Tofu is a versatile option, adaptable to almost any taste. Often used as a substitute for meat, eggs, or soft cheeses, tofu provides a valuable source of protein as well as nutrients such as B vitamins and iron. Available in varieties ranging from soft to extra firm, highly absorbable tofu can take on many tastes with the simple application of a marinade. Tofu can be baked, fried, grilled, or prepared virtually any way you can conjure up. For a quick, simple preparation method, consider microwaving tofu.

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If tofu is frozen, thaw the tofu. You can do this by covering the tofu and microwaving it on a low setting for a few minutes. If you have more time, leave the covered tofu on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.

Press the tofu to get rid of any excess water. This will allow more flavors to be absorbed during cooking. To press, place the block of tofu between two layers of towels. Paper towels can be used, but make sure to use several for adequate absorption. Then, place a cutting board on the top of the towels. After that, place a heavy object, such as a skillet, on top of the cutting board. Leave for at least 15 minutes to remove extra moisture. Make sure to change out completely soaked towels during the pressing process to ensure proper drainage.

Marinate the tofu to add flavor. Tofu is complemented by a variety of spices and sauces, so take your pick. Soak the tofu in the marinade at least 30 minutes, but keep in mind that the longer you marinate, the more flavorful your tofu will be.

Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces. This will help the tofu cook faster and more evenly as well as make it easier to eat once prepared.

If desired, add other ingredients, including fresh vegetables, cheese, and sauce, to your tofu dish. The tofu will absorb flavors from these foods while cooking.

Cover with plastic cling wrap and microwave the tofu. Make sure to use a microwave-safe container such as heat-resistant or ceramic glass. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the dish and the other included ingredients. But as a general rule, microwave tofu dishes in 3-minute increments, stirring the tofu with a spoon to ensure even cooking between microwave sessions. The tofu is done when it’s cooked all the way through to the center.

Freeze any tofu leftovers for later use.