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Cooking 101: How To Cook With Tofu!

The health benefits of tofu have been well-documented. It’s an excellent source of calcium, protein and iron, as well as being low in fat. Even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian, you may have considered incorporating tofu into your diet as a once-a-week replacement for meat or chicken (Meatless Mondays, anyone?).

And here’s the thing – making really delicious tofu couldn’t be any easier! Its inherent blandness makes tofu the perfect “blank slate” for pretty much any flavor profile you can imagine. And while tofu takes beautifully to steaming, frying and sauteing, my favorite way to prepare it is right in the oven.

Here are my tried and true tips for preparing tofu from start to finish, along with a basic marinade and recipe to get you started!

  • How To Make Delicious Tofu! 1 of 8
    how to cook with tofu

    Oven-baked tofu is easy, no-mess and delicious. Here are my favorite tips to help you get the most flavorful results!

  • Drain the Tofu 2 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    You want to drain the tofu of as much moisture as possible. This will allow your marinade to penetrate, as well as give you a nice browned exterior when baking.

    Place the tofu on a double thickness of paper towels, in a shallow baking dish or pie plate.

  • Press It! 3 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    To get all of the moisture out, you'll need to press the tofu firmly under something weighted. Place another double thickness of paper towels on top of the tofu and top with a small plate. Place a can or canister on the plate to help press out all of the excess liquid. This will take about 30 minutes.

  • Make the Marinade 4 of 8
    oven baked tofu, marinade

    While the tofu is draining, prepare the marinade in a small bowl. Tofu takes well to most flavor profiles, so let your imagination run wild!

  • Slice It! 5 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    Once the tofu is pressed and drained, slice into 3/8" thick slabs. You can also cut it into "sticks" for tofu fries, or cubes to toss into a salad.

  • Marinate the Tofu 6 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    To marinate the tofu slices, place them in a baking dish in a single layer. Cover with the marinade and turn to coat evenly. Let the tofu soak for at least an hour, or as long as overnight.

  • Time to Bake! 7 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    Place your tofu slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If there's any remaining marinade, drizzle it over the slices. 

     

    Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. While the tofu is baking you can prepare your sides. I love to serve it with simple steamed vegetables and rice pilaf.

  • Dinner is Served! 8 of 8
    oven baked tofu

    Easy, right? Now that you know how to prepare tofu, try to incorporate at least one "meatless meal" into your family's weeknight routine. You'll be surprised at how flavorful and satisfying tofu can be!

Read more from Sheri on Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
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Asian Baked Tofu
adapted from PBS.org

16 oz extra firm tofu
2 T. sesame oil
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha sauce (optional)
pinch each of garlic powder, onion powder and sea salt

Drain tofu and place on a double thickness of paper towels in a small baking dish or pie plate. Top with another double thickness of paper towels, a small plate and a heavy weight (such as a can or canister). Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the marinade – whisk all of the remaining ingredients together in a small dish.

Once the tofu is pressed, pat dry and slice into 3/8″ slabs. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over and turn to coat well.

Let the tofu marinate for at least one hour, or as long as overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the tofu slices in a single layer on your baking sheet; drizzle with any remaining marinade.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve tofu immediately.

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