Food / The Basics

Baked Tofu

baked tofuI love tofu and like to eat it pretty much any way it is served.  (I have yet to brave the daunting Chinese dish “stinky tofu” though!)  While you can bake tofu as a method of cooking, “baked tofu” typically refers to pressed tofu that is then baked.   Pressing Extra Firm Tofu removes the excess water in the normally damp curd to create the driest and most dense variety you can get.  Here’s how to do it:

You will need to buy a package of Extra Firm Tofu.  Nowadays most regular grocery stores, as well as specialty health food stores, carry it.  Try looking in either the produce section or natural foods aisle in a refrigerated case.

Open the package, drain the liquid, rinse under cold water and gently squeeze to drain a little more.  Next you will need a deep bowl, colander, and something heavy.  I am using a river rock so I also used a dish as a barrier between the rock and my food.  Place the tofu in the colander and set on the bowl.  The bottom of the colander must rest a couple inches above the bottom of the bowl so the water drains off properly.

IMG_5374Next, place your heavy item on top of the tofu.  (Again, I used a dish to set the rock in so the rock was not touching the food.)

IMG_5376Place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait awhile.  I let this one drain for a couple hours, but you could probably get favorable results within 30 minutes.

Remove the tofu and slice. Note how little water is on my cutting board and knife.

IMG_5388Coat your pan (I used a glass casserole dish) with cooking spray or a little olive oil.  Then add the tofu, single layer,  to the dish. You can season before or after baking, but I prefer the rich, developed flavor you get when you season beforehand.  My favorite tofu seasoning is simply Braggs Liquid Aminos and garlic powder.  Flip the tofu in the seasoning once or twice to assure even coating and you are ready to bake.

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Cook at 375° for 35 (+/-) minutes, flipping once.  The longer you cook, the crispier the outer layer will be.  Serve as large pieces or cut into cubes and added to your favorite dish.  Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “Baked Tofu

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  3. Thanks for the pressing tip, Rachel! Using some left over tofu tonight (which I bought to add to some miso soup) and going to try some pan fried “crispy” tofu tonight. Instead of a big river rock I used two bottles of water as a weight. I hope it turns out!

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