure it out, I’m here to tell you that mastering tofu’s flavor is easier than you think! When I first began cooking with tofu, I couldn’t quite get the flavor or texture I wanted to achieve. Learning about how long can you marinate tofu, along with a few other helpful tips, was a game-changer.

Buying Tofu

The first tip to successfully marinating tofu is buying the right kind. There are many types of tofu that are used for different cooking methods. Silken, regular, firm, and extra-firm tofu varieties are commonly found in grocery stores and markets. For marinating, regular and firm tofu are preferred because they are more absorbent. 

How To Marinate Tofu

There’s a little bit of preparation prior to marinating tofu that is also essential to maximize its ability to absorb the marinade. Packaged tofu is stored in water, which needs to be drained and squeezed out of the tofu in a process called pressing. Pressing should be done for regular, firm, or extra-firm tofu.

If you don’t own a tofu press, don’t fret. Tofu can be manually pressed using towels, plates, and some extra weight. Upon removing the excess water, cut the block of tofu into your desired shape – cubes, rectangles, triangles, etc.

Another way to prepare tofu to maximize flavor is to freeze it before marinating. Regular, firm, or extra firm tofu can be frozen in its package or after pressing to yield firmer tofu that is able to absorb even more marinade. To use frozen tofu, thaw and press excess water out before soaking in a marinade.

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How Long Can You Marinate Tofu?

Time to marinade! Whether you buy one or make your own, tofu can sit in a marinade anywhere from less than an hour to overnight. A general rule of thumb here: the longer tofu marinades, the more it will soak up the flavor. 

Choose a container that fits the tofu you wish to soak. Simply pour your marinade of choice over the prepped tofu and make sure that it’s fully covered in the marinade. Seal the container and leave it in the refrigerator for the determined amount of time. 

Depending on the container, you may also want to shake or stir the tofu at least once during its time marinating. This will help prevent pieces of tofu from sticking together and keep the sauce evenly distributed.

Once your tofu is finished marinating, you are ready to cook it any way you prefer. If you want more flavor, you can add extra marinade to the tofu during the cooking process. Additionally, you may keep and store your extra marinade for cooking later in the week.

tofu marinade

Marinating Tofu

The secret is in the sauce: marinating tofu is easy and key to elevating its flavor.  Because tofu is bland and sponge-like, it can be very versatile using adequate seasonings and sauces. Cooking with tofu is easy and can be even more flavorful when buying the right kind of tofu, properly preparing it, and adding a marinade!

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