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Once you learn how to cook tofu you’ll have a whole new appreciation for this ancient food! There are so many ways to make it, but here are 3 easy and delicious tofu recipes to get started with. There is a lot of info about the safety of soy products below as well. 

How to cook tofu Crispy Tofu Tacos Tofu. Growing up I didn’t like the stuff. It’s one of my dad’s favorite foods, so I could always depend on being served something with tofu when I was at his house. I’d let the sauce soak into my rice and avoid all of the marinated blocks of tofu and most of the veggies. I was such a picky kid. So ungrateful! Here I was being served perfectly prepared tofu made with love, and I couldn’t get past the fact that it had a funny texture and an equally funny name. 

Now as an adult, I can appreciate tofu fully. I still haven’t managed to incorporate it into my diet as much as my dad does, but I’m more fond of it than ever before. Over the years I’ve learned and experienced how truly versatile and nourishing this humble soy bean curd can be. I’ve had it incorporated into the most luxurious vegan desserts, transformed into the crispiest “tenders,” and fermented to umami heaven. I’ve relied on it as a hearty filling breakfast, and the perfect savory late night snack. I’m finally starting to see why my dad is such a fan. 

What is tofu? First created in China over 2,000 years ago, tofu is a bean curd made from soy beans. Soy beans are turned into a milk, then curdled to make all varieties of tofu: silken, soft, firm, or extra-firm. Since its creation all those years ago, tofu has become an important part of many Asian cuisines, and has quite recently become popular around the world. In the United States tofu is almost only eaten for vegetarians and vegans, and thought of as a meat replacement.

However, in Asia tofu isn’t part of a separate culinary category. It became a traditional staple food throughout the region, for all parts of the population, vegetarian or not. Though it is true that Zen Buddhist monks enjoy(ed) tofu as a replacement for meat.


Tofu’s high protein content does make it a perfect dietary alternative to meat. Unlike most beans, soy beans contain all of the different amino acids that the human body must get from food, making tofu a “complete protein.” Tofu is also a fantastic source of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamin B. Soy beans, and thus tofu, also contain an impressive variety of phytonutrients that help protect our bodies from diseases like cancer (source). Consumption of soy has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer (source).

Soy products like tofu have also been shown to lower cholesterol and heart disease risk. Since heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States, followed by cancer, think of how important those benefits truly are. Imagine the improvement in American health if people replaced meat and dairy products with nutrient-dense, plant-based alternatives like soy. We’d have a very different society, maybe even one in which the fight for basic healthcare isn’t the number one priority and stressor for millions, and in which the medical industry isn’t able to make billions of dollars a year selling us expensive pharmaceuticals and procedures for preventable lifestyle diseases.

So much controversy! You may have heard the never-ending controversy over whether or not soy is a health food or a harmful food. It irks me that this conversation is happening at all given the thousands of years of evidence showing that soy is a healthy part of a balanced plant-based diet. In China and Japan, two countries known for their regular consumption of soy products, rates of cancer and heart-disease have traditionally been very low.

It’s true that traditionally most cultures in China and Japan (and throughout the world) have eaten a plant-based diet (not to be confused with completely vegan), so it’s a given that heart disease and cancer would be a rare occurrence. However, so much of what people currently fear about soy products in the United States is that soy will give them cancer. Where is the scientific evidence of this? In fact, as I discussed above, scientific evidence shows that soy consumption is linked to a lower risk of some cancers.


Another fear people have is that all soy is GMO, or genetically modified. While most soy is genetically modified in the United States, the majority of that soy is used to make processed soy products like soybean oil and soy protein isolates, which are used to make junk food, and for animal feed. Most minimally processed soy products like tofu are non-GMO and often organic. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the labels the next time you’re at the grocery store. Since the impacts of GMO plants are not fully understood yet, I advise avoiding them as much as possible. The best way to do that is to avoid highly processed foods and junk foods (including at fast food restaurants, where they often use soybean oil for frying, among other things).


