Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baked Tofu -- Yea or Nay?

We made Sweet and Sour Purple Cabbage with Baked Marinated Tofu last night for dinner (a variation of this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/health/rice-bowl-with-sweet-and-sour-purple-cabbage-recipes-for-health.html?ref=health) in order to try out my new tofu press.  Unfortunately, the tofu came out soft and floppy rather than firm and crispy, as I usually like it--and as it usually comes out when browned with oil in a skillet.

Does anyone have any advice on baking tofu?  One of the problems might be that we used firm tofu instead of extra-firm, but I'm not sure that's the whole problem.  What's your recipe for success?

7 comments:

  1. I've had luck breading it first (although I admit it was like a year ago, so I can't quite remember how I did it). I think I drained/pressed it, then marinated it, dredged in flour/something wet/a breadcrumb and shredded coconut mixture. I'm sure my "something wet" was either eggs or milk, but I imagine you could sub something! Then I baked it on a cooling rack on a baking sheet, so it wasn't sitting directly on anything.

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  2. I guess coconut milk would be the obvious substitution here.

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  3. Hey, this is Hannah (I said I'd take a look at your blog yesterday). I find it really helpful not just to pat tofu down with a paper towel, but to actually wrap thin-ish portions of tofu in paper towels and put something like a book on top of them. Then I leave it to drain out for 15 minutes or so. I try to get the tofu as dry as possible before starting to cook with it.

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    1. Hey, Hannah. Yeah, I used my new tofu press for the first time before baking the tofu--maybe I just need to get used to how it works/let it press for longer. The tofu definitely could've been drier!

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  4. Hiya, Carol! My recommendation is similar to Hannah's--press the bejeebes out of it, maybe up to 2 hours before the preparation begins. My mom will often place a 1-lb block of firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into six rectangles lengthwise, between paper towels and two cutting boards. She then proceeds to chop veggies for the rest of the meal on top of the cutting boards, applying pressure.

    I've found Nasoya's black soybean tofu, while a few more cents, is mad crazy firm. When baking, try to bake the bejeebes out of it (i.e., 400 degrees for 30-45 min, maybe even broil it). My fave method for tofu butchery is a Moosewood recipe, http://www.gothicgranola.com/2012/06/when-mom-says.html. Also, changing the surface area of the tofu (cutting it into cubes) exposes more tofu to heat, promoting evaporation. Look forward to hearing how things go with the press!

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    1. Hey, Q -- those are great ideas (sounds like I definitely need to press the tofu for longer). It's like you should gives tips like this for a living :)

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