Tofu types – your guide to choosing the right tofu

It is important to understand the difference between silken smooth, firm and other types of tofu as well as which dishes they work best with. For example, you wouldn’t be able make to golden crispy tofu out of silky tofu, for that you would need to buy a block of extra-firm tofu. The type of tofu is determined by the amount of water in has- the more the water, the silkier the tofu. On this page we cover the most common tofu types available in supermarkets.

Silken Tofu

If you have ever eaten silken tofu you will know that this type is really smooth, jiggly and creamy. You can call it “the whole milk” of the tofu world. This tofu is made with minimal processing by coagulating soy milk without curdling it, this makes the texture quite delicate. You can also use it for a scrambled tofu dish.

How it can be cooked: cheesecakes, dips, mousse

However, traditionally in Japan silken tofu is eaten as a starter, cold with a few spices and you dip it in soy sauce.

Firm Tofu

A solid block of tofu which is works well in any stir fry and becomes a great substitute for any meat. This type of tofu doesn’t crumble when you pick it up and is easily chopped into pieces. Be sure to remove any excess water by making paper towel compress, this will make it easier to fry and create that beautiful crispy golden skin around it.

How it can be cooked: stir fry, crispy baked tofu, marinated tofu

Extra-Firm Tofu

This tofu block has a lot less water consistency inside and can be deep fried a lot easier than firm tofu. You can simply use a dry tissue to absorb any liquid, and you should be ready to deep fry it. I find it a lot easier to make extra-firm tofu crispier than the firm tofu.

How it can be cooked: deep fried

There are also other tofu types that are less common in supermarkets. For example super-firm tofu – it is usually packaged without any liquid, quite dense, and has a lot more protein than your typical firm tofu (usually around 12g of protein per 100 grams).