Tofu is not for everyone. It might be typically bland, but if you reinvent it into something new, tofu can be the most exciting food you've ever had.
The key is to season it perfectly to make it extra tasty. Even if you are not a vegetarian or a tofu eater, you will not be able to resist tofu recipes if you season them well.
Tofu originated many years ago in China and has become a staple of Chinese cuisine. Even though it is initially bland, tofu is a very versatile ingredient as it can be cooked in many ways, both savory and sweet. Tofu also varies in texture from silken, firm to extra firm. It can be fried or baked. Likewise, it can become your meat substitute in stews, curries, and soups.
Some believe that eating tofu as an alternative to red and processed meat can benefit one’s health, especially if you consume it in moderation. This recipe will show you how to cook the easiest but most underrated tofu dish of all time: baked tofu.
Baked tofu is a healthy alternative if you want to start a plant-based diet or eat something light but filling. You will eat something tasty, but with less guilt, because you know, it won't be bad for your health. This recipe is quick, easy, and doesn't require many ingredients. You can serve baked tofu as an appetizer and enjoy it with your favorite beer or pair it with rice, stir-fried noodles, or salad. You can even make it a sandwich.
How to Make Baked Tofu
1. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 180 °C and prepare the rest of your ingredients.
2. Slice the tofu: Cut the tofu into triangular inch-wide slices. To remove extra moisture, lay the cubes on a clean dish towel and gently pat them with a different towel.
3. Combine other ingredients: In a bowl, combine equal parts flour and cornstarch and add paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper according to your taste. Whisk it all together until it becomes well-incorporated.
4. Toss tofu in flour: Toss the tofu cubes gently in the flour mixture with a spatula until they are evenly coated.
5. Seasoning: Remove excess starch and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some black and white sesame seeds on top and drizzle with olive oil for extra flavor.
6. Baking the tofu: Bake the breaded tofu at 180 °C for 10 to 20 minutes or until it turns crisp and golden brown outside.
7. More seasoning: Sprinkle some chopped scallions and furikake on top.
8. Ready to serve: Serve warm and enjoy!
● You will need an oven to bake your tofu. If you don't have an oven, you can use an air fryer instead. If you don't have both, another option is to pan-fry them. Add more oil to make the tofu crispy.
● Use a large baking sheet that will fit in your oven, and line it with parchment paper to keep the food from sticking.
● In this recipe, use extra firm tofu. You can see it by checking the label once you buy it at the grocery store. Extra firm tofu is perfect for making baked and fried versions, as it will stay firm and crispy when cooked.
● If you don’t have cornstarch, you can replace it with other starch like potato or arrowroot. You can skip the all-purpose flour, but you might want to retain the starch, which will help produce crispy baked results.
● You can store baked tofu in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for up to three days. However, reheat the baked tofu in the oven for five minutes and season it with salt before serving.
● This baked tofu recipe is already delicious on its own. However, if you find it too dry to eat, you may want to make some sauce or dip to go with it. Try adding Japanese mayo and Sriracha hot sauce on top, or perhaps a dash of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil with chopped green onions.