How to Cook Tofu Like Ground Beef

Tofu commonly is baked, fried, steamed or cooked in liquid as a main course or part of another dish. Tofu also can be cooked in a skillet and used as a substitute for ground meat for vegetarians or those watching their calorie or cholesterol intake. Cooked tofu is high in protein and also a good source of iron and B vitamins. Cooked tofu can be kept in the refrigerator for four to five days and used in recipes as desired.

Cubes on tofu on a plate. Credit: Amarita/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and place it on a plate. Place another clean plate upside down on top of tofu.

Step 2

Allow the tofu to rest for 30 minutes to drain excess water. Pat the tofu dry once more with paper towels.

Step 3

Place the tofu on a clean cutting board and roughly chop it into small cubes.

Step 4

Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat for approximately one minute without allowing the oil to smoke.

Step 5

Put the tofu in the hot skillet and break it up with a spatula to the desired size. Cook the tofu in the skillet for approximately 10 minutes or until the tofu is lightly browned all over.

Step 6

Remove the tofu from the hot skillet with a slotted spoon to remove any excess moisture that might be in the bottom of the skillet and season it with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve the tofu as desired while hot.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 pound firm tofu

  • Paper towels

  • 2 plates

  • Clean cutting board

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Large nonstick skillet

  • Spatula

  • Slotted spoon

  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Dried seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, ground cilantro or ground thyme, optional, to taste


For more flavor, try adding dried seasonings to the tofu before cooking it. Garlic powder, onion powder, ground cilantro and ground thyme will add extra flavor to the tofu without fat.

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