If you haven’t read it yet, Part 0 of the series on how to make tofu that doesn’t suck covers some important lessons in preventing sucky tofu. Espeically the part on pressing.
If you have read Part 0, fantastic! Let’s move on to the next step: baking it. In Part 2, we will cover frying it, which is the easy way out. Part 3 will dicuss stir frying your tofu, Part 4 will look at a few sauces for your tofu and Part 5 will be my favorite recipe for ma po tofu using extra firm tofu instead of silken. But for now…baking your tofu for fun and pleasure.
This idea came to me while eating at Whole Foods with my wife. She had filled up a to go container from the salad bar and added some “tofu croutons” to her salad. These croutons were about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide, and half an inch tall and had obviously been baked for quite a while.
At this point in my veg*n cooking, I was pretty ho hum about tofu. I knew I needed to eat more of it, but every time I had tried to make it, it sucked. Thus, it was hunger alone that persuaded me to try one of the croutons. Honestly, I was expecting mush. Instead, I got somthing that was firm on the outside, moist and chewy on the inside, and had a mouth feel that in no way resembled soft tofu. Score!
So, in order to make tofu that doesn’t suck
- Either before after the tofu has been pressed cut the tofu into 1 1/2 in by 1/2 in by 1/2 strips. While the amount of water pressed out of the tofu is probably different if you cut first, I honestly can’t tell the difference.
- Cook the tofu low and slow. In my oven, this means baking it at 250 degrees for an hour. This produces a firm, crisp exterior and a succulently juicy interior.
I know it takes a long time and if you are in a rush, tune in tomorrow for how to deep fry the tofu which is much faster, it is just not as healthy.