Get ready for this tasty homemade teriyaki baked tofu to disappear quickly — if you’re feeding a group of tofu fans, plan to double this recipe.
Is baked tofu on your regular rotation of plant-based protein? If not, it should be! The packaged version of baked tofu is a convenient, ready to use product that’s different than the bland-but-versatile water-packed tub tofu we’ll be using to make this homemade version.
Both packaged and homemade baked tofu can be sliced or diced for use in stir-fries, sandwiches or wraps, salads, and tortilla specialties. It can also be crumbled as well for all kinds of uses, my favorite of which is the ridiculously easy “Tofuna” Salad or Sandwich Spread.
Why bother making it if the readymade version is so good, you might ask? That’s a good question for which I have few answers other than that it’s easy and fun. And if you have trouble accessing baked tofu, it’s nice to have a way to make your own.
These baked tofu slices are so flavorful, you can just serve them as a side dish to provide more protein to the dinner plate. As mentioned above, these go fast, so double the quantity if you’re feeding more than 2 or 3 people who enjoy tofu.
The trick to this chewier, more savory transformation of bland, white tofu, is to make sure it’s well pressed and to let it marinate for plenty of time. I’ve had my Tofu XPress forever, and do believe it will outlive me.
If you used a tofu press, you’ll need to do a lot less blotting, but if not, make sure to blot tofu slices well between layers of paper towel or clean tea towels.
The sliced tofu is combined with a soy sauce and ginger marinade in a shallow pan. The longer you marinate, the better!
If I’m not baking anything else in the oven, I use a toaster oven for making this. An average toaster oven is the perfect size. The tofu is baked for 20 minutes on one side, then flipped gently to bake until golden and firm.
- 14-ounce tub tofu, drained
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine or cooking sherry, optional
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
- Sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- If you want your baked tofu to be extra firm, use a tofu press — all it takes is an hour or so, or you can leave it in the press for an entire day or overnight. Either way drain the tofu well and cut it into 8 slabs crosswise. Blot very well between clean kitchen towels or paper towels. If you’ve pressed the tofu, there will be a lot less blotting to do.
- Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, agave, vinegar, optional wine, and ginger in a small bowl and whisk together. Pour into a shallow container.
- Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer over the marinade and then gently turn them over right away. Let stand for an hour or two, flipping the tofu gently about halfway through. The longer you can marinate the tofu, the better.
- Shortly before baking the tofu, preheat the oven to 400º F. If this is the only thing you’re making, use a toaster oven—it’s the perfect size. Otherwise, roast some veggies at the same time (I like to use the excess marinade to roast eggplant or green beans).
- Remove the tofu slices from the marinade and transfer to a parchment-lined baking pan (if baking in the oven) or foil (if baking in a toaster oven) in a single layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then turn over and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the tofu is firm and starting to turn light brown along the edges.
- To serve on its own, arrange on a small platter. Scatter some sesame seeds over the top. Or, use in recipes as suggested in the headnote.
If you like this DIY plant protein, you might also enjoy …
Here are more recipes for using tofu and tempeh.
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