Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Easy Baked Tofu Recipe with Soy and Sesame

Easy Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame found on KalynsKitchen.com
Baked Tofu that's both easy and delicious!

I had such good success when I tried a recipe for stir-fried tofu, I vowed I would cook it again soon, so this is my second tofu adventure. The recipe is adapted from a basic recipe for baking tofu in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and once again I was thrilled with how this turned out. If you're a tofu novice (like me!) this has to be the easiest possible way to cook it, and with only three main ingredients, this is definitely an Easy South Beach Recipe, headed for the section in the recipe archives where I file recipes with five ingredients or less.

Baked tofu will keep in the fridge for several days, and it's a great addition to salads, stir-fries, or sauteed vegetables. Mark Bittman also recommends serving the baked tofu with some type of sauce, which would certainly be tasty. However, I brushed the tofu with the soy-sesame mixture several times while it cooked, and I thought this was delicious just as is. (I couldn't resist sprinkling on a few black sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions for the photos, but they're definitely not essential.) I confess, I've been eating it as a snack, and it will probably disappear before I have a chance to try using it in a stir-fry or with veggies.


Start with a package of extra firm tofu, cut it in half crosswise to make two tofu "steaks" and blot dry with paper towels on both sides. (Next time I would cut one more time to make 4 servings, since the glazed edges are so tasty.)

Mix together soy sauce and sesame oil, then brush the tofu liberally with this mixture. Be sure to brush both sides, and let it absorb into the tofu a little before you put it on the baking sheet.

I baked the tofu in my toaster oven to keep the house cool. Brush it with the soy-sesame mixture about every 15 minutes, until all the mixture is used.

It's done when the tofu is firm and nicely glazed and browned. For me that was just slightly over an hour, but cooking time will depend partly on how well you have drained the tofu.


Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.)

1 block (14 oz.) extra firm tofu
3 T Tamari (or use low-sodium soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
olive oil, for spraying baking sheet
optional: sliced green onions and /or black sesame seeds for garnish

Cut tofu in half crosswise. (I would also cut each piece in half again to make four pieces, not shown in these photos.) Blot each piece on both sides with papers towels, pressing down to remove as much liquid as you can. (You don't have to do this as carefully as when cooking tofu with a quicker method, but the wetter the tofu the longer you'll have to bake it.)

Turn oven on and set to 350 F. Whisk together the sesame oil and Tamari in a small bowl, then use pastry brush to brush both sides of the tofu pieces generously with the mixture. Let tofu marinate in the soy-sesame mixture for 5-10 minutes while the oven heats.

Spray a non-stick baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place tofu slices on sheet. Bake about one hour, not turning, but brushing with the soy-sesame mixture several times, until the glaze is all gone. It's done when the tofu feels firm to the touch, and looks glazed and nicely browned. I cooked my tofu about 70 minutes, using a toaster oven.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Earlier books about the South Beach Diet didn't mention tofu, but the newest book, The South Beach Diet Supercharged, does include tofu on the list of approved foods, recommending 1/2 cup serving size. Tofu is a great choice for any type of Low-Glycemic eating plan. For phase one, this would be fabulous served with Roasted Asparagus with Creamy Tahini-Peanut Dipping Sauce, and you could drizzle a bit of the sauce over the tofu if you wanted. For phase two or three, add something like Brown and Wild Rice Salad with Snow Peas and Peppers. I also think this tofu would be a great addition to Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce.


More Delicious Ideas for Cooking Tofu:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Grilled Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce (a guest post from Rand!)
Stir-Fried Tofu with Scallions, Garlic, Ginger, and Soy Sauce
Tackling Tofu - a post I wrote for BlogHer featuring ten delicious tofu recipes
Curried Tofu with Soy Sauce from Mark Bittman (my tofu hero!)
Carmelized Tofu from 101 Cookbooks
Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy from Steamy Kitchen
Crispy Tangy Tofu original version of the previous recipe from The Breakaway Cook)
Tofu Jerky from 28 Cooks
Sesame Baked Tofu from Pro Bono Baker (added)
Baked Tofu with Trio of Dipping Sauces from One Hot Stove (added)
Baked Tofu with Roasted Vegetables from A Food Coma (added)

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46 comments:

  1. So glad you're enjoying tofu!Baked tofu is one of my favorite ways to have it--this looks simple and delicious. The slabs of baked tofu can also be used as a simple sandwich filler--great with lettuce, sprouts, avocado and whatever else strikes your fancy!

