I've never cooked tofu before and I appreciate that using a store-bought jar of curry sauce and expecting it to work nicely may be a little optimistic.

However, what cooking method should I use to cook the tofu before placing it in the sauce (Korma/Tikka Massala) (presumably not for very long, it'd already be cooked) and serving with rice?

I'd hazard a guess that frying it is the best option but should I just fry it and leave it at that or ought I use some herbs and spices?

3 Answers 3


If you're going to be adding a curry sauce, there's no need to just throw on some extra herbs and spices.

Use an extra-firm tofu, and make sure you drain/press out any extra water before frying. Wrap your tofu block in paper/kitchen towels, place a plate with some additional weight (not too much, a few pounds will do), and let it sit up to an hour before slicing and frying.

  • Thanks, that's what I ended up doing. A firmer tofu would definitely have been better but it was ok.
    – bcmcfc
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 8:20

To carry on from what Bob said.

The choice of tofu is all important, there are so many different kinds and some would be repulsive in a curry, any silken tofu form for instance. Extra-firm is necessary, by all means press out extra water before frying, this is mainly necessary if the tofu you buy comes suspended in water.

Flavoured extra-firm tofu is fine if the flavour will go with the curry sauce. I can obtain a variety called "Tofu Rosso" in the UK, made by Taifun (all their tofu is excellent by the way), which goes very well in curries as it is spiced throughout with paprika and chili, and contains tomatoes and garlic.

Plain tofu will just take up the flavour from the sauce, though if you fry the tofu a lot first then the sauce will not penetrate far. I quite like marinading plain tofu first, unnecessary in the way it is unnecessary to marinade chicken first - but chicken tikka is quite popular, and it works well with tofu.

Do lightly fry the tofu before adding it to the curry, the texture improves for it in my opinion, if you over fry it, it can go hard externally like bacon does.

NB. Are you cooking for a vegan or just curious? If cooking for a lacto-ovo-vegetarian, you can disregard this point, but if a vegan, Korma and Tikka Masala sauces are rarely free from dairy unless they are using solely coconut cream/milk.

  • 1
    Thanks for your response & the suggestion of Tofu Rosso. That's a very good point about the dairy, I'll have to keep a closer lookout. I'm embarking on a 30 day vegan trial but the preceding week is just veggie as I need to use up the milk I have left!
    – bcmcfc
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 8:23
  • 1
    Glad to hear you are having a vegan trial, a beneficial exercise. I have been a vegan for many years now, it is only a serious pain with restaurants. The main difference is you have to read all ingredient lists. Dairy especially gets in to everything, and honey is rather more common than one would expect. I think milk in crisps is the thing that annoys me most. Curry on the other hand is very easy to veganise.
    – Orbling
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 10:09

I have heard some people say that extra firm tofu tastes like chicken. I couldn’t agree more until I tried it out myself. This is because the extra firm tofu contains very less moisture when compared to the regular tofu.

When replacing chicken with tofu in curry especially, I always use grilled extra firm tofu. The key is grilling the tofu for reducing as much moisture as possible and making it crispy. For grilling, I usually cut tofu into relatively thick slices, it crisps up beautifully on the outside and the insides stay tender.

Tofu should be marinated to absorb all the flavors, otherwise it will just taste bland. Never use the regular soft tofu, as the soft stuff will just melt like scrambled eggs.

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