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 Post subject: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended flavor
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:05 pm 
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I've been adding more tofu to my diet. I do press the firm tofu. I have marinated things for about a day and half. I keeping reading that the wonderful thing about tofu is that it takes on the flavor or whatever it's cooked in. I have found this to be quite untrue so far.

I would think a day and half for sliced tofu would be quite enough for it to taste like whatever I marinate it in. Is there some secret to this? I can eat it with sauce but overall the central flavor is really bland. I want my tofu bursting with flavor not coated with flavor.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:08 pm 
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So, I only marinate for like... an hour? Maybe? Do you press your tofu first? I also kind of assume there's always going to be a little bland flavor/texture going on. The marinade should be strooongggg, I think. That would probably help. I've also heard about poking holes with fork tines to really allow spices to get into the tofu.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:29 pm 
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The tofu is well pressed. I most recently tried the Mango marinade in VWV it was a great marinade but after baking the tofu was a bit like ricotta in mango/ginger marinade. I did like it but there was not any absorbtion of the marinade into the tofu.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:50 pm 
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After marinating, do you bake the tofu in the marinade? I've had decent results with this. To be honest though, I don't eat much tofu. I've realized I only like it a few ways- ricotta and scramble, to be specific- and otherwise, I stick with tempeh or seitan.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:15 am 
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Honestly, I never soak my tofu in a marinade anymore. In my experience it doesn't give the best flavor. Either I dry-fry the tofu in a skillet, then pour over the sauce so it makes a sort of glaze that cooks right onto it; or I slice the tofu quite thin, cover with half the sauce, bake, turn, and repeat with more sauce. Both ways the sauce really attaches to the tofu.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:47 am 
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I've had the exact same problem. I usually slice my tofu very thin to make it easier for the marinade to go all the way through.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 8:08 am 
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I usually slice my tofu into 8 slices, press it that way, then marinate it. It almost never soaks up flavor past the very outside. I've just learned to love tofu as it is, so I'm cool with this.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:57 pm 
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I usually slice it into sixths the long way, and then slice it into half-inch or thinner slices. I throw that into a bowl with the marinade while I'm slicing the onions and whatever other prep needs to be done, and then leave it in the marinade for as long as it takes to get to the point where I need to throw it into the pan. This is usually about twenty minutes. When I bite raw bits in half, usually I can see it's penetrated about 1/16 or 1/8 of an inch, and it's usually pretty well colored.

Then I stir-fry it until it starts to get a little browned and pour in the rest of the marinade and cook it down. (Although if the marinade has this thick tarry Chinese soy sauce in it, I don't pour that in because it's WAY too strong and salty. Usually that doesn't need it though.)

So yeah. Smallish slices, twenty minutes, then cook in the marinade.

The marinade I use for this is usually some combination of sake, miso, rice wine vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, dashes of sriracha, a little sesame oil, and microplaned garlic and/or ginger. The other veggies and stuff include raw cashews, diced celery, onions, garlic, ginger, bok choy, that kind of stuff. Mix and match for lazy-cooking deliciousness.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:20 pm 
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If you freeze and defrost your tofu before marinating it, it soaks up the liquid like a sponge. This will change the texture of the tofu as well.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Sometimes I slice the tofu very thinly, and then marinade and bake it. That makes the flavor really sink in.

Usually when I want strong flavors I'll just use tempeh or seitan though. I use tofu when I have a flavorful/spicy dish that could use some more bland ingredient to mellow it down. Then you can just chuck the tofu in and don't have to go through all the trouble of trying to get flavor into it (make sure you have very tasty fresh tofu when you do this).

It took a while for me to appreciate tofu in it's bland form, but now, I really like it. It's become our go to substitute for mild tasting cheeses like mozzarella, cottage cheese and ricotta. Just mix it with some nooch, salt and herbs, dump it onto your dish and you're done.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:54 pm 
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I like strong flavors. I always marinate overnight...or I guess starting it early in the morning to cook that evening would probably be okay. Anything less than that and I feel like I might as well have not even bothered.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:03 pm 
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I am now finding overnight plus half the next day plus baking helps, plus it helps to have it paired with well flavored side. Either way I am learning to like it more especially baked. I had my meat eating husband tell that I was amazing because I could even make tofu taste good a couple of nights ago.

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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:38 pm 
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I'm going to second the suggestion of freezing the tofu beforehand. I made some breaded tofu strips in the oven and the recipe called for marinating the tofu using soy sauce for 2 hours beforehand. When I went to bite into the baked strips, I could see the soy sauce had penetrated all the way to the center of the tofu. I think freezing my tofu will become my method of choice for when I'm making something other than, say, scramble.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:04 am 
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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:57 am 
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Are you just expecting it to not taste like tofu anymore? I rarely marinate more than an hour, and I can taste the flavors of the marinade... but it's still going to taste like tofu.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:19 pm 
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ScandinaVegan wrote:
Honestly, I never soak my tofu in a marinade anymore. In my experience it doesn't give the best flavor. Either I dry-fry the tofu in a skillet, then pour over the sauce so it makes a sort of glaze that cooks right onto it; or I slice the tofu quite thin, cover with half the sauce, bake, turn, and repeat with more sauce. Both ways the sauce really attaches to the tofu.


Same here. Frying the tofu plain first, then adding the sauce to form a glaze makes it most flavorful to me.


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:01 pm 
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I too had a really hard time with tofu. I couldn't get it flavorful enough either! Finally figured out the way that works for me. It's pretty flavorful throughout, not just on the outside.

My method for super strong tofu is this

-Make a really pungent marinade. I do soy sauce, basalmic vinegar, dried herbs and some minced garlic. Or soy sauce, seasame oil, garlic. Or lime juice, garlic, soy and cumin/chilli powder. Or miso, garlic and seasame oil..etc. No veggie broth or anything like that to dilute it. SUPER PUNGENT. (lime, lemon, orange juice is ok)
-I do no bigger than 1/2 inch slices
-I use a super firm tofu, the kind that comes in a bag with just a little water. Don't need to press.
-Marinade in a plastic baggie, with little air in it. That way the marinade gets all around the tofu. (don't use a bowl!)
-Marinade for at least 8 hours. I usually do it before work, stick in the fridge, have my partner flip it over when he gets home.
-Cook for 20 minutes on one side, 10 on the other at 375 degrees. You can pour more on if you want

Sometimes I forget to marinade. Then I do the same method, but instead I stick it in the bag and MICROWAVE it on high for about 3 minutes. It wont be quite as flavorful, but better than nothing.

I find that if I marinade it TOO long, like over a day it is super salty/pungent. If I do that, I bake it, then slice them AGAIN to make them half as thin slices. These make super good sandwich type tofu. Really pungent and thin.

Also, the dry fry method works really well. The last minute of cooking, add the sauce that you want, and it soaks in pretty darn well. Or dry fry, then add to a stir fry/saute dish that is saucy for a couple of minutes, and the sauce will soak right into the tofu. I do this a lot too. Only way tofu-hating omni fiance will really eat tofu in fact. And it only takes about 10 minutes

I really like the word pungent. Hope this method helps someone. Works for me!


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 Post subject: Re: How long to marinate tofu so it tastes like intended fla
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:25 am 
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I second the stabbing each piece of tofu with fork tines before marinading. It really helps soak up the flavour imho; also, if I'm not baking the tofu in the marinade, I pour a little of the leftover marinade onto each piece about half way through cooking :)

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