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  2. Ricki, great idea! I might even cut four thin slices to use for sandwiches.

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  3. Kalyn,
    I had planned on making Bittman's tofu tonight myself. I love this easy way of preparing it. One thing he suggests that I always do now, is to freeze the tofu after you buy it. I do this right in the original packaging. Then thaw it out and prepare it just as you did. It gives the tofu a "meatier" texture and the crust that develops on top is just great! I use this in stir fry recipes, and eat it alone as a snack as well.
    Brady

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  4. Ooooh, that looks good. What is the baked texture like? I love tofu, but have never baked it myself. I like Ricki's idea to use this as a sandwich filling, too. I wonder how it would handle a splash of chili oil. Now I want tofu!

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  5. Brady, I'll have to try freezing it next. I did think this made a great snack!

    Paula, the texture is a bit chewier when it's baked, very pleasant.

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  6. looks almost like glazed salmon.

    i recently made my first foray into the world of tofu, and was underwhelmed. this looks like the kind of thing i probably should have made instead!

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  7. Wow! It looks delicious! I have had tofu all my life and yet have not come across this recipe. I'll certainly give it a try tonight.

    Jya-Syin

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  8. Looks delicious! Do you prefer the stir-fried tofu or baked? I've never had a baked one before.

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  9. It's so great to see you learning to love tofu! Baked tofu is also good in tacos.

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  10. Michelle, I do highly recommend this recipe, both for ease and flavor both.

    jya-syin, do hope you like it!

    Sharon, I really liked both. I think I prefer the texture of the baked tofu, but I would definitely make the other one again too.

    Lydia, love the idea of tacos!

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  11. I always see tofu being steamed, stir fried and deep fried, but seldom baked. Yours look healthy and delicious!

    Sometimes, I use the non-white type of tofu called "tau kwa/tou gan" (it has a thin outer layer of brown "skin"), quite fuss free.

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  12. Kalyn I always forget about baking as a method for cooking tofu. But it does make so much sense - low fat, easy and gives a lovely texture and flavour. Neat recipe, this would go down well in my house.

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  13. i love tofu! i havent tried baking it...will give it a try soon ^_^

    maybe i cud make tofu satay or something eh? hoho

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  14. I love How to Cook Everything Vegetarian too. MB's books are good shelf staples. Going to check out the sesame noodles now, I love pasta.

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  15. I love tofu but I have actually never baked it. I can't wait to try this recipe. I do love grilled tofu. you should try it!

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  16. Hi Kalyn,

    I love baked tofu. It is so light and flavorful. Nupur's summer rolls sound like a perfect way to use it. I am going to try them soon.

    Gemma

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  17. Thank you for sharing this tofu recipe recipe with me. Boy it looks really good.

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  18. Kalyn, this is a great idea - for a quicker version, I might grease a griddle lightly and toast them on it - have you tried it that way? Do you think it would work?

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  19. Brilliant kalyn, just brilliant! Noew I just have to find some sesam oil!

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  20. Thank you for posting this! I saw a recipe recently that called for baked tofu, and I was trying to figure out if I needed to go buy it all ready baked. This is perfect!

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  21. Glad people like this idea of baking tofu. I ate some of the leftovers yesterday tossed on a salad and it was delicious.

    Noobcook, will look for that kind.

    Kathryn, so easy and tasty. (My favorite kind of recipe.)

    Rita, tofu satay sounds great!

    Matashya, I have most of his books and use them all the time. He's such a prolific writer it amazes me. Of course I know he must have a lot of assistants. There's a job I'd love.

