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Many people think of tofu as a compromise, a stand-in for meat. It isn't normally thought of as the belle of the ball, at least at first glance. But when prepared with thought (and a little bit of love), tofu can be tender, silky, crispy, and downright crave-able. It is a valuable, versatile ingredient in its own right, and deserves to be appreciated as such.
Lean in to its textures and its wide varieties (silken, firm, extra-firm, smoked, etc.), and tofu just might be your new go-to protein staple. (Or at least it should be.) Pan-fry it to make crispy, poppable salt and pepper tofu, marinate it with soy sauce and bake into a sesame-lidded, crunchy not-sad-desk-lunch, or give silken tofu a try in slippery, ultra-comforting mapo tofu.
If you, along with many others, are trying to eat a more plant-based diet in the new year, tofu is the delicious, adaptable, and affordable ingredient you want in your fridge, right now. If you need a pathway towards newfound tofu love, here are 18 recipes to get you started:
What's your favorite way to make tofu (or seitan, or tempeh) crave-worthy? Give us some meatless inspiration in the comments!