May 13, 2009

Baked Tofu Bites

Baked tofu is one of my favorite things... but then again, I have a lot of favorite things. In college, I used to make sandwiches with slices of the thick baked tofu, onions, tomatoes and lettuce. The cool, savory density of the tofu was the best part. I could eat those sandwiches everyday. I could also eat baked tofu on its own---except, before I knew it, I was not living off of my student loans anymore and I had to reassess how much I was willing to pay for the things I wanted.

I suddenly realized that baked tofu is quite expensive--nearly $5 for two little pieces! The cheapest I've found it so far is at Trader Joe's for about $3.50. It occurred to me one day that this high cost was in fact rather odd, since plain old tofu is really cheap. I can buy a whole pound of it for just over a dollar. So, I thought, why don't I try to bake my own tofu and save a ton of money?

There are a number of recipes out there, but they all consist of marinating the tofu in your choice of flavorings and then baking tofu pieces in the oven. Easy! I made this version recently---a slight variation of an recipe.

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or substitute some soy sauce for teriyaki)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1/2 teaspoon crushed raw garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • hot sauce to taste
  1. Slice your tofu into 1/2 inch sections. With a towel, slightly press on the tofu until it releases any moisture. (You can leave a heavy plate on top of it for awhile, but I just use my hands.) Cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients into a bowl (or directly into the container you will use to marinate the tofu). Add the tofu cubes and stir to coat.
  3. Let marinate for at least 5 minutes, or up to over night.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with a non-stick spray (or next time I will try covering a baking sheet in foil--I'm still scrubbing the last pan) and arrange tofu in a single layer.
  5. Bake tofu for 10 minutes and then toss the cubes, allowing a new surface of each one to touch the pan. Repeat every 10 minutes until tofu is golden and slightly cripsy on some sides---30 to 40 minutes.
*I think these taste the best cold. Be careful--once you are eating, it's hard to stop!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment!