How To: Slow-Bake Tofu
People always ask me how to cook tofu. Tofu can be delicious, because it can take on any flavor that you want, just by marinating it with whichever sauce you desire! I prefer to buy the extra-firm tofu, because I am not a fan of the mushy texture of softer tofu’s, especially when using it in salads or stir-fry’s. Soft tofu is excellent for making dips and sauces. It’s important (especially in America) to make sure that you’re purchasing non-GMO tofu (I’ll discuss GMO products in a later post). It’s estimated that up to 99% of the soybeans grown in America are GMO. Luckily, brands such as “Soy-Boy” and “Nasoya” are not only non-GMO, but organic too!
I enjoy either of these brands. In this recipe today I’m using Nasoya’s Sprouted tofu plus, extra-firm. A serving size is 3 ounces (4 servings per package), and for each serving this tofu contains 20% of your daily Protein, 20% daily Calcium, 20% daily Vitamin D, 8% daily Iron, and 15% of your daily Vitamin K.
Even with extra-firm tofu, it’s difficult to get that firm texture and dryness that you are looking for. The secret? Make slow-bake tofu!
What You Need:
1. Package of tofu (non-GMO!!)
2. 4 tbsp. Oyster Sauce (or Oyster Mushroom Sauce for vegetarians)
3. 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
4. 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar or lemon/lime juice
5. 1 tbsp. sugar or honey
6. 1 tbsp. soy sauce or golden mountain sauce.
1. Preheat oven to between 180-220 degrees. The lower the temperature, the longer you will need to cook it, but it will come out much drier. The higher the temperature, the shorter the cooking time, but it will be crispier on the outside and spongier on the inside. It’s a personal preference, maybe depending on the dish your using it for, or the amount of time you have to cook. At 180 degrees, you may need to bake it for 3-4 hours. At 220 degrees, maybe only bake it for 1 or 2 hours.
2.. Take the block of tofu and drain the water out. Place the block on a cutting board and slice it every quarter inch or so.
3. Get a pan, I like to use a regular pizza pan, and lay the tofu slices down on the pan, with a little room between each one.
4. Make your sauce. Mix the above sauces in a bowl, and pour just half of the mixture over the top of your tofu. Make sure you cover each slice of tofu. To make it easier for you, use a soft-bristle cooking brush. It’s okay to have the sauce all over the pan, the tofu will absorb it while baking.
5. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on your cooking temperature) then take it out of the oven and flip each slice of tofu over. Take the other half of your sauce mixture and brush it onto this side of the tofu slice. Put back into oven to finish baking.
6. Check on your tofu slices often, touch them to make sure your getting the texture that you desire. Continue to flip them over when necessary. Some slices you may have to take out of the oven before others, depending on how thick they were. Thin slices cook faster than thick slices. When your satisfied, take them out of the oven.
7. Depending on what your using the tofu for, either leave it in the slices or chop it into cubes by stacking the slices on top of each other, cutting every quarter inch vertically and then horizontally.