Nooch Tofu

Nooch Tofu - Food & Nutrition Magazine - Stone Soup
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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!

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!

  1. 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. Extra firm is good for slicing, cubing and crumbling. I really never use firm but it also works fine for tofu scramble.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

You can find nooch at the grocery store usually in the baking aisle near the spices.

Nooch Tofu Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • Oil (Olive, canola or avocado)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules (or powder)
  • ¼ teaspoon iodized salt
  • Pinch black pepper

Directions

Slice tofu about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick. 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.

Enjoy!

Notes: You can also bake this tofu on a cast iron pan at 400°F instead of cooking on the stove top.

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Taylor Wolfram
Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN, is a consultant and private practice dietitian based in Chicago. She uses a Health At Every Size framework to provide inclusive nutrition counseling and intuitive eating coaching. Read her blog at taylorwolfram.com.