Even in 2018, tofu is still a maligned ingredient outside of the plant-based world. I have had my fair share of mushy, raw dishes to understand this unfortunate reputation. Tofu is a very inexpensive form of protein for all diets and it wonderfully adaptable. It will take on whatever flavor you wish; what’s key to successful preparation is texture. Of course, fried is a go-to for many restaurants; let’s face it, what doesn’t taste good fried?
I have had success baking tofu in the past, but this process typically takes quite a bit longer. What’s the method of choice here? Broiling!
Broiling is a fast way to get that crunchy exterior and satisfying bite. My boyfriend and I have taken to calling this “burn-y” tofu…it is rather appropriate name! Personally I like when there are a few charred edges. It’s important to watch this baking process carefully to insure your end result is not ashen.
The marinade used here is a combination of soy and hot sauce, but feel free to get creative. I can see barbecue flavors pairing well, or even peanut/lime.
Once you have them on hand, these tofu cubes can be thrown into curries, tossed onto salads, or even eaten by themselves. Dipped in hummus is a game changer. 🏆
Pressing tofu can be annoying, but I guarantee it helps with the crisping process. Extra-firm is the best way to go. Did you know that the firmness of tofu directly correlates to its protein level?
I say “foolproof” in the title because it really is hard to mess up. Let’s do this!
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- Optional seasonings of choice: ground ginger, crushed red pepper, lime juice, etc.
- Begin by pressing out your tofu for at least 15 minutes (longer if you have more time). I normally place the block in a cast iron skillet with a large pot on top to weigh it down. The edges of the skillet help to collect the liquid.
- While tofu is pressing, add soy and hot sauce to a wide brimmed, sealable container.
- Once tofu is done, slice into evenly sized cubes (see photo above).
- Add tofu to your sauce container and seal. Shake around a little so all pieces are coated with liquid. Let sit in fridge to marinate for about 30 minutes (the longer it sits, the more flavor it will absorb.
- Set your oven broiler to high. Dump tofu and sauce onto a large and slightly oiled baking sheet.
- Broil for 15-30 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking. Cooking speed will depend on the strength of your broiler, but mine is normally done in 20 minutes. If you don’t like slightly burned edges, err on the side of less time.
- Remove from oven and let cool fully on baking sheet. The cubes should have puffed up a little. Store in the fridge for a week. These would be a wonderful complement to my Coconut Ginger Golden Lentil Bowl or General Tso’s Sticky Cauliflower !