Two new ways to try tofu

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at healthycook@cspinet.org.

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Tofu Korma

Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

This dish is by no means a traditional korma, but its sauce is creamy and full of flavor. The more time you take to brown the onions, the deeper the flavor will be.

2 Tbs. + 1 Tbs. neutral oil (like peanut, grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)
1 large onion, sliced
1 14 oz. package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, cubed, and blotted dry
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 Tbs. grated ginger
2 tsp. garam masala
¼ tsp. ground turmeric (optional)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 15 oz. can diced no-salt-added tomatoes
½ cup cashews (unroasted or roasted)
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed and rinsed
1 tsp. kosher salt

  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, heat 2 Tbs. oil until shimmering. Sauté the onions, stirring often, until browned, 7–10 minutes.
  2. While the onions are browning, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté the tofu until golden on a few sides, 5–7 minutes.
  3. Stir the garlic and ginger into the onions and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the garam masala and turmeric (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, cashews, and 1 cup water. Simmer until the tomatoes soften, 5–7 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce until very smooth. (Or carefully purée in a blender until very smooth, then return to the pot.)
  5. Add the cauliflower to the sauce. Simmer until tender, 3–5 minutes. Stir in the peas and tofu and heat through, 1–2 minutes. Season with the salt.

Serving suggestions (optional):

  • Brown rice or whole wheat naan
  • A few sprigs cilantro
  • Minced chili peppers or chili flakes
  • Thinly sliced red onion (let sit for about 10 minutes in lemon or lime juice to temper its bite)
  • Plain yogurt or raita (mix ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ cup grated cucumber, a pinch of salt, and 1 Tbs. minced fresh mint)

Per serving (2 cups, not including serving suggestions):

  • Calories: 360
  • Total fat: 23 g
  • Sat fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 25 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Total sugar: 8 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Sodium: 590 mg

Tofu Cashew Stir-Fry

Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

The drier the tofu gets in step 1, the faster it’ll brown in step 3. Use this recipe as a template: Swap the tofu for chicken or substitute almost any crunchy vegetable you have on hand for the bell pepper. Try 2 cups broccoli, carrots, celery, or snow or snap peas.

1 14 oz. package firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
3 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. grated ginger or garlic
1 tsp. + 2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. neutral oil (like peanut, grapeseed, safflower, or sunflower)
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 bunch scallions, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup roasted cashews
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil (optional)
2 cups cooked brown rice

  1. Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes and blot dry. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, ginger or garlic, 1 tsp. cornstarch, and ½ cup water.
  3. In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat the neutral oil until shimmering. Toss the tofu in the remaining 2 Tbs. cornstarch. Stir-fry in the oil until golden brown on all sides, 7–10 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan with tongs, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
  4. Stir-fry the bell pepper and scallions until charred in spots, 1–2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add the sauce to the pan and simmer until thickened, 1–2 minutes. Add the tofu, bell pepper, scallions, cashews, and sesame oil (if using). Toss to combine and heat through, about 30 seconds. Serve with the rice.

Per serving (1 cup stir-fry + ½ cup brown rice):

  • Calories: 450
  • Total fat: 22 g
  • Sat fat: 4 g
  • Carbs: 45 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Sodium: 510 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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