How to Microwave Tofu

Written By Ross Young


If you’re vegan or even following a plant-based diet for your health then tofu is a great go-to protein option. People have mixed opinions on tofu and its flavour and texture but if you can cook it well then it can be absolutely delicious. But, can you microwave tofu?

To microwave tofu, cut it up into strips, coat in flavouring and then microwave for 3 minutes. Flip the pieces over and then microwave for a further couple of minutes.

How to Microwave Tofu

There are a few steps you’ll want to take to successfully microwave tofu.  Microwaving tofu is quick and easy but you will want to follow this method to do so properly: 

  1. Cut Tofu
    Cut your tofu into strips or cubes around half an inch wide. This helps it fit into the microwave and is the perfect bitesize size to add to your meal too.
  2. Place in a Bowl
    Place the strips of tofu into a microwavable bowl. Be gentle as the strips will break apart if you’re not careful.
  3. Add Flavourings
    Add your favourite broth or seasoning. Give the mixture a stir to coat the strips well. Adjust the tofu in the bowl so it is in neat layers. This will help it cook evenly.
  4. Microwave
    Put the bowl into the microwave and heat for three minutes.
  5. Flip
    Take the bowl of tofu out of the microwave and turn the pieces over.
  6. Microwave Again
    Pop it back into the microwave for another two to three minutes.

This method will work for any size of tofu. If you want to cut it up into smaller cubes then you’ll need to simply reduce the timing. If you half the size of your pieces then just drop the time by half.

How to Microwave Tofu Successfully

If you want to have complete success when microwaving tofu then give these three tips a read:

  • Coat in Oil – You may find that your tofu sometimes sticks together as it cooks. You can help to avoid this by coating the strips in spray oil. This adds flavour and helps them stay separate. A spray oil will ensure that each piece of tofu is evenly coated.
  • Don’t Over Crowd the Bowl – Try to keep all the tofu in one layer when microwaving it. This will prevent the tofu from cooking unevenly. If you have a lot of tofu, do it in batches.
  • Use Overcooked Tofu – Sometimes it can go wrong and you end up with overcooked tofu that is tough to eat. Don’t worry if this happens the tofu can still be eaten. Make a delicious broth or soup and pop them into it. This will moisten them up and make your lunchtime soup extra filling and satisfying.
  • Swap Tofu Around – Another problem you can find is that the pieces of tofu don’t cook evenly. The pieces at the outer edges of the bowl can cook faster. When you are at the halfway point of cooking you can swap these around so that the outer strips are moved to the middle.

Why You Should Microwave Tofu

As you can imagine, there are some clear benefits to using the microwave to cook tofu. Here are two reasons why you might want to do so.

Texturally Great

The first advantage of microwaved tofu is the texture. When you cook tofu in the microwave it becomes very firm – a little like pieces of chicken in texture. This is satisfying to eat and can help you to feel full.

Super Speedy

The main advantage of cooking tofu in the microwave is how quick it cooks. The tofu is delicious and ready to eat within five minutes.

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Tofu

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news when microwaving tofu. There are a few drawbacks to be aware of:

Easy to Cook

It is easy to overcook tofu in the microwave and it can become very hard and too chewy to eat on its own. This might be a disaster for your mealtime plans but the tofu can be saved by popping it into a delicious broth. Try adding it to miso soup for a tasty snack.

Flavour Won’t Infuse Well

If you want to infuse a lot of flavour into the tofu then you may want to cook it using a slower method. Whilst you can add flavour because you are cooking the tofu so quickly it won’t infuse with as much flavour.

No Char

Although the internal texture of tofu is spot-on when microwaved, it tends to work best in dishes. If you prefer to eat your tofu on its own with a bit of char or crunch then you won’t get this from the microwave.

Microwaving Tofu FAQs

If you still have queries about microwaving tofu then these FAQs might answer those:

Can You Defrost Tofu in the Microwave?

Yes, tofu can be defrosted in the microwave. Pop it into the microwave on a defrost setting for thirty to sixty seconds. Check the tofu and then repeat this process if necessary until it has fully thawed out.

Can You Reheat Tofu in the Microwave?

Yes, tofu can be reheated using the microwave but you will find that the texture changes quite drastically. If you do want to reheat tofu, simply pop the tofu into a bowl. Sprinkle a little water onto it and microwave for between thirty and sixty seconds.

Can You Microwave Mapo Tofu?

Yes, you can cook mapo tofu using the microwave. This recipe is particularly simple yet delicious if you want to make map tofu.Mapo Tofu Microwave

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