Baked tofu that comes in packages is wonderful and not all that expensive, but homemade baked tofu is even better. If you've ever wanted to know how to make baked tofu, the trick to this chewier, more savory transformation of bland, white tofu, is to make sure it’s very well blotted and to let it marinate for plenty of time.
Serves: 2 to 4
- One 14- to 16-ounce tub tofu, drained
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
- ¼ cup white wine, cooking sherry, vegetable broth, or water
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 to 2 cloves crushed or minced garlic, optional
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
- Fresh or dried thyme (regular or lemon thyme),
or oregano leaves to taste, optional
For the tofu, cut it into 8 slabs crosswise and blot very well between clean kitchen towels or paper towels. If you want your baked tofu to be extra firm, you can place a cutting board over them with some sort of weight for 20 to 30 minutes or so. Better yet, use a tofu-pressing device like the Tofu XPress (see review of this product here on VegKitchen, and see how to use it for this recipe, below).
Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small container and whisk together. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer in a shallow container and pour enough marinade over them to cover. Let stand for an hour or two—the longer, the better.
Shortly before you’d like to bake the tofu, preheat the oven to 400º F. If this is the only thing you’re making, use a toaster oven—it’s the perfect size. Otherwise, roast some veggies at the same time (I used the excess marinade to roast eggplant in this photo). Remove the tofu slices from the marinade and transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan in a single layer.
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn over and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the tofu is firm and starting to turn light brown along the edges.
Though entirely optional, for this recipe, I particularly like to use my nifty Tofu XPress to make the tofu super firm. Simply press the tofu for anywhere from an hour or so to overnight; drain the water, return the tofu to the same container, and pour the marinade over it. See photos of this process in my review of the Tofu XPress.
Add 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (or to taste) to the marinade for a subtle smoked tofu flavor.
Instead of baking, cook these on the grill. About 5 minutes per side should do, or until there are nice grill marks on each side.
Serving suggestions: These baked tofu slices are so tasty, you can just serve them as they are to provide more protein to the dinner plate; or you can use them to make sandwiches on toast or rolls, with vegan mayonnaise, mustard, and sprouts or dark green lettuce.
- Here are more easy tofu recipes.