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Asian Braised Tofu

Braised tofu.  For some reason, the very concept terrified me.  In fact, despite doing some very good braised dishes in my life (if I do say so myself), the whole technique seems exoAsian Braised Tofutic and difficult.

Then again, sometimes you have a meal (like the Fire Bird from Blue Koi made with braised tofu instead of duck) that forces your hand and suddenly you find yourself trying a dish you never thought you would.  Like

Asian Braised Tofu

… and finding it’s actually really easy.


For those who are not familiar with braising, it’s a wet cooking method (meaning there’s a lot of liquid).  The most often used wet cooking method is boiling where food is completely submerged in liquid.  This tends to be a harsh cooking method and is good for leeching starches and flavor compounds out of the food.

On the other hand, when braising, the food is usually browned first and then covered halfway in a flavorful cooking liquid.  Having one half of the food (usually meat) uncovered allows for different flavors to develop while the food absorbs flavors from the cooking liquid.

It’s a great technique for tougher cuts of meat or for slow cooking dark meat chicken.

Braising Tofu

However, in this case, I decided I was going to braise tofu.  Because tofu is essentially a soft protein, I knew that cooking it for a long time was going to result in a big soy mess.  So I did three things:

  • Used firm or exra firm tofu
  • Precooked the tofu
  • Cut down the cooking time for the tofu

Ready for the recipe?

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Filed under Kansas City Cuisine, recipes, techniques, vegan