Slicing Tofu into Cubes

Tofu, also called bean curd, is made by coagulating (or curdling) soy milk before pressing it into semi-firm blocks. The process, similar to that of cheesemaking, results in tofu of various textures, ranging from scoopable to sliceable, all useful in different kitchen applications, both sweet and savory.

Tofu is very neutral in flavor and easily absorbs flavors from marinades, spices, and other sauces. It is versatile, well-suited to many cooking techniques, including steaming, roasting, sautéing, and frying. It can be sliced, cubed, puréed, or even crumbled, making it a popular vegetarian or vegan stand-in for meat-free scrambles or stir-fries that might typically call for eggs or ground meats. Tofu is high in protein, but low in saturated fat with no cholesterol, making it a popular plant-forward meat replacer.

Use this chart to learn more about the most popular varieties of tofu. Look for the largest selection of tofu at Asian markets or "natural" or health-food stores, though you can typically find silken, firm, or extra firm at any grocery store.

After the chart, see some of our favorite tofu recipes and try one this week!

Chart describing characteristics of Japanese and Chinese-style tofu varieties.

Spicy King Pao Tofu with Peanuts and Zucchini Noodles

Kale Chopped Salad with Tofu and Coconut-Peanut Dressing

Spicy Kimchi Stew with Pork

Silken Tofu and Cucumber Dip