What Does Tofu Taste Like? An Useful Guide To Tofu

Originated from China, tofu, is a traditional component of cuisines in East Asian and Southeast Asian countries. This kind of food may not be popular in some parts of the world and perhaps some of you find it weird because of its taste. So, what does tofu taste like exactly? To find out the answer, let’s check this blog out!

1. What Is Tofu?

Before finding out how tofu taste is, you may need to know what tofu is first.

Tofu is a food made of condensed soy milk and it is rich in protein. It can be silken, soft, firm or extra firm. Possessing a subtle flavor, tofu can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Block is the most basic form of tofu, but it can have other shapes depending on the makers’ purpose.

what does tofu taste like

Having a subtle flavor, tofu is suitable for both savory and sweet dishes

2. How Is Tofu Made?

Tofu is made from soybeans. Firstly, soybeans are soaked until they get to twice the original size and then they are crushed into a pulp of soy milk and bean pulp. After that, the tofu makers heat this mixture to reduce moisture and a thick paste is created. Next, the paste is spun to separate the soy milk and the soybean meal. Then, the milk is thickened into a curd. At this time, tofu can be spiced and once it gets thickened, it is pressed into cakes.

Do you want to make tofu yourself? Watch the video below carefully and it’ll help you do that!

3. What Does Tofu Taste Like?

On our tongues, there are five basic taste senses which are sweet (sugar), salty (salt), bitter (hydroxides or bases), sour (acids) and umami (glutamates). So, how does tofu taste when it touches our tongues? What does tofu taste like exactly?

Well, actually tofu by itself is pretty tasteless as the heating process takes out a lot of the bean. If you are super sensitive to the extremely low levels of glutamates, you can feel that tofu also has a little bit of taste. However, you will hardly realize its taste. There is a fact that tofu absorbs flavors very quickly. Thus, if you add flavors to it, it will not be bland anymore. This is truly tofu’s magic as it is extremely versatile. You can create all sorts of taste and texture out of it.

what does tofu taste like

Tofu is tasteless unless you give it a flavor

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4. How To Cook Tofu To Taste Good?

This part includes some interesting ways which you can apply to cook tofu to get the best taste of it.

  • Bake For A Crisp And Chewy Experience

Baked crispy tofu is definitely an irresistible dish. Let’s see how tofu is baked in this video!

Baking tofu is an amazing thing you cannot miss trying. So, what does tofu taste like baked? When baked, tofu becomes crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, which makes it an irresistible dish. Once you gets one bite, you’ll definitely want to eat more baked tofu.

It is very easy to bake tofu and you will need extra firm tofu for this recipe. Firstly, you cut the tofu into cubes and arrange them on a baking sheet so that each piece will not touch the other. Then, you start to bake your tofu. Depending on how thick the cubes are, you can bake them for 20 to 45 minutes.

Baking also makes the tofu chewy to eat and they can be eaten right away from the oven or kept in the refrigerator as tasty snacks.

  • Grill For BBQ Taste

Everyone likes a good BBQ, and tofu can definitely rise to that challenge

To make good barbecued or grilled tofu, you should follow kebab style in which you grill tofu on a stick with some kinds of vegetables such as tomato, peppers, and onion. First of all, you cut your tofu into 1-inch cubes or larger in preparation for the BBQ tofu. Before grilling, you can choose to marinate them or just let the BBQ juices from the vegetables create your flavors. Secondly, put the cubes on the kebab sticks with your other ingredients and grill them right on the BBQ. Then, add some BBQ sauce and you’ll have the best BBQ tofu taste.

  • Pan Fry For A Crispy Texture

Pan Frying tofu is one of the most common ways of cooking tofu as it is easy and quick. Does tofu taste good when pan fried? Of course, pan-fried tofu is super crispy and you know, crispy tofu tastes the best.

Pan-fried tofu will not make you disappointed with its perfect taste

Pan Frying tofu is not the same as deep frying, so it only requires a small amount of oil. To even up the crispness, you can use cornstarch on the tofu. After you put the tofu into the pan, make sure that you brown all the sides of each cube. Having got the browned tofu, you remove them from the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack for maximum crispness.

  • Stir Fry For A Rainbow Of Tastes

Stir-frying tofu with vegetables can be another great way to create the best taste of tofu

Tofu stir-frying is very similar to pan frying. However, you’ll need a wok instead of a pan to stir fry.

You may use the cornstarch as you do with pan frying to create the crispy outer shell of the tofu. The amount of oil is to line the bottom and lower sides of the wok. You can add vegetables or other ingredients to your stir fry. If you don’t marinate your tofu in advance, they will have the flavors of the ingredients you stir fry with.

The best way to stir fry tofu is that you fry up the tofu first and remove it from the wok. Then, continue to stir fry your other ingredients and put the tofu back into the wok. Stir fry all of them together and you’ll get the dish.

5. Is Tofu Healthy?

Rich in protein and low in calories, tofu is really good for your heart

Tofu is extremely high in protein and low in calories, so it is a perfect choice and even a staple dish for vegans and vegetarians. Another benefit of tofu is that it provides dietary fiber, which meat cannot give you. There is a fact that having a meat-free meal once or twice a week will help to protect your heart and our planet.


Having read this blog so far, have you found the answer to the question ‘What does tofu taste like?’ As a fact, tofu is tasteless. However, you can make it have taste. You can believe that your imagination and cooking ways will create a variety of tastes for tofu.

About Haruto Suzuki

Haruto Suzuki is a senior food and drinks blogger at Question Japan. He has a background in F&B industry and also experience of running his own Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for over 10 years. Therefore, he has a great knowledge of Japanese cuisine. So if you want to discover Japan through its unique traditional cuisine, Haruto Suzuki’s blog will be a great source of information for you.