The 4 Common Kinds Of Tofu + Recipes To Use Them With

Tofu comes in different forms and all of them are delicious.

There are four common kinds of tofu you can encounter at the groceries. These four, although all of them are delicious, affordable, protein, have different uses. We run you through the different kinds and the recipes to use for each one.

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

1 Silken Or Soft Tofu

As the name suggests, silken or soft tofu is the kind that almost doesn’t hold its shape. It has a very mild flavor. It’s also the kind of tofu found in taho. You can get these packed in the chiller section of the grocery store or get them at their silkiest from your taho vendor.

Its velveteen texture makes it a good substitute for cream, as it’s used in this strawberry taho shake. It’s also what’s used in mapo tofu and miso soup because it adds to the creamy texture to a warm bowl of soup.

This is the tofu version of the bistek tagalog.
Photo by Riell Santos

2 Firm Tofu

Firm tofu is best for your stir-fried recipes. It absorbs flavor well and maintains its shape well. It won’t, however, form a crunchy outside skin. If you want to add crunch, use a breading or use another kind of tofu.

Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Flavored Tofu

Found at the chiller section, these blocks of tofu are a deep brown color from a long marination in soy sauce and five-spice powder. Before it’s marinated for that light, umami-packed flavor, it’s pressed to give it a firm texture. Use this tofu in stir-fries and grills.

You can actually make your own flavored tofu! First, wrap firm tofu in three layers of cheesecloth. Sandwich it between two plates and place something heavy on top of it. This will press out the liquid from the tofu. Once it’s been squeezed of excess water, marinate it in soy sauce and five-spice powder which it will readily absorb.

Photo by Dairy Darilag

4 Extra Firm Tofu

Firm tofu are large chunks of tofu that are pressed, and it usually has a drier skin around it. Because it’s more dry and spongier, it can crisp much better and absorbs a lot of flavor. It’s best for tokwa’t baboy, sisig tokwa, dinakdakan tokwa, and other flavorful tofu dishes.


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What are you waiting for? Get cooking! There’s so much tofu goodness to explore.


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