What about estrogen? The other huge American preoccupation with soy is the fact that it contains phytoestrogens. Some Americans fear that consumption of phytoestrogens will interact adversely with our human estrogen and result in reproductive issues and even cancer. First, it’s important to know that many plants contain this form of estrogen: flaxseed, oats, other beans, lentils, wheat, and more. Common sense tells us that these are all healthy foods, yet soy stands out as the one bad guy.

Studies show that soy products do not cause “man boobs” or reproductive cancers. There may be some concern for women who have had estrogen-sensitive breast cancer, but otherwise moderate amounts of soy are shown to have protective benefits. If you are afraid of the effects of estrogen from outside the body one thing you should make sure to do is to avoid all animal products. Too much mammalian estrogen may lead to reproductive problems and cancer. Obviously you are an animal, not a plant, so it makes sense that adding too much of the type of estrogen you’ve already got can be harmful.

Keep in mind that while the United States is the world’s largest producer of soybeans, Americans on average eat less soy in a year than the Japanese eat in one day. The rate of death from heart disease in the US is about double the rate in Japan. And the US’s rate of cancer is about 50% higher than Japan’s. Meanwhile, in the United States, those who eat a vegan diet have the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer, as well as other common lifestyle disease like type 2 diabetes and obesity, compared to vegetarians and meat-eaters (source). Of course, diet is only one among the many factors that affect these rates, but explain to me how these statistics support the idea that tofu is somehow connected to adverse health outcomes?

We’ve gotten that out of the way, so now we can talk food! Tofu is cheap, readily available, and highly nutritious. Thankfully it’s also very easy to make. Below are 3 simple recipes you should try if you’re new to tofu. 

How to cook tofu Tofu Scramble

5 from 1 vote

Easy Tofu Scramble | How to Cook Tofu

By: Jenné
Make sure you press your tofu for the best results. To press tofu, simply drain and remove it from the package, wrap it in a couple layers of paper towel or a kitchen towel, put it in a container or plate, and place a heavy object on top (I always use a full tea kettle). Allow it to sit and press for about 1 hour. If you forgot to press it, a quick 20 minute press will do.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 -4


  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and mashed
  • 1-2 vegan sausages, I used Field Roast brand, diced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • cayenne pepper to taste, optional


  • Warm oil in a large skillet or frying pan.
  • Sauté the onions, garlic, and red pepper on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  • At the tofu and vegan sausage followed by 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring halfway.
  • Add the nutritional yeast and turmeric, the remaining salt and black pepper (and cayenne if you want), and stir again.
  • Cook another 5 minutes.
  • Serve!
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

How to cook tofu Crispy Tofu Tacos

5 from 1 vote

Crispy Tofu Tacos | How to Cook Tofu

By: Jenné
Be sure to press your tofu at least one hour for this recipe for maximum crispiness. Notes on pressing tofu scramble recipe above. Feel free to use other spices for this crispy tofu. It's also great with Ethiopian berbere and Indian curry.
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoon grapeseed oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 avocado, sliced or mashed
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced (or try pickled red onions)


  • Place the cubed tofu in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the cumin powder, chili powder, and salt, then toss the bowl to thoroughly coat the tofu.
  • Warm the oil in a skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • Add the tofu, then use a spoon to spread the cubes evenly onto the skillet.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, then flip the tofu.
  • Continue doing this every 5 minutes, until all sides of the tofu are golden brown and begin to crisp up, about 30 minutes total.
  • Warm your tortillas over a gas flame or microwave, keeping them warm between the folds of a kitchen towel.
  • Once ready, fill the tortillas with the crispy tofu, romaine lettuce, salsa, avocado, and red onion.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

How to cook tofu vegan cheese pizza

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How to Cook Tofu: Easy & Delicious Tofu Recipes

