Tasty (and Easy) Baked Tofu?
- MplsM ary Apr 3, 2014 03:55 PM
Hi Vegetarian & Vegan board.
I have tried. Truly I have tried again and again to make a baked tofu half as tasty as the TJ's Organic Baked Tofu and/or Wildwood Savory Baked SprouTofu. The tofu usually sticks to the pan. And the inner tofu is just plain old tofu-y.
I have all but given up. Today I made a kickass faux tuna salad using TJs savory baked tofu. And again, I though - why can't *I* make my own baked tofu? I feel inadequate.
I know this is asking a lot, but for those of you who successfully make tasty baked tofu, could you provide idiot-proof step by step instructions with an ingredient list?
personally I cube, pat dry, toss in seasoned cornstarch (garlic, paprika, sage, whatever sounds good that day) and saute in a bit of oil until golden. there must be a similar way to bake, just would take longer.
I am new to baked tofu but have made a few tasty versions - favorite marinades so far are a balsamic vinaigrette and a ginger soy miso marinade. I baked it in 1 inch cubes at 400F for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally.
I am not familiar with the products you list.
When I bake tofu, I marinate in rice vinegar/lime juice/tamari with garlic/cummin.
Marinate for 30 min or so, then turn/flip in pan.
The baked tofu should have a firm, meaty texture.
If it's the texture vexing you, start with FIRM tofu. Freeze it. Then defrost, squeeeeeeze the moisture out, and proceed.
I love TJs baked tofu as well! Tonight I made my own, though, starting with TJs extra firm tofu and pressing it for a good long while, then sauteed it in a little bit of oil with onions and tamari. I added some veggies and veg broth and covered to steam until the veggies were done. It was delish, and reminded me of TJ's savory baked tofu although the texture was a little bit different not having been baked.
I imagine that tamari-marinated tou, then baked, would also turn out well!
Start with the "high protein tofu" from trader joes, its vacuum packed- not in water tub- and super firm. Slice about 1/2" thick.
Marinade in whatever mix you want for a min of 30min and up to overnight.
Spray or grease a baking sheet and lay tofu on it, bake at 375 for 20-30min, then flip, and bake another 15-20min. Then flip to broil and watch closely! Just 2min or so to get the tops more brown and chewy.
The combo of starting the already super dense tofu and baking should be what you want. Wildwoods and tj's baked fu has added fats so be sure to use some oil in the marinade for a similar mouthfeel.
And practice! You will find your groove. TJ's "soy vay" is one of my favorite quick marinades but don't let it go more than an hour or it can taste too intense.
I've found the best way to really get the flavor into the tofu like they do in the packaged kind is to poach it in a flavored broth first, then add more seasonings and bake it.
For an Asian baked tofu, for example, I'd poach thick slices or half-blocks of tofu in tamari, mirin, lemon juice (or rice wine vinegar) and water for five or ten minutes. Let it cool in the liquid, then drain on paper towels for a few hours or overnight in the fridge. Coat with a mixture of toasted sesame oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and maybe some chile paste and bake or broil on a well-oiled cookie sheet.
It helps to always have something a little acidic like lemon, vinegar, wine or tomato in the poaching liquid.
I made theKitchn.com's baked tofu last week and really liked it. The marinated cubes were so good I ended up eating half of them before I had the chance to bake them. ;)
Tofu is such a blank slate. To me, marinating it before baking is the key. It's a very easy process.
Press the water out of extra firm tofu. Cut it into cubes, strips or whatever configuration you want. Marinate it in 1TBS toasted sesame oil, 1TBS soy sauce, 1TBS rice vinegar and 1 TBS water for at least 30 minutes. I leave mine in as long as possible. Several hours is good.
Bake at 350 on a parchment lined cookie sheet 20 to 45 minutes depending on size and shape of the pieces. Toss the tofu every 10 minutes or so, so it bakes evenly. It's done when it looks golden and slightly puffed.
I like to marinate tofu under pressure using the foodsaver. It helps the marinade penetrate deeply and in just 15-20 minutes.
Also, I like to toss fresh tofu cubes (not marinated) in a Creole seasoning/nutritional yeast/cornmeal mixture before baking at 400F with convection. Creates a nice crispy crust. I love tofu. I could eat it every day. I never get tired of it. I'm sad that there is no Trader Joe's in my area, as I would love to try the TJ Baked Tofu that is so popular.
I also recommend that you press the tofu for at least 20-30 minutes before proceeding with your recipe. Pressing the extra water out of the tofu is a game-changer in my opinion. I use an inexpensive Japanese pickle press like this: http://www.amazon.com/Tsukemono-Japan...
Note - I bought mine at a Daiso store in California many years ago and it was just a few dollars. I cannot imagine paying $53 to order it from Amazon!