If asked to find the tofu in any given grocery store, many would gravitate toward the refrigerated section. However, silken tofu can also be found as a shelf-stable product in an aseptic box. There are a plethora of recipes that benefit from this type of tofu—from desserts to savory dips. Here’s how to use silken tofu plus 14 foolproof recipes to try. But first, what actually is it?
What is silken tofu?
Like the kind you may find in the fridge, silken tofu comes in a variety of firmness levels, but because it contains more moisture, it tends to be more fragile, or dare we say, silken. While silken tofu is made in a similar way to regular tofu, it is spongier and more crumbly, with a consistency reminiscent of soft cheese.
Silken tofu nutrition
Just like regular tofu, silken tofu contains nutrients like protein, calcium, iron, and potassium. But there are some key differences between regular and silken. The latter contains fewer calories, but because of its higher water content, it has less protein. But that said, it’s still a decent source of the nutrient, with around four grams per serving.
How to use silken tofu
If you’ve grabbed a box of silken tofu from the grocery store, but you’re not sure what to do next, the good news is you have multiple options! Here are some of our favorite ways to use silken tofu, plus recipe ideas.
Heart of a Baker
There are a handful of ways to successfully replace eggs in a non-vegan cake recipe, and silken tofu is one of them. It offers moisture to the batter and a little lift without compromising the cake flavor. About one-quarter cup of silken tofu (blended) equates to one egg. For more egg replacement ideas, check out our replacement guide for baking.
Try these recipes: Easy Vegan Pound Cake and Chocolate Truffle Cake
2 Cheese sauce
For vegan alfredo, queso, and other pourable cheeses, silken tofu is key. It’s often blended with cornstarch and cashews and then heated over the stove to activate the thickening properties of cornstarch. We’re officially declaring tofu to be the most versatile food in the vegan arsenal—watching it go from a slippery white blob to bubbling queso is magical.
Try these recipes: Easy, 4 Step Vegan Portabello Benedict With Hollandaise Sauce and Vegan Carrot Lox Toast With Herbed Cheese
3 Creamy dessert fillings
Puddings, mousses, and cream pies typically rely on eggs for their richness and silky texture. Silken tofu can replicate that super smooth, decadent experience you get with any good butterscotch pudding, New York-style cheesecake, or chocolate cream pie. When blended with sugar, flavoring elements, and a thickener such as cashews or cornstarch, tofu easily amalgamates into a silken batter. So go ahead, enjoy that chocolate pudding—it has protein in it!
Try these recipes: Dairy-Free Cashew-Cream Cheesecake With Blueberry Compote and Chocolate Mousse
Want to make your own vegan ranch or tangy mayo? Use silken tofu. Again, tofu replaces the eggs in this application. Traditional mayonnaise is an emulsion of eggs, oil, mustard, and an acid, whipped consistently until that thick-yet-slippery consistency of mayo is achieved. For the tofu version, you just blend all the ingredients until they come together in delicious harmony.
Try these recipes: Vegan Mayonnaise and Silken Tofu Ranch Dressing
The Curious Chickpea
To nail a spot-on spinach and artichoke or French onion dip, you’ll need some silken tofu. Simply blitz it up with vegan cream cheese, vegetables, herbs, and spices, and plop that mixture into a toasty bread bowl or alongside salty ridged potato chips. The tofu will provide a creaminess without tweaking the color of your pristine white dip speckled with green herbs or dotted with caramelized onions.
Try these recipes: The Best Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip and Vegan French Onion Dip
Forkful of Plants
You can use medium or firm tofu from the refrigerated section for this application, but silken tofu offers a lighter, fluffier texture that will get you hooked. Unlike firm tofu, there’s no need to press the silken variety—just gently break up the block with your spoon while stir-frying it with your other ingredients. Note: just like refrigerated tofu, there are firmness levels of silken tofu (soft, medium, and firm). For scrambles, opt for the firm variety of silken.
Try this recipe: Silken Tofu Scramble
The Korean Vegan
Silken tofu was made for soups. From Korean soon tofu soup to Japanese miso, silken tofu is a prominent ingredient. Its smooth texture works wonderfully in a seasoned, sometimes spicy broth by soaking up the flavors and adding a silky complexity to eat by the spoonful. Forget chicken noodle—tofu soup is our favorite under-the-weather food.
Try these recipes: One Box of Soon Tofu Stew and Vegan Miso Tofu Soup