Tear Tofu Apart Instead Of Cutting It For Serious Crispiness

Tofu has a reputation for being bland and mushy, but it really comes down to how it's prepared. Tofu's weaknesses can also be its greatest strengths if handled correctly. Calling tofu bland is another way of saying its innate flavor isn't going to overpower whatever spices you coat it with, making it extremely versatile. When it comes to texture, your enemies are moisture and a lack of surface area.

If you take a block of tofu and just stick it in a pan of oil, you're going to get a pretty disgusting result. Tofu is packaged in water to keep it fresh, but you need to dry it out if you want to achieve a quality texture. It's also packaged as a large square, but that doesn't mean you're supposed to cook it that way. You don't take a whole bell pepper and place it in a pan; you have to cut it into pieces.

The same goes for tofu. But, as anyone who's tried cooking tofu the traditional way knows, slicing and cooking tofu doesn't always work out the best. That's why you should tear tofu apart to maximize its surface area in the pan. This is a surefire way to get crispy tofu, every time.

The perfect piece of tofu

The usual trick for releasing moisture from tofu is to wrap it in paper towels and put something heavy on it, like a stack of plates. This method works but is time-consuming. Since we'll be tearing the tofu apart anyway, just hold the block of tofu over the sink and squeeze the liquid out. Pretty soon, the moisture will be drained, and you'll probably have started to tear the block a little. That just means you've gotten a head start. With the accuracy of an unaccredited backroom surgeon, rip the tofu into bite-sized pieces.

When you cut tofu into identical squares with a knife, you are creating one big surface per side. By creating chunks of tofu with ridges, you get tofu with a lot more surface area, which means the heat is able to work its magic that much better. You'll end up with tofu that's crispier than you ever thought possible. As a bonus, all that surface area is going to soak up flavor more efficiently, leaving you with perfect pieces of tofu for whatever dish you're making.