Tofu is a weird thing. I’ll admit that before going vegan I blatantly dismissed anything tofu as disgusting AF. But it’s a great source of plant-based protein (as long as you don’t have a soy allergy) and it’s actually pretty tasty if cooked right. Below is my favorite way to make tofu + my current fav. marinade. The measurements for the marinade are not approximate. I usually eyeball how much I need based on taste. If you need more or less of each ingredient for the marinade then adjust based on your tastes.
Tbs. = Tablespoon and Tsp. = Teaspoon
- One package (14 ounces) extra firm or firm organic tofu
- 1 tbs. Cornstarch (optional for baking–it makes the tofu crispier)
“Smokey” Marinade Ingredients
- 2 tbs. Teriyaki Sauce
- 1 tbs. Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 4 tbs. Olive Oil or oil of choice
- 1.5 tsp. to 2 tsp. Rice Vinegar
- .5 tsp. to 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- .5 tsp. to 1 tsp. Onion Powder
How To Make
Open the tofu and drain off the water inside the package. Wrap the block of tofu in paper towels and then in a regular towel. Place on a flat surface with a heavy object on top. I use a heavy cookbook. Press the tofu for 15-30 minutes to remove any water inside. This step is very important. Tofu absorbs a lot of liquid and we want our tofu to be dry.
In the meantime, make the marinade by whisking all the ingredients together.
Once your tofu is pressed, unwrap the towels. Using a sharp knife cut your tofu to your liking. I like medium sized squares, but you can dice your tofu small, cut it into thin rectangles, cut into big cubes. It’s really up to you. Just do not crumble the tofu block. Keep in mind that the tofu will shrink while in the oven so don’t make your pieces too small.
Place the tofu in a container (one that has a tight lid like a Tupperware container) and top with the marinade. Coat the tofu in the marinade, seal with the lid, and place in the fridge to marinate anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to overnight. Tofu takes on whatever flavors it is in. We really want the tofu to absorb the marinade.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkle 1 tbs. of cornstarch on top of the tofu, reseal, and gently shake to coat. The cornstarch gives the tofu a nice crispy outside when baked.
Gently lay out your tofu onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I spray a light layer of cooking spray on the paper before). Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu pieces over and bake again for 15 to 25 minutes or until crispy. If you find that your tofu is taking too long to bake, increase the heat 450 degrees Fahrenheit and keep a close eye on it.
Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool. The tofu will firm up while it cools down and you will have pieces that are chewy like cheese but crispy.