I’m fanatically particular about how I press and marinate tofu and, if I’m not following that process, I’m throwing plain, unpressed slabs of it into a searing hot pan using this quick and easy method.
High heat, moisture and steam help to produce tofu that has a french toast-like caramelized appearance on the outside, with a succulent and soft texture on the inside. This prep is perfect for weeknight meals, or when you don’t feel like or have the time to press and marinate tofu. Cooking temps and times may slightly vary from stove to stove, so this is more of a guide that can be adjusted slightly depending on your stove’s behavior.
To make this tofu, first butcher an unpressed firm block of tofu into 4 thick slabs, then cut each slab in half to make 8 squares:
Place a large circular non-stick, flat bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of canola, olive or vegetable oil onto the pan, then fan the tofu around the edges of the pan in a single layer (like the petals on a daisy), leaving the center area open:
Place a lid over the top:
*CAUTION! It will pop and sputter due to the high heat and moisture in the tofu, so be sure to carefully lift the lid up straight to avoid any collected condensation from dripping into the hot pan. The tofu also occasionally pops, so stand back when removing the lid.
After the tofu is nicely browned on one side (it should kind of look like french toast on the outside), carefully flip the tofu (it will pop and sizzle), and cover again.
Once it’s done, this tofu can be slathered with any sauce you want (I love a little cornstarch slurry thrown in at the end to create a glazey sauce out of anything). Some of my favorite sauces to use with tofu prepared this way are:
- Carrot-Ginger Sauce
- Everything Sauce
- Garlic-Ginger Sauce
- General Tso’s Sauce
- Sesame-Cinnamon Dressing
- Sesame Glaze
- Sriracha and Peanut Butter Sauce
- Sweet Soy Glaze
- Sweet and Sticky Sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce