Whether you dry your own tofu or pick it up at the market, dried tofu is a versatile ingredient that takes no time at all to prepare for cooking. Dried tofu is often considered easier to work with than fresh tofu. Dried tofu is porous and absorbs seasoning or marinates very well. Dried tofu maintains shape after cooking, as opposed to fresh tofu, which tends to fall apart when it is being cooked a certain way. From using it as a main dish to simply adding it to another dish for texture and flavor enhancement, dried tofu is an ideal alternative to meats. Dried tofu is also ideal for enhancing meats, since it soaks up flavor and grinds up like bread crumbs for dishes such as meatballs and meatloaf.
Reconstitute the dried tofu. Dried tofu cannot be used until it has been reconstituted with water. Soaking the tofu in a bowl of warm water for five minutes is more than enough time for the tofu to absorb the water.
Wring out the tofu. Squeeze out all of the water from the tofu until it is dry.
Add more water to the tofu and wring out again. Repeat this process until the water that is squeezed out of the tofu does not resemble milk.
Decide how you would like to cook the tofu. Reconstituted tofu is generally cooked in three ways. Marinating the tofu for thirty minutes in a marinade of your choice and then pan frying or adding to a cuisine, dicing the tofu and adding it to broths or soups, as well as simmering tofu in broths and serving without any additional preparation, are all ways to cook dried tofu.
Dried tofu does age. Always use light colored beige dried tofu and avoid darker, brownish-yellow colored tofu.
Always store dried tofu in a dry place that stays consistently cool.
Always follow storage instructions with dried tofu.
Proper reconstitution of dried tofu is key to a successful tofu cooking experience. Improperly reconstituted tofu does not taste good and will ruin your experience with tofu.