This Is The Tofu That Doesn’t Need To Be Cooked

This tofu is not tokwa.

Tokwa is a wonderful and versatile ingredient. It can be prepared in any number of ways and cooked in even more ways, too! 

These tokwa recipes however are usually made with firm tofu (tokwa), and it’s common to see recipes instructing you to fry tokwa first before being used in dishes.

Did you know however that there’s a kind of tofu that doesn’t need to be cooked first? This tofu is soft tofu. 

What is soft tofu? 

Soft tofu is also known as silken tofu. Silken, or soft tofu, is basically tahoour mid-morning snack made with sago pearls and muscovado sugar syrup. The packaged variety is usually whiter, more processed than the kind peddled on the streets but it’s about as silky as the other. It can be used in savory dishes, as in its more familiar sweet treatment, when prepared in recipes that maximize the texture and flavor that it enhances. 


Silken tofu is the Japanese style of tofu. The taho version that we are more familiar with would you believe is more coarse in texture than the Japanese silken tofu. Japanese silken tofu is super fine in texture that it looks like gelatin or a firm custard. That’s because the curds of the fresh soy milk are allowed to set instead of being curdled. A liquid called nigari or bittern, a natural salt coagulant derived from seawater, is used to firm up the soy milk. 

What’s great about this tofu is that it doesn’t need to be cooked once it’s been made. Since soy milk needs to be heated to make it into tofu, the resulting solidified milk can be eaten just like taho once firm. The process of adding the now firm tofu to dishes and heating it up is really about serving a dish that’s hot and comforting to eat

You just have to be careful not to break it up totally that there are no longer any chunks of tofu to savor! 

Make delicious tofu dishes using soft tofu at home. You’ll be glad to know these recipes since these are fast and easy-to-make recipes: 

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

1 Mapo Tofu Recipe 

If there’s a recipe that uses soft tofu that’s been stir-fried, this is the recipe you might encounter. Spicy with a delicious burst of umami from the fermented soybean paste is a fantastic mix of flavors to complement the neutral taste of the soft tofu.  


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Photo by Riell Santos

2 Marinated Tofu Recipe 

Since tofu is a very neutral taste, marinating is a brilliant move to add flavor to it. You don’t have to do it for long so if you have even just 15 minutes, you can inject instant flavor to soft tofu before cooking it for a great ulam idea! 

Photo by Karishma Etong

3 Miso Soup 

This deceptively simple soup is a combination of two kinds of soybeans (the miso paste and the tofu) and dried seaweed and fish. The dried seaweed, dried fish, and fermented miso paste all infuse the soup with their flavor, creating a gorgeously complex flavor that is the perfect background for the tofu squares swimming in the broth. 



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