Basic Baked Tofu
Basic baked tofu is something that I make all the time as part of my weekly meal prep – my kids love it too, so sometimes I double the recipe and we usually have no issue using it up before the end of the week. I add it to sandwiches, Buddha bowls, salads, stir fries, curries, tacos, or just eaten simply alongside some roasted potatoes and sautéed greens. Baked tofu is relatively hands off and very versatile. If you think you don’t like tofu, try this recipe! It’s savory, chewy on the outside and tender on the inside. Of course, there are a million ways to make tofu (pan frying might be my favorite), but this recipe is, in my opinion, the least effort for the greatest payoff. You can also switch around the seasonings – use balsamic vinegar instead of rice and add dried oregano or Italian seasoning instead of ground turmeric; or use fresh lime juice in place of vinegar, and add some dried chili powder and/or smoked paprika for a Mexican take. You get the idea!
Be sure to buy organic tofu, and I prefer extra-firm varieties. I always freeze my tofu before using it (I literally take the entire container (unopened) and stick in the freezer when I get home from the supermarket. I defrost it the next day, and once it’s ready to use, it’s infinitely easier to squeeze out excess water and it also takes on a really delicious chewy consistency that you can’t achieve otherwise.
If you don’t have time to freeze/defrost your tofu, you can certainly use fresh. Just make sure to press out excess liquid first. Simply remove the tofu from the container and drain out the water. Wrap the block of tofu in a clean dish towel and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place a cutting board on top, and then put something heavy on top of that (such as a few hardcover books or a large pot). Let sit for about 15 minutes, or until a good amount of liquid has been released. Unwrap the tofu and it’s ready to use!
Basic Baked Tofu
- 1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2″ thick slabs
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (such as Silpat) or parchment paper.
- Arrange tofu slices in a shallow square baking dish. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, garlic powder and turmeric. Pour the marinade over the tofu, making sure that each piece is evenly coated. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.
- Arrange the marinated tofu slices on the prepared baking sheet. Evenly pour any excess marinade over the top of the tofu slices. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway, or until slightly golden around the edges.