A respected chef shared this handy trick with me while we were cooking for an event last year. I was running the sauté station, which had stainless-steel cookware, and the tofu kept sticking to the skillet even though I had added oil to the pan.
Chef came over, took a clean pan, added a small pinch of salt, and heated the pan on the stovetop for a few minutes. He then added just a little oil. Amazingly, the tofu I added to the pan didn’t stick even when I was on the third and fourth batch.
If only I had known this trick when visiting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time. They were skeptical of the tofu that we were going to make them for breakfast but willing to give it a try. I realized the sad fate of the tofu the moment I saw their stainless-steel pans. Until then, I had only cooked with nonstick, and I had no clue what I was doing with stainless steel. The result was this half-burnt, half-raw crumbled mess that stuck to the pan and resembled what most people end up with the first time they cook tofu, but I’ve been doing this for more than 11 years! It was a sad, sad site, but thanks to chef’s essential tip, I’ve had a problem-free relationship with stainless steel ever since.