Tofu is a healthy superfood that can be used in a number of ways. But for some people, tofu’s taste is not that super. Try marinating the tofu before tossing it in the wok or on the grill. It is a meat substitute, so treat it like meat.

Things You'll Need

Prepare the Tofu

Open the tofu and drain the water, then seal in an airtight bag and freeze overnight. The next day, thaw and squeeze out the water. Use two paper towels and press the tofu on the counter with your palm to squeeze out the water. This makes the tofu more meaty and helps it better absorb the marinade. If you don’t have time to freeze, just squeeze as much of the water out as possible.

The type of marinade depends entirely upon the dish you’re preparing. Tofu is typically found in Oriental cuisine, but can be used in pastas, salads, soups and sandwiches and can even be grilled and fried. So experimentation and a good recipe are key.

The marinating technique varies depending on the marinade. If you use a thick marinade, such as olive oil and fresh herbs or Dijon mustard and anchovies, let the tofu sit, covered tightly in the refrigerator for several hours, preferably overnight. But if you use a light marinade (soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger, sesame oil, brown sugar and crushed red pepper) you do not need to let the tofu marinate as long; about an hour. With really light marinades, such as straight red wine vinegar or lemon juice, simply dipping each side of the tofu in the liquid may be enough.

Tofu comes in many forms varying in texture and firmness. Each type absorbs different flavors uniquely. Unless a recipe calls for a specific type of tofu, just experiment.

Tofu Marinades

1/2 cup soy sauce1 tsp. sesame oil1/2 cup pineapple juice2 tsp. red pepper flakesServe with stir fry or grilled.

1/4 cup Dijon mustard2 tbsp. white wine1 tbsp. honey1 anchovy fillet mashed to paste1 clove garlic minced1 tbsp. fresh basil mincedSalt and pepper to tasteCut tofu into cubes. Marinate overnight. Coat with bread crumbs. Brown in olive oil and serve on salad or pita bread with spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and capers.

1/2 cup red wine vinegar2 tbsp. dry red wine1/2 cup olive oil1 bay leaf1 tbsp. fresh oregano1 tbsp. fresh thymeTry this grilled on a salad.


  • For a different take on tofu, marinate it in honey and lemon juice over night. Then blend in a food processor with fresh strawberries and a ripe banana and serve over granola.

References and Resources

Check out the health benefits of tofu