The taste and texture of tofu are determined by the way it is cut. The thicker the slice, the less marinade or sauce is absorbed. The thinner the slice, the crispier you can fry it. In some dishes, when the tofu is sliced too thin, the soft structure disappears and you don't even realise the tofu is there! However you choose to cut the tofu, always use a long sharp (meat) knife. Don’t press down; let the knife glide gently through the tofu.
Firm tofu can be chopped or grated. Grating gives it a different texture. You can use grated tofu to prepare a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese, for example, or you can marinate it and add the tofu to a salad.
Firm or super-firm tofu can easily be torn into smaller pieces and then marinated (this is not necessary for pre-seasoned tofu). For salads, tearing tofu is a simple, quick and interesting method. We don’t recommend pan-frying torn tofu, as the pieces may not cook uniformly. Try deep-frying or add torn tofu to a stew.
You can purée firm, regular or silken tofu. The texture is hummus-like and the puréed tofu has a creamy flavour. The less water in the tofu, the coarser the texture. Purée the raw tofu using a food processor, blender or a potato masher. Add spices to the puréed tofu and your tofu dip or spread is ready to eat. You don’t have to drain the tofu if you are puréeing it.
We prefer using the word ‘scramble’ to ‘crumble’. This is how you change firm tofu into vegetarian mince or scrambled egg. Drain the tofu before crumbling with a fork, and leave to marinade for about 15 minutes.