Banana Relish

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The Secret to Cooking Delicious & Firm Tofu

When you try to cook tofu for the first time, it's often a frustrating experience. If it's not prepared properly, it ends up a soggy mess that lacks texture and taste.

Well, cooking tofu needn't be a dark art – it's actually quite easy when you know how. In just three steps, I'll show you how to make tofu that is delicious with a firm (optional: crispy) texture! It resembles the same texture as Quorn chicken and can be added to almost any dish.

For this you should use firm tofu (not silken) – you'll be able to get it in most supermarkets or your local Asian supermarket.

Step 1. Press It

This is the most important step – you need to remove as much of the water as possible.

Remove the tofu from it's packaging and wrap it in two layers of kitchen roll (ensure it's completely covered) and then place a heavy object on top.

This will make a mess, so place it in the sink or worktop and don't press it near your mobile phone or anything that may get water-damaged.

I like to use a large wooden chopping board to press, but any heavy object will do. Ensure your pressing-device is evenly balanced on the block of the tofu to prevent it from forcing it out of shape.

Press the tofu for 15-20 minutes depending on the level of firmness you prefer.

You can press it for a few hours if you like, I usually don't because it's not convenient and the next step will help to really firm it up.

Step 2. Bake It

Pre-heat the oven to 190c and cut the tofu into cubes or strips and place onto a lightly oiled oven-dish and coat the tofu in oil. Tip: spray it with coconut oil because it's easy, and tasty!

Optional: You can marinade the tofu at this point in your favourite sauce or blend of spices, or you can simply add the baked tofu into your main dish after cooking.

Cook the tofu for 15-20 minutes or until it's golden brown on the outside.

Step 3: Fry It

If you like a bit of extra crisp, then heat a pan with your favourite oil, add some spices and fry the tofu on all sides for 1 minute each. One of my favourite quick 'n' easy spice blends is cumin, paprika and a drop of fresh lime juice (add cayenne pepper for heat).

You can skip step two if you like your tofu a bit softer. Just press it, then cut it into thin slabs and fry each side for 5-6 minutes before cutting it into cubes.

There you go, super-easy and delicious tofu in no time!

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