As far as I'm concerned, the best way to cook tofu is to bake it! You can get exactly the texture you want without having to fry it or stand over a pan forever. The other bonus to baking it is that you're able to touch the tofu less, so you'll have prettier whole pieces at the end!
Baking tofu is great for weeknight dinners as well! While the tofu is baking, you can throw some seasoned carrots, broccoli, onion, peppers, etc. on another baking sheet (Really, whatever you'd like to go with the tofu!) to bake as well. Then you just have to cook some rice or noodles to go with! And BAM, you've got a super easy dinner in under an hour. :D
I'll probably post an instructable over the tofu rice bowls as well - just too good not to!
Step 1: Ingredients + Tools
- 16 oz block of firm or extra-firm tofu
- parchment paper
- baking sheet
- and oven set to 425 F / 220 C
- whatever you'd like to marinate the tofu with
See step four for more information about marinating the tofu. :D
Step 2: Press the Tofu
Press the tofu for at least 15-20 minutes. An hour is great if you have time!
We're pressing the tofu to get rid of as much water as possible. Without the water in the tofu, we have more room for delicious marinades! :D
Step 3: Cut the Tofu and Preheat the Oven
You can technically cut the tofu into whatever size pieces you like. I personally prefer to cut the tofu into 8 slices, and then cut each of those slices into 3 pieces. This make nice bite size pieces.
Keep two things in mind here:
- Make sure to cut your pieces so they'll all the same size. If you have some that are teeny and some that are huge, they won't cook at the same time.
- The larger you cut the pieces of tofu, the longer they will take to bake.
Preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C.
Step 4: Marinate the Tofu
You can really flavor your tofu however you want! If you'd like to use garlic or herbs in your marinade, I recommend combining all the ingredients and then heating it in the microwave or on the stove top until it boils to get the most flavor.
You also won't want to mince the garlic - just crush a whole clove and put it in the marinade! You'll want to pull the garlic out before putting the tofu in the oven as it will burn badly and taste quite awful.
Here's the marinade I'm using today:
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons grated ginger
If you'd like to make you own marinade, use these amounts as a guide:
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil of choice
- 2-3 tablespoons of other liquid or wet flavorings like vinegar, fruit juice, pre-made sauces, etc
- 1 tablespoon or less of herbs, spices, or aromatics
If you're making your own marinade, make sure to taste it before you pour it over the tofu to make sure it's good! I like to use my hands to mix the tofu in the marinade - trying to use utensils almost always ends up with the tofu crumbling!
I always try to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes, but if you have longer it will taste even better.
Step 5: Baking the Tofu
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place tofu on top so there's space between each piece.
Bake the tofu for 15 minutes in a 425 F / 220 C oven, and then take the baking sheet out and flip the tofu over.
Bake for another 15 minutes then and then check it!
I like my tofu nice and crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside so I tend to go a little longer (ten minutes) than a half hour! If you like softer tofu, a half hour will be pretty perfect for you. :)
This tofu is amazing as a snack. You can serve it plain or with a dipping sauce - I normally just eat it right off the baking sheet. And as I said in the intro, this baked tofu is great to add to rice or noodles or even into stir fries. :D