Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mmmm Tofu ....

Evil Tofu by YJSOON
What better way to start my blog than with a recipe?

When I lived in Moscow (miss) one of my favorite things to get at the Food Co-op Deli was their marinated tofu. Specifically the tamari-garlic variety. Not only was the marinade awesome, as all things with garlic are wont to be, but they prepared it in such a way that most of the moisture had evaporated. This left the tofu with a firm meaty texture that frankly was badass awesome. I tried replicating their method many times with pressing, frying, etc. Sadly I was never able to achieve my desired result -- until now!

The key has proven to be a long slow bake. Essentially using the oven to act like a ramped up dehydrator. This recipe takes pretty much a whole evening to prepare but it doesn't require much attention. That is great for when you were spending the evening doing other house tasks like (endless) cleaning or just watching TV.

Sadly, like all my cooking I do a 'best guess' method for the marinade so you may want to adjust based on your preferences. Really though it is simple enough you can adjust on the fly pretty easily.

1 package extra firm tofu (my package was 14oz)
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1/3 cup Soy Sauce or Tamari (I used the low-sodium versions)
5 cloves Garlic pressed or finely minced
1 inch Ginger grated or a couple teaspoons of powder

  1. Slice the tofu. I just cut it cross-wise into roughly playing card sized pieces.
  2. Press the tofu. Tofu is super wet, so to make room for the marinade and save the oven some work lay out all your slices on a clean kitchen towel. Place another towel on top. Then add some weight on top of them. I used a baking pan with a bunch of books piled on top. Let the tofu drain for at least 20-30 minutes.
  3. Prepare marinade. While you're squishing your tofu. Take all the other ingredients and mix them in your marinating container. I used a shallow tupperware container.
  4. Marinate tofu 2-4 hours. Put the drained slices in the marinade and seal the container. Make sure the marinade is coating every piece. With my container I flipped it over about every hour to ensure coverage. You can marinate it room temp or in the fridge. Fridge takes longer though. 2 hours room temp worked like a charm for me.
  5. Bake tofu at 300 degrees. I used a quick spray of nonstick on the pan just to make sure. Lay out the tofu on a baking pan in a single layer. Bake the tofu for 30-40 minutes per side.
You'll notice that when it comes out of the oven it will still feel a little squishy. At first I was worried about that because the texture was soooo close. Turns out I didn't need to worry at all. I let the tofu cool to room temperature, then wrapped it up and popped it in the fridge. The next day it was perfect, exactly the texture I remembered from the deli. Mmmmm Tofu!


  1. NICE!!!! Thanks for the tip!

    Until now, I was always just buying the fried tofu to make up for a soggy tofu mess.

  2. Anonymous8:56 AM

    This recipe looks great! I'll give it a try in the next few days, and get back to you.

    Another way to create tofu with this texture is to freeze, thaw, press, press, press. I've made "chicken" strips that way.

  3. Your tofu is weak.


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