    Maria - Grilled tofu must be my next tofu experience!

    Gemma, that's what I thought too when I saw how she used your version!

    Alan, you're welcome.

    sra, I do think you can saute it in a pan, but I don't think you can get quite the same chewy flavor as the long baking time produces.

    Ilva, I'll send you some sesame oil if you can't find it! Let me know.

    Pam, nothing could be easier than this.

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  22. Wow! Thanks for the tofu recipes! I'm just now getting into tofu and this was a great read! thanks

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  23. mmmmmm looks yummy. I've never attempted to cook tofu...this might be my first recipe.

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  24. Oh this looks GREAT! Photo so beautiful I can nearly taste the tofu. "You Make My Day" - see the award to you at my site when you next stop by...

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  25. Do you know, I've never had tofu? It's one of those foods that suffers from a PR problem - if you're not vegetarian, you don't realyl think abotu eating it! This looks great though and I love the photo garnish too :) Thanks for the inspiration.

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  26. Kalyn, excuse to swearing, but that looks like a bloody good piece of tofu!!!

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  27. I'm not sure how I missed this when it first came out, Kalyn, but I'm definitely going to give it a try, especially now that I've got such great access to very, very affordable tofu right in my neighborhood!

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  28. i tried cuttin the tofu in cubes, marinated it in soy sauce and sesame oil... in a separate bowl, marinated chicken cut into cubes and marinated it the same way... (chicken should be marinated a bit longer) baked the chicken first then added the tofu... made a sauce by mixing a bit of sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, bit of sugar to sweeten, added a bit of water and cornstarch to thicken, simmer in pan to thicken and poured it on top... yum yum!!! top with whatever chopped green stuff you have... mmm... good!!!

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  29. Girl, love how you've adapted the recipe, sounds delicius!

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  30. As much as I love tofu, I've always been too intimidated to cook it myself. This recipe not only sounds delicious but also simple to prepare.

    Reviewed by Kardia Williams

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  31. Just wanted to let you know that I made this today (loved it), and posted it on my blog with a link back to this one. Every recipe of yours that I try I end up in love with. This one is no exception. Thanks for your great recipes!

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  32. Paula, glad to know you liked it, and thanks for the nice feedback about the recipes.

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  33. This was FANTASTIC! I've been baking tofu forever... but never thought sesame oil could make that much difference. Boy, does it though! Thank you for this recipe, thank you for this website!

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  34. Heather, you're welcome, and Thank You for the nice feedback!

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  35. somehow my didn't turn out so well. i found the soy flavor overwhelming, and in the oven it didn't really cook correctly. cooked on the top before it firmed up in the center.

    -charlotte

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  36. Charlotte, no idea why that happened unless it as the kind of tofu you used?

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  37. I use soy sauce and then mix sesame oil with chili oil. Just to give it that extra bite. Also, I put in just a little bit of sugar to bring out some flavor. It's amazing what opposites can do! And then sesame seeds of course. And maybe a couple spices if I'm in the mood. But it always turns out great!

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  38. Fixler, I think your ideas sound great!

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  39. Yum! If you ever have leftovers, I love cutting up baked tofu and mixing it into a vegetarian salade nicoise.

    http://noshesthoughtsreves.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-new-year-and-tofu-nicoise-salad.html

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  40. That sounds good. I recall a salad on the blog where I used the leftovers from this as well.

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  41. I recently made this (and am making it again tonight) and it is by far my favorite baked tofu recipe! I was still craving it even after I ate the entire block! Thank you for this recipe. You rock.

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  42. Kalyn,

    I used this recipe for meatless monday. It rocked! http://mdgalvin.com/baked-tofu-and-vegetables/

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  43. So glad you liked it, and thanks for the mention!

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  44. Kalyn,

    This was really good. Thank you for sharing. In fact, I've linked this to my "10 Delicious Tofu Recipes".

    Marie

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  45. Thanks Marie, so glad you liked it!

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