Why You Should Cut Your Tofu Into Cubes Before Marinating

Loved by some and detested by others, tofu has been around for centuries — and is going nowhere. Soy Info Center reports that tofu was first made in China. Tofu includes a family of food products made by pressing condensed soy milk into blocks that look something like cheese. Silken tofu, firm tofu, cutlets, and even burgers are found in markets and restaurants worldwide.

The kind of tofu most shoppers think of when they hear the word "tofu" arrives swimming in liquid, and slabs of the gelatinous white stuff don't necessarily look appetizing. Unsurprisingly, despite potential health benefits, tofu frequently lands on Most Hated Foods lists (via Real Buzz). Taste of Home believes that if you're in the tofu-hating camp, it's probably because you're cooking it wrong. Ripping open the package and dumping it into a pan won't result in any repeat-worthy recipes, and there are ways to ensure tofu dishes reach optimal levels of flavor. If you're planning to fold cubes of tofu into tonight's stir-fry, read on to make sure your dinner has guests asking for seconds.

Marinade makes all the difference

Without sauce or added flavor, tofu can taste quite bland. Think of tofu like a sponge. Before you bake, fry, or grill it, you'll want to soak tofu in marinade. Cooks have a few preparation options, according to Omnivore's Cookbook; your marinating method will depend on what you have in your kitchen and the amount of time you have before your meal must be served.

Whether you choose to marinate tofu in the package it arrived in or store it in a separate container, the smaller the pieces of tofu, the more easily marinade will be absorbed. Placing cubed tofu in marinade for 30 minutes can make a big difference, writes Food with Feeling, but plan to leave your cubed tofu chunks in their saucy bath for a few hours. If you're in a hurry, smaller cubes won't require as much marinating time, according to Tofupedia, and you can go about preparing richly-seasoned tofu pieces that will add, not distract, from your intended recipe.