I assume you’re here because you’ve got a packet of this soft and squidgy tofu lurking in the back of your food cupboard and you have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Well, strap yourself in, because I’m going to show you 9 exciting ways to cook with this surprisingly versatile ingredient, silken tofu.
As someone who has spent years working in fully vegan kitchens, I have cooked with a lot of silken tofu. Be it in sweet or savoury dishes, I’m constantly amazed at what you can create using it.
As you work your way through all these fun and inventive silken tofu recipes I’m certain you’ll be moving this ingredient up to a more prominent space in your kitchen cupboard.
What is silken tofu?
Silken tofu is a variety of tofu that has been coagulated without curdling the soya milk. It is much smoother and silkier (hence the name) than firm tofu because it isn’t pressed, meaning it still contains all of the moisture inside the block.
It is very delicate and breaks apart very easily when you touch it, so it is much better suited to recipes that require blending or gentle cooking.
Blend it into a creamy pasta sauce
This is probably one of my favourite recipes that I make. It is incredibly easy to rustle up in an evening and it tastes amazingly creamy.
Simply blend up a packet of silken tofu (including the water) with your choice of herbs, spices, and plenty of seasoning. I like adding a pinch of nutmeg, or some lemon zest.
Mix the blended silken tofu into your pasta base (e.g. onions, garlic, vegan chicken), heat through before stirring in the pasta, and then serve.
You could also use this mix as you would a béchamel in a lasagna, or as a creamy topping for your vegan enchiladas.
Bake it into a vegan cheesecake
Want to know how I get a perfectly baked vegan cheesecake? I use silken tofu. And it works a treat!
Silken tofu has a magic egg-like ability that allows you to make set foods, like cheesecake. When you blend the silken tofu it turns into a liquid, which makes it really easy to add other flavours. And then when you bake it for some time it begins to set again.
In order to make this baked vegan cheesecake, simply blend the silken tofu in with vegan cream cheese and flavourings, pour it onto your cheesecake base and bake.
Blend it into a vegan quiche
This was probably one of my best discoveries to date, blended silken tofu makes the most amazing vegan quiches.
You blend up the silken tofu with your choice of seasoning and flavourings, I pack mine full of nutritional yeast, a little bit of black salt (to imitate egg flavours), and turmeric.
Stir in a mix of veg, vegan meats substitutes, and top with some pretty foods like halved cherry tomatoes. Pour onto your quiche base and bake in the oven for at least 1 hour. Take it out, leave it to cool completely, and then cut yourself a generous slice.
Just like the baked vegan cheesecake, the blended silken tofu mix binds back together once cooked in the oven to make this eggless quiche.
Serve it ‘uncooked’ (Hiyayakko)
Silken tofu doesn’t require additional cooking, as it’s already been cooked during the tofu-making process. In fact, consuming “uncooked” silken tofu is a traditional way of enjoying this ingredient in Japan.
The dish is called Hiyayakko and it essentially consists of a cold block of fresh silken tofu topped with soy sauce, onions, ginger and sesame seeds. It is often served with bonito flakes, which aren’t careful, so be careful of this if you are ordering this dish in a Japanese restaurant!
The reason this dish is so incredible is because the silken tofu will be served fresh. But you can recreate it easily with the packaged stuff. Just make sure to buy that ticket to Japan so you can also try the real thing.
Okay, this vegan dish has been popular for quite some time now, but it is still a pretty inventive way of using silken tofu and is a firm favourite of mine to make.
I like to drain the silken tofu, fry off some onion and garlic, and then drop the whole block of tofu into the pan. I’ll gently break up the tofu using my spatula, keeping it quite chunky. Make sure to add plenty of seasoning and spices!
Top tip: if you like some texture in your scrambled tofu my vegan mum likes to mix in some chopped-up firm tofu alongside the silken tofu.
Make it into vegan feta cheese
Looking for a soft squidgy feta cheese alternative to stick into your favourite salads or to simply munch on throughout the day? Then you’ll love this vegan silken tofu feta hack.
Chop up the silken tofu very carefully into square chunks and add into a jar with apple cider vinegar, oil, fresh herbs, salt, lemon juice, and any of your favourite flavours. Get inventive with it.
Let the tofu absorb all the flavours for at least a few hours, but the longer the better!
Deep fry it (Agedashi)
Silken tofu is very fragile and breaks apart easily, making frying it very difficult. So it is much more common to use firm tofu for frying. But that doesn’t mean that it is impossible to fry silken tofu!
Shallow-frying silken tofu can get messy, but it fries beautifully well in a deep-fat fryer. I’d argue that its silky interior makes it much more enjoyable to eat that firmer tofu. The Japanese would definitely agree since they use deep-fried silken tofu in their Agedashi tofu recipe.
Drain the silken tofu and gently pat it down on a kitchen towel. Be extra careful when slicing the tofu into chunks, making sure it doesn’t break apart. Lightly coat the tofu pieces in flour, or use your favourite batter mix, and then plop them into the fryer (or lots of oil in a pan). They’ll puff up and go nice and golden brown. Serve with a spicy mayo for extra perfection.
You could also try frying them in an air fryer, just make sure to leave off the wet batter.
Cook it into a stew (Sundubu Jjigae)
I love a good soup. Whether it’s thick and creamy, like a Laksa, or thin and bold, like a Phở (pronounced ‘fuh-h’ for any of those wondering).
Adding cubed silken tofu into any Asian-esque soup is a must. You can either drop it into the soup a few minutes before serving so that it soaks up all the flavour, or you can add it straight into your serving bowl and pour the soup on top.
One of my favourite variations of this soup comes from Korea, in the form of sundubu jjigae, a soft tofu stew. It is flavoured with kimchi, so it packs a punch!
Blend it into a creamy sauce
Making deliciously creamy sauces using plant-based ingredients can be a little tricky and sometimes the results just aren’t worth it. I personally have made many a bad vegan bechamel and find that it just doesn’t go as creamy as I would like.
Thankfully, silken tofu has saved the day. When you blend it up with a few tasty ingredients like garlic, lemon, mustard, herbs and seasoning, it turns into the most wonderfully creamy sauce.
You can serve it up alongside a vegan roast dinner, pie and mash, or even with this decadent vegan beef wellington.
See also: my favourite vegan tofu recipes