Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recipe: Baked Tofu

baked tofu recipe
Whenever I'm near the tofu section in the grocery store I glance over to see if any of the tofu blocks have been marked down. If I'm in luck there will be one or two that are a few days from expiring with "$1 off" or "30% off" stickers on them. Sometimes I'll cook them within the following days, but more often than not they end up in my freezer.

When I thaw frozen tofu I find that some of its water content leaches out, leaving the tofu a bit drier and the texture more fibrous. Often I'll squeeze more water out to help dry the tofu for frying or baking (it's harder to do this with fresh tofu, but so easy when it's frozen -- just like squeezing water out of a sponge). Don't worry about ending up with overly dry tofu; you'll find that even after squeezing the tofu remains plenty moist.

My favourite ways to prepare previously frozen tofu are to make miso soup or baked tofu. The latter is a recipe I learned from my mom, which yields deliciousness out of proportion to involved work (my kind of recipe!). It keeps well too, in the fridge -- right now I'm snacking on a batch from the weekend. Here's how I made it:

  • 1150 g (1.5 blocks) of any type of tofu (previously frozen; thawed; water squeezed out; cubed)
  • 1/3 cup Korean BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
In a large bowl, I mixed the tofu cubes (okay, rectangular prisms) in the Korean BBQ sauce and sriracha mixture and placed them in the fridge to marinate for two hours (overnight might be better if you're sufficiently organized...I'm generally not!).
baked tofu recipe
I switched the oven on to 400 degrees F, and while it was preheating I laid out the marinated tofu cubes (not touching one another!) on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

I baked the tofu for 30 minutes, flipping each piece halfway through.
baked tofu recipe
time to flip
After 30 minutes I turned the oven off, but left the tofu inside to further desiccate (may as well!) until it was time to eat.
baked tofu recipe
This baked tofu is so flavourful, as the tofu is so absorbent (especially when most of its water has been pre-squeezed out of it) that it soaks up the marinade. Baking dries out the outside, while leaving the inside soft.
baked tofu recipe
I've been snacking on these tofu cubes straight out of the fridge -- they're high in protein and pretty satisfying. Unfortunately I've run out of Korean BBQ sauce (it was something I had bought at a specialty store to try out), but Google informs me that I can make my own...or I'll do some experimenting with other sauces (let me know if you have any suggestions!).

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