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How To Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken

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The best recipes are created through mistakes. And that’s exactly how I was able to get this tofu to taste almost like chicken. 

So here is what happened: I was preparing tofu to be grilled. So, that meant I threw the tofu block into the freezer for a couple of days before that. This process helps firm up the tofu to get an even chewier and “meatier” texture.

Additionally, because freezing the tofu blocks create ice crystals within the block, it opens up the tofu and makes it easier for the marinade to penetrate the block. It become sponge-like.

Anyway, the tofu block didn’t quite hold together. I usually purchase extra firm. This tofu block was medium firm, or regular. Because of this, and because I sliced them too thinly, they couldn’t hold it together. 

I freeze my tofu blocks frequently, so that’s not new for me. What was new is that I got a block of tofu that wasn’t quite as firm as how I usually buy them. I also did a bad job at slicing them thick enough, So, I actually ended up with tofu pieces.

Pro-tip: the more liquid you drain from the tofu block, the less of that tofu taste you’re going to get. You know what I mean – that distinct tofu flavor that’s a bit bizarre, but totally not off-putting. Another benefit to draining as much water as you possibly can is that the tofu block will have a better time soaking up flavor from your marinade. 

How To Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken Recipe

Recipe Notes

  1. Buy regular tofu, not silken. 
  2. You need to start with a frozen block of tofu. This is how you’re going to get that chewy, “meaty” texture .
  3. Different brands of seasoning cubes/bullion will have varying amounts of salt. Taste the broth before applying to tofu to see if it’s to your liking. Add more salt it you want it more salty. Add tad bit more water if you want it less salty. 
  4. Because I wanted the “not chick’n” broth to be as salty as soy sauce – which is how I typically flavor my tofu, I added just a small pinch of salt. If you’re salt sensitive or prefer something less salty, omit this step. 

How To Freeze Tofu 

Throw the entire tofu with its packaging into the freezer. No need to drain. Straight to the freezer it goes. You’ll want to freeze the tofu block for at least a day. 

How To Defrost And Press Tofu

First, remove the tofu from its packaging. 

You can defrost the tofu block on the counter or fridge all day. Just  throw the tofuin a large bowl so it can collect any extra liquid as it defrosts. Once it defrosts, press the tofu. 

Or, if you’re in a hurry, just microwave the block. I microwaved the frozen tofu block to quickly defrost. I did this in 4-5 minute intervals. When the time was done, I drained and pressed the tofu as much as I could between the backs of two plates. Then I’d throw it in the microwave again. I repeated this process until my block was totally defrosted and free of any extra liquid. 

Additionally, if you need more direction on how to defrost tofu, check this out. 

Tofu that has been frozen, drained and pressed. It’s spongy-like.



  1. First, start with a frozen block of tofu. 
  2. Remove frozen tofu block from packaging.
  3. To quickly defrost, throw block into a microwave. Takes about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Drain and press excess water.
  5. Cut the tofu block into planks.
  6. Pat dry more of the liquid with a clean towel or paper towel. 
  7. Next, measure out 6 tablespoons of water and pour into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute.
  8. Meanwhile, tear the tofu into bite-sized pieces and set aside in a bowl. 
  9. Carefully remove bowl of hot water from the microwave.
  10. Drop one Not-Chick’n cube into the hot water. Allow it to dissolve, then mix.  
  11. Then, In a medium-high heat pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil. 
  12. Add the tofu and cook for about 4-5 minutes,
  13. Increase heat to high. Then, evenly add the broth to the tofu in the pan. 
  14. Finally, cook for another 8-10 minutes, or until golden and water has been absorbed. 
Tofu “Chicken” pieces tossed in pasta and Spanish green olives

Or, go for a taco!

Small taco tortillas topped with tofu “chicken” and a drizzle of sriracha

Recipes That Also Use Frozen Tofu 

Puerto Rican Tofu Guisado 

Simple Tofu Nuggets 

Black Bean & Tofu Burger

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