Tofu is a highly versatile ingredient used in many Asian dishes and as a way to add protein and iron to almost any cuisine. Once you develop a knack for it, it can also be easy to make at home.
If you are new to using tofu there can be a slight learning curve to handling it properly. One top complaint is that it falls apart or crumbles instead of holding its shape.
If you have experienced this frustration, and wondered, why is my tofu so crumbly and falling apart, take a deep breath and keep reading.
In this guide, we will explain:
- Why is your tofu crumbly and falling apart?
- How to keep tofu from crumbling.
- Is tofu supposed to fall apart?
- What to do with crumbled tofu.
So Why is My Tofu So Crumbly and Falling Apart?
If your tofu is crumbling when you cook it, the problem is likely that you are over-drying it. Tofu that has had too much of its moisture removed will fall apart.
It may also be crumbly because you are working with too soft a tofu. For most dishes and all fried, you should buy the firm or extra firm tofu.
Soft and silken tofu works wonderfully as a dairy alternative when baking or making smoothies. They are also ideal for adding a creamy texture to soup and stews but are challenging to work with otherwise.
How to Keep Tofu From Crumbling and Falling Apart?
There are several methods that you can use to dry tofu before cooking without making it crumbly.
- You can wrap your tofu in a paper towel or piece of cheesecloth and simply allow it to dry overnight in the fridge.
- You can place it in a strainer and allow it to drain for a half hour immediately before use.
- You can wrap your tofu in a non-terry cloth towel and place a plate on top of it for half an hour to 45minutes.
- In Asia, it is unusual for chefs to dry tofu. The standard practice is to pat dry with a towel, slice, and cook at high temps immediately.
If you are going to be using your tofu in soups, you can freeze it before slicing and frying. Frozen tofu cooks differently. It kind of fluffs up and becomes a sponge for broths and sauces.
Is Tofu Supposed to Crumble?
It would be a stretch to say that tofu is supposed to crumble, but specific recipes may call for crumbled tofu. Spiced tofu filling for tacos is one excellent example, and another would be herbed tofu and mushroom crumble used as a side dish.
If you fix a dish that asks for crumbled tofu, all you have to do is overdry it and break it up with your hands. Think of crumbling crackers into a bowl of soup.
What to do with Crumbled Tofu
There are an almost endless variety of uses you can put crumbled tofu to. It is an ideal base for vegan sausage and soboro, and it is a wonderful way to add nutrition to homemade fruit bars and casseroles.
Crumbled tofu can be used as a salad topping, pizza topping, as a way to add texture to soups, and used as a meat substitute in vegan lasagna or spaghetti sauce.
The only limits there are on the use of crumbled tofu is your imagination.