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10 Ways to Eat Tofu for Dinner

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There are so many ways to put tofu at the center of the plate: stews and curries, crisp-fried cutlets, stir-fries, and burgers to name a few. If you’re in a rut, these tofu recipes will breathe fresh life into your meatless Monday.

  • Recipe

    Tofu Saag

    A creamy yogurt-spinach sauce surrounds spiced, crisped cubes of tofu in this aromatic, satisfying dish. If you like hot foods, leave the serrano chile seeds in. Serve with rice or naan.

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  • Recipe

    Red-Cooked Tofu

    Red-cooking is a traditional Chinese braising technique that uses soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine to flavor the food and give it a dark red color. If you're not a big tofu fan, this easy, aromatic stew might change your mind.

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  • Recipe

    Black Pepper Tofu

    Tofu’s proponents have tried to get us to see all the ways to improve its texture—freezing or pressing or boiling to rid it of spare water, broiling or roasting to crisp it up. These are all effective at making tofu friendlier to cook with, but nothing is as guaranteed to seduce a skeptic as dredging tofu in cornstarch and pan-frying it to a shiny crisp, while the inner bits go soft and custardy. The just-fried nubs are almost too crunchy to eat, which is why it’s a good idea to add them to a pan of shallots, chiles, ginger, and garlic that have stewed in butter and soy and heaps of black pepper. In the sauce, the fried cubes will relax just enough, but maintain all the integrity you’ve fried into them.

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  • Recipe

    Crispy Tofu with Sesame Asparagus and Dipping Sauce

    A coating of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) is the secret to these ultracrisp tofu triangles. Hoisin sauce does double duty, adding flavor to the tofu’s coating and serving as a sweet-tangy dipping sauce.

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  • Recipe

    Mapo Tofu

    This searingly spicy tofu dish is quintessentially Sichuan with its mala (spicy hot and numbing) flavors. This recipe is a very spicy version of the dish, close to the original, but the heat level can be adjusted downward by reducing the amount of red chile powder.

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  • Recipe

    Thai Red Curry with Tofu & Vegetables

    This fragrant quick curry uses canned or jarred curry paste; if you want this curry to be truly vegetarian, be sure to check the label, as some curry pastes contain shrimp paste. 

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  • Recipe

    Tofu and Sweet Potato Lettuce Wrap

    This refreshing vegetarian wrap channels sushi-bar flavors of wasabi, soy, and rice vinegar, with sweet potatoes for balance.

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  • Recipe

    Seared Tofu with Spicy Cabbage Saute

    Packed with flavor, this combo of tofu and cabbage makes for an easy meatless weekday option. It’s also vegan and gluten-free. If you like a crunchy component, crumble salted sesame rice crackers over the top.

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  • Recipe

    Vegetables and Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce

    On the Indonesian island of Java, this hearty, main-course salad—known as gado-gado—is sold by street vendors, who carry the ingredients on yoke-like poles, assembling each serving to order. It’s surprisingly easy to make.

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  • Recipe

    Spicy Thai Tofu Burgers

    Don’t hide this pretty, veggie-packed patty in a bun; serve it on a Thai-inspired salad of chopped lettuce tossed with bean sprouts, grated carrot, and chopped fresh mint and cilantro. Thin some Miso Mayonnaise with a little water and lime juice and drizzle it over all, or use your own favorite Asian dressing.

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