Baked Tofu Variations

Serves 6

2 cakes tofu (12 ounces each), pressed. To press the tofu, place the cakes of tofu between two flat plates or baking sheets. Weight the top with a bowl of water, a stack of plates, a heavy can or whatever is handy. The sides of the cakes of tofu should bulge out a little but not split. Let stand for at least 30 minutes, remove the press, and pour off the water.

Simple

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

2 ½ tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 ½ tablespoons water

Savory

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine, sake, or dry sherry

1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

2 tablespoons finely minced onion

1 teaspoon grated or minced peeled fresh ginger root

3 tablespoons water

¼ to ½ teaspoon hot chili paste (optional)

Tasty

1 large or 2 small scallions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons miso

½ tahini

3 tablespoons water

For Simple or Savory tofu, preheat the oven to 375°. Combine the marinade ingredients in a ceramic, glass, enameled, or stainless steel 9 inch baking dish. Cut the tofu into cubes or triangles. For cubes, cut each cake like a Rubik’s Cube: into three slices horizontally and then three slices from front to back and three slices from side to side. For triangles, cut each cake into three slices horizontally, stack the slices, and cut down through them from corner to corner on each diagonal. Place the pieces of tofu into the baking dish with the marinade.

Bake, turning the tofu two or three times during the baking. A rubber spatula is handy for turning tofu without breaking it. Tofu in the Simple marinade should bake for about 35

minutes or until browned and most of the marinade is absorbed or evaporated. Tofu in the Savory marinade may take a little longer, about 45 minutes, for the same results.

For Tasty tofu, reheat the oven to 375°. Combine the scallions, miso, tahini, and water. Cut the cake of tofu horizontally into ¼ inch slices. Spread the top of each slice of tofu with the miso-tahini mixture. Oil a 10 x 12 inch baking dish. Place the tofu in the baking dish in stacks of two slices, miso-tahini up.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the topping is browned and crusty. Cut diagonally into triangles and serve as appetizers or as a side dish.

Judy Caplan is a registered dietitian with a private practice in preventative health in Reston, VA. Her children’s book, Gobey Gets Full – Good Nutrition in a Nutshell, is now available. Visit www.gobefull.com for more information about Judy and her company.

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