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How do I Bake Tofu?

By O. Parker
Updated May 17, 2024
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Baked tofu is a healthy, low-fat and high protein addition to numerous dishes and meals. Tofu is an ancient food made from soy beans. In China, where tofu was first developed over 2,000 years ago, it is used in numerous recipes and culinary traditions. Baked tofu is ideal for serving alone with a little soy sauce, marinated or added to soups and stir-fries.

Firm and medium tofu is best when preparing and making baked tofu. Soft and silken tofu is less suitable, as it tends to fall apart. Tofu is a perishable food that does have an expiration date, so it is a good idea to check the package for an expiration date before purchasing.

Before you bake tofu, it is important to remove as much of the water as possible. Tofu is packed and shipped in water to keep it fresh until it is cooked. The tofu block should be removed from the package and set wrapped in two to three layers of paper towels. Set the wrapped tofu block on a cutting board and place a plate or a second small cutting board on top of it. It should be left to drain for about 30 minutes.

Next, unwrap the tofu from the paper towels and set it on a cutting board. When preparing to bake tofu, you can cut it into 1-inch (about 2.5 cm) cubes, or slice it into 1/4- or 1/2-inch (.63- or 1.2-cm) wide slices. Smaller cubes or slices are suitable but will take less time to bake before drying out.

If a marinade is desired, you can place the tofu in marinade let it sit for about 10 minutes before baking. Almost any marinade will do, as tofu tends to absorb any flavor. To bake tofu without marinade, lay the tofu out on a place and brush both sides with cooking oil or spray them with cooking spray. For a delicate, slightly salty flavor, you can brush the tofu with soy sauce before brushing it with oil.

For properly baked tofu, you should preheat the oven to 375°F or 400°F (about 190°C to 204°C). It generally is best to bake tofu in a non-stick flat baking pan with a thin layer of cooking oil spread over the bottom. Lay the tofu out on the baking pan, leaving at least a 1/4 inch (about 2.5 cm) between each piece.

Slide the pan into the oven and leave it to bake for about 20 minutes. It should be checked every 10 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy. Once crispy, flip the tofu and return it to the oven until the second side is crispy. When you bake tofu, it is important to check it regularly to avoid burning or drying out this delicate food.

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