No, Tofu DOESN’T Have To Suck

Can I be honest with you?

I rarely go to the grocery store when my boyfriend is away. It’s a strange habit to have developed as a Brooklynite with at least two large grocery stores in walking distance, I know, but my favorite place to get groceries is Trader Joes, which is a subway ride away (and, let’s face it, I go mostly for their dark chocolate peanut butter cups.) Going to Trader Joes by myself doesn’t make sense because I can’t carry all the groceries we need for the week home by MYSELF. So, I try to just make use of what is in the fridge.

This past week, Mike went on tour for FOUR AND A HALF days. No, we did not go grocery shopping before he left. I scoured the fridge for lunch ingredients. My meals are generally simple. I don’t ask for much – just protein, veggies, and a starch.

I found lettuce, so veggies were taken care of. My parents gave us homemade bread, which let me put a checkmark next to starch. And, for protein?…There was an unopened container of tofu.

What the hell was I supposed to do with that?

It was time for the grand experiment. I ended up eating the entire block of tofu over the next couple days, cooking it in a simple way and tossing it with the veggies. Here’s what I did:

  • Turn a pan (cast iron preferred) up to medium heat on the stove.

  • Cut the tofu into strips and dry each strip thoroughly with paper towels (don’t be gentle here! The less moisture the better!)

  • Put salt, pepper, and paprika on both sides of each tofu strip, press in with your hand.

  • Cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil and place the tofu in the pan (it should sizzle as you set it down.)

  • Brush the tops of each strip with soy sauce as the bottom browns.

  • After two minutes, flip each piece over. Leave to brown on this side (about 2 minutes. Both sides should be crisp and brown.)

  • Squirt some sriracha on your cooked tofu and enjoy!

This is in no way a complicated recipe, and, as I found out, it’s actually GOOD. Next time you find yourself with tofu and no desire to go to the grocery store, give this a go. Bonus points if you let me know what you eat it with!