How To Cook Tofu

grilled tofu skewers

( Looking to widen your grilling repertoire this summer? Give tofu a chance. Since tofu has different levels of firmness, it is important to choose the right type of tofu for the cooking method you intend to use. For grilling, the best type of tofu is firm, since anything softer will crumble and fall through the grates. In either case, it is best to drain as much liquid as possible from the tofu before marinating and grilling.

how to cook tofu 3 ways

How To Cook Tofu

A typical package of store-bought tofu holds 12 oz of extra-firm tofu or 14 oz of firm tofu. Firm tofu that is drained well has a smoother, creamier interior than extra-firm tofu, but extra-firm tofu can take more handling before breaking apart. Recipes that call for cubed tofu usually mean firm or extra-firm. If your barbecue has grates that are set quite far apart, go for the extra-firm.


1. Carefully remove the block of tofu from the package. Cut crosswise into 3 equal slices (or however you choose to divide up your tofu block), and drain on paper towels or cheesecloth set over a strainer for 5-10 minutes.

preparing tofu for grilling

2. Meanwhile, prepare the marinade of your choice. A simple marinade can be made by combining balsamic vinegar, chopped garlic, olive oil, and mint. Or you can go Asian and use sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, a touch of brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and scallions. 

3. Add the well-drained tofu slices to the marinade and let sit for at least an hour. Or, skip the marinade and grill the tofu slices or cubes with salt and serve with a side of sweet-chili dipping sauce. Tofu is very versatile; you really cannot go wrong either way.

4. Oil the grates to prevent sticking and pre-heat the grill to medium high. Grill or pan-fry tofu for 3 to 5 minutes on each side and serve.

grilling tofu

Nutritional Information (per 1/4 block or approx. 3 oz tofu)

  • Calories: ​83 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Fat: 5.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Glycemic Index (GI): ​Low

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