Crisp Baked Tofu…

I admittedly never used to be the biggest fan of tofu.  And I’ve come to appreciate how awesome it can be when prepared well, plus the multitude of ways that you can prepare it!  We love it nice and soft in soups (hello, miso soup, hot and sour soup and sundubu jjigae).  We love chopping and mixing it into sofritas and healthy meatballs and veggie burgers.  We love popping it on the grill and searing it up in a skillet.  But most of the time?

Lisa and I love making this ultra-simple baked crispy tofu recipe in the oven.

So whether you’ve been on Team Tofu for years, or you’re a newbie ready to give it a try, here are all of my best tips and tricks for how to make the best crispy baked tofu recipe you’ve ever tried!

Last week we roasted a pan full of vegetables and made a batch of this tofu and were set for dinners for a couple of days. Brown rice tossed with the leftover marinade rounded things out. It looked like this:

Crisp Baked Tofu:

  • 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped/minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha or Asian chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch (original recipe calls for 1, but it never seems like enough to me)

Drain the tofu, wrap it in a double-thickness of paper towel, then place it on a plate. Put another plate on top of the tofu and place a heavy can of beans or tomatoes on top of it to weigh it down. Let stand 30 minutes.

Unwrap the tofu, wipe it dry, and cut it into 1-inch (3cm) cubes.

In a large, zip-top freezer bag, mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, water, Sriracha, and salt, if using. (See Note at end of recipe.) Add the tofu and toss the cubes in the marinade. Lay the bag on a plate and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to 8 hours, turning the bag a few times while marinating.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the tofu (the marinade can be reserved, refrigerated, and used for a dipping sauce), then put the tofu cubes in a large bowl. Using a mesh sieve or strainer, sift the corn starch over the tofu pieces, working in batches as you sprinkle them with the corn starch.

Transfer the tofu cubes to the prepared baking sheet and bake, turning the cubes several times during baking, until they are crisp and browned, about 45 minutes.

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