Crispy Baked Tofu
The plan for tonight’s Meatless Monday was Pan-Dressed Noodles from Anna Jones’s A Modern Way to Eat. Making it with this crispy baked tofu recipe was a total revelation.
The recipe calls for a block of smoked tofu, which I couldn’t find in the supermarket. I bought regular extra-firm tofu and figured I could always fry it as a last resort. Smoking it at home wasn’t going to work, because we don’t have a smoker and I don’t have any mesquite wood chips lying around. When I got home I looked for baked tofu recipes and found one online that supposedly came from Deborah Madison, queen of vegetarian cooking.
It’s important to know here that I was a vegetarian for over a decade, and I like tofu. But I can tell you that I have never made tofu like this tonight.- Baking tofu with a smidge of cornstarch resulted in an amazing crispness outside while maintaining its soft interior.
I would not have thought I could wax poetic over tofu, but here I am. If you like tofu, please try this. Next time I might just top it with a mess of peanut sauce.
Crispy baked tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
- Drain tofu (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut tofu into small (~1/2 in) cubes
- In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sesame oil. Gently toss tofu to coat, then add five spice powder and cornstarch and again gently toss.
- Lay tofu out on parchment-lined baking sheet so pieces are not touching. Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasty in color.
Draining tofu: there are lots of strategies for draining tofu. I’m not sure it matters which one you choose. I put the whole block in a strainer with a flat bottom, topped it with a couple of paper towels, and weighed it down with a small mortar while I went for a long run on the treadmill while watching the next episode and a half of Bridgerton.
If you make this, please comment here or share a pic with me on Instagram!
Like this crispy baked tofu recipe? You can also find it in my Swimming Rama tofu bowl.
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