Baked Tofu Gives Any Bowl Of Ramen A Crispy Protein Boost

There are many different ways to upgrade your instant ramen, and the majority of them are as instantaneous as the noodles are. Whether it's a splash of soy sauce or a dash of everything bagel seasoning, ramen can be made even more delicious without sacrificing convenience. Sometimes, however, putting a bit of time into your toppings pays off. Baked tofu is one of those things, adding a crispy texture and protein boost to your bowl. Plus, if you time it right, it shouldn't add any more than 15 minutes to your prep.

For baked tofu that's crispy, cornstarch is the way to go. After it's been pressed and cut or crumbled, simply toss your tofu in a bit of oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, and any of your desired seasonings — garlic, salt, and black and white pepper are recommended. Then, spread the tofu pieces out on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Just make sure to flip them halfway through. Once both sides are crispy and browned, take them out and let them cool while you get your noodles ready.

From there, you can simply place the tofu pieces on top of your ramen or serve them on the side and eat them along with your noodles, bite by bite. This is often done at restaurants, as it preserves the tofu's crispy texture. Either way, your ramen just got an instant protein boost — and it'll pair wonderfully with anything else you add.

Other ways to add texture to your ramen

Simultaneously soft, yet slightly chewy and springy, nothing compliments a hot bowl of ramen like something light and crispy. Whether soft, firm, or extra firm, tofu baked in starch should come out lightly crispy on the outside and squishy on the inside — providing the perfect complimentary element, while also giving it a boost of protein. However, if you're looking for more, there are other ways you can add texture to ramen. A fried enoki mushroom does just the trick, as does a spoonful of your go-to chili crisp brand, or a pinch of fried noodles. However, these all leave out one crucial element: protein.

If you're looking to add protein to your ramen, none of these ingredients should be used to replace your tofu. But, considering that they do add texture, you could skip baking your tofu altogether and throw it into your ramen just as it is. Some of you may be surprised to learn that tofu comes pre-cooked, meaning that you don't have to cook it before you eat it. Instead, you could press the tofu, break up the block with your hands, and drop them right into your ramen as they are. Then proceed with adding any other crispy elements you like. This way you can save a bit of time and still get the added protein and texture, without sacrificing convenience.