Flavorful Baked Tofu
Soy has been viewed with controversy in the US for years. The truth is, scientific evidence has shown soy to be beneficial and protective as a plant protein source for decades. Asian countries that consume soy as a normal part of their diet, have less incidence of hormonal cancers (such as breast and prostate) than countries that don’t. However, there is a caveat. Organic soy as a food, is metabolized differently than soy that is processed into protein powders or supplements. Additionally, soy that is not organic may actually increase the risk of hormonal cancers. When I suggest for my patients to try organic tofu, as a form of plant protein, many say they don’t know how to cook it so it tastes good. There are some simple ways to prepare tofu to fix that problem! Here, I offer you a basic recipe for how to make tofu that you can eat as a snack by itself, or add to stir-fries, soups or, salad topper. Again, make sure your tofu is organic. I prefer to use tofu that is “extra firm”. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
- 1 package extra firm organic tofu packed in water
- 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter optional
- 1/4 cup tablespoons liquid aminos or organic soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- a pinch of cayenne pepper or more to taste optional
- 2 cloves crushed/chopped garlic let this sit for 10 min after crushing before adding it
- 1 tsp grated ginger root
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
Remove the tofu from the package and wrap it in a cotton kitchen towel. Place a heavy pan upon it (a cast iron frying pan works well). Let it sit for 1 hour or more till the water runs out and the tofu is firm.
While tofu is pressing, chop and rest your garlic, add the garlic and remaining ingredients to a bowl big enough to eventually mix the tofu in to. Stir with a whisk or fork to make a smooth slurry.
Once the pressing is complete, cut the tofu into cubes and add it to the slurry. Mix it carefully with your hands so the marinade is incorporated into the tofu. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
If you don’t have time for the marinating step, you can skip it, but it tastes more flavorful, the longer it marinates. (if you prepare this the night before you plan to cook it, it will be easier to organize your prep time).
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take a cookie sheet and line with place parchment paper, or, a silicone baking mat, and carefully place the tofu on it leaving a half-inch distance between the cubes. Brush any remaining marinade onto the tofu.
Let it bake for 20 to 30 min or until the tofu has hardened and the marinade is dry.
Carefully transfer using a spatula and add to stir-fries or use as a snack.
If not using immediately, refrigerate and eat within 3 days.
*all ingredients should be organic