By: Jenné
No need to press the tofu for this recipe. It's best with firm tofu, not extra firm, though either works. If you have extra tofu cheese leftover use it as a spread, dip, or in pasta. Note: Be sure to factor in the time it takes for the dough to rise when looking at the cook time. You can premade pizza dough at the store if you'd rather not make your own.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 -6


Pizza Dough

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cups water, 110 degrees F
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour, bread flour, or all purpose flour + more for kneading
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • cornmeal, just a little for sprinkling on baking sheet

Tofu Cheese

  • 1 block of firm organic tofu
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • tsp sea salt


Pizza dough

  • Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a glass bowl, and stir well.
  • Mix the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast water.
  • Stir well with a wooden spoon, and then knead the dough with your hands.
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured workspace, and knead lightly to form the dough into a ball.
  • Place the dough ball into another mixing bowl coated in a light layer of olive oil.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, or an equivalent to seal, and set aside for one hour to let the dough rise.

Tofu Cheese & Assembly

  • While the dough is rising make your tofu cheese: place the tofu in a food processor, along with the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend until creamy, then set aside until you’re ready to use it for the pizza.
  • Once the dough has doubled or nearly tripled in size, remove it from the mixing bowl, and knead it into a ball again.
  • Cut the ball in half or quarter, and form them into smaller balls.
  • Place each ball onto a plate, and cover with a slightly damp and clean kitchen towel. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 500°.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal onto a large baking sheet, press your pizza dough directly onto it (to prevent sticking), and flatten the dough into a thin pizza crust shape.
  • Top with your pizza topping: sauce, of course, always goes first, then tofu cheese, then basil.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!


Check out these other amazing tofu recipes on my blog: Broccoli & Crispy TofuSweet Potato & Tofu Curry. And don’t sleep on tempeh––fermented tofu cake––it’s delicious: BBQ Tempeh Sandwich, Maple Mustard Tempeh Salad, Smokey Tempeh & Kale Salad, and Classic Tempeh Tacos .

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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  1. Tofu scramble was a nice change from cereal and oatmeal.
    I add 1/4-1/2 tspn of Kala Namak (Indian Black Salt) for a bit of egg flavor

  2. I want to make some toast with the tofu scramble but I’m skeptical on bread not knowing which is vegan or not. A lot of labels say processed on the same equipment with eggs and milk. Are there any bread brands you know for sure that are vegan and any jelly or jam that is vegan?

    1. For store-bought bread I usually buy Ezekiel from Food for Life (available all over the country). I most often use fresh sourdough from a local bakery. You could also try baking your own…I haven’t gotten there yet 🙂

  3. I also never b4 subscribed to trying to assimilate carnivore foods, but have changed in recent years and find it quite interesting and appetizing. Thanks to you and several other You Tubers.

  4. I miss bacon can you make a recommendation…I remember almost 20 years ago I went to a restaurant and they served a bacon made out beets ( I have to admit it tasted really good and just like real bacon…do you know a brand of bacon made of beets?

    1. Wow! That bacon made from beets sounds so creative. I’d Google it. I like bacon made from seitan, tempeh, or mushrooms. So good! There’s a recipe for mushroom bacon and another for eggplant bacon in my cookbook. Good luck!

  5. This article was PACKED with info I’da never thought was there based on the title. Thanks for sharing this in your IG comments! Great info!

  6. Thank you for the recipes! Yum! I am always looking for fast and easy recipes. Also, the post is very informative. Thanks for the info, too!

  7. Thank you for the recipes! Yum! I am always looking for fast and easy recipes. Also, the post is very informative. Thanks for the info, too!

  8. Great article (and recipes, too, of course)! Will definitely share with some friends who can’t seem to shake their skepticism about soy. I like how you can use the cheese part of the pizza as a layer in your recipe for butternut squash lasagna as well. I also use it as a base for frittatas of all kinds – just add in veggies (mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, etc.), a little chickpea flour for extra binding, and bake till set!

    1. Hi Elisabeth! Thanks so much 🙂 Yummy, I love using it for frittatas and quiches too!