Not sure what to do with tofu? This nooch tofu is about to become your best friend! It’s seriously the best way to make tofu. It’s easy and delicious and goes with lots of different foods!
Real talk: It took me way too many years to perfect tofu. Either it was too soggy, didn’t taste great or was too much of a pain to make.
It wasn’t until I recreated The Chicago Diner’s blackened tofu that I started to feel more confident about making tofu. And then I experimented with different seasonings and one day created this nooch tofu!
This nooch tofu is so awesome because it goes with just about anything. You can make a batch of it and add it to sandwiches, avocado toast, pasta and more.
Tofu is an Excellent Source of Plant-Based Protein
First, why tofu? Tofu is made from soy beans, which are a high-quality plant protein. If you have any concerns about the health of soy, check out this post debunking many common myths about soy.
- Affordable (a block of tofu may cost anywhere between $1 and $4)
- Versatile (it comes in different levels of firmness and can be sliced, cubed, crumbled, pureed and used in both sweet and savory recipes)
- Accessible (most mainstream grocery stores carry it, not just health food stores).
- Nutritious (it’s loaded with heart-healthy plant protein and fiber)
Tofu is a staple in my house. I use it mostly to make this nooch tofu recipe and I also use it to make tofu scramble – perfect for breakfast, burritos, tacos and more!
Tips for Preparing and Cooking with Tofu
There a few strategies to keep in mind when working with tofu. If you’ve had a bad experience with tofu, don’t let that stop you from trying again! If you didn’t grow up watching your caregivers prepare tofu, how would you know how to make it? We’ve all gotta start somewhere!
- Use the right kind of tofu: You’ll find silken, firm and extra firm tofu at the store. Silken is for pureeing and using in smoothies, sauces and desserts. I prefer extra firm for slicing, cubing and crumbling. I really never use firm but it also works fine for tofu scramble.
- Drain and press: Most tofu (the firm kinds) come packed in water. It’s imperative that you remove as much water as possible so that the tofu can absorb more flavor and get firm and crispy when cooked. You can do this by wrapping the block of tofu in clean towels and weighting it down or you can use a tofu press. I did the towel/weight method for way too long and I wish I would have bought my tofu press sooner! Here is the tofu press I have (affiliate link).
- Be gentle: If you’re making tofu scramble, it’s easy just to crumble the tofu straight into the pan. But if you’re cubing or slicing, the tofu can break apart easily so be gentle with it! Same goes for stirring and flipping in the pan. I use tongs to flip pieces individually. Sometimes they still break, which is fine.
- Don’t be afraid to use oil: Cooking with oil is key to getting a crispy coating and also helps the tofu not stick to the pan. You don’t need tons (we’re not deep-frying) but a thin layer of oil on a pan can do wonders.
What is Nooch?
Nooch is the nickname for nutritional yeast. Nooch is one of the most unique foods you’ll even encounter. It’s not an active yeast so don’t think of it like baker’s or brewer’s yeast.
Nutritional yeast looks like little yellow flakes and has a cheesy-ish flavor. Vegans (and non-vegans!) love using it as a seasoning for popcorn, pasta, mashed potatoes and more. It’s common to find nooch in shaker containers on tables at vegan restaurants. Think of it like Parmesan cheese!
It’s a common ingredient in vegan cheese sauces. It’s called nutritional yeast because it can pack a punch of micronutrients. Some kinds are fortified and are an excellent source of vitamin B12. You’ll need to check the label to double check that it’s fortified.
You can find nooch at the grocery store usually in the baking aisle near the spices. You can also buy it online. Here is the kind I buy – it’s fortified with B vitamins. (affiliate link)
Nooch Tofu Recipe
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- Oil (I like olive, canola and avocado)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or powder)
- ¼ teaspoon iodized salt
- Pinch black pepper
- Slice tofu (about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick depending on what you prefer)
- Add cornstarch, nooch, garlic granules, salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
- Pour seasoning mix on a large plate in a thin, even layer.
- Pour oil in a large cast iron pan (you can use a metal or non-stick pan too but cast iron works the best) – enough to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer.
- Put tofu in the pan, rub around and flip over so all pieces of tofu are coated in oil.
- Dip each piece of tofu in the seasoning mix, flipping over and coating evenly on both sides.
- Turn on stove to medium heat and place tofu pieces back into pan.
- Cook tofu for about 5 to 7 minutes and don’t move them around (this disturbs the crispy coating you’re working to achieve).
- Peek at the tofu (lift up a piece with tongs) after about 5 minutes and see if it’s ready to flip – you’ll want a golden, crispy coating.
- Flip tofu and cook other side for 5 to 7 minutes.
Notes: You can also bake this tofu on a cast iron pan at 400°F instead of cooking on the stovetop.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe! I’m not a food blogger or photographer but this tofu is so good I just had to share it with the world. Tag me on social media @taylorwolframrd with pictures of your nooch tofu!