Monday, February 22, 2010

#MeatlessMonday for Feb. 22, 2010

Many, many people are afraid of tofu. I'm not really sure why the same people who will gladly eat fois gras find this innocuous lump of soy beans such a weird and foreign threat, but they do. So this is the recipe I always use to "flip" nonbelievers. It is chewy, savory and works great in all kinds of recipes, from stir frys to salads. It will be a challenge to eat just one serving, I promise. The offshoot benefit is it makes your house smell like heaven. This recipe comes from the Moosewood Restaurant "New Classics" cookbook, although it's not a verbatim copy. I do things just slightly my own way on this recipe, and this is my way.

Simple Baked Tofu
Serves four

16 oz. firm tofu
2 T vegetable oil (peanut is my fave, but canola works too)
3 T tamari soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Press tofu to drain. If you've never done this, basically what you want to do is take the tofu out of its package and place it in a flat-bottomed bowl, like a pasta bowl, then place a smaller, flat-bottomed cereal bowl or salad plate on top of it. Find a can of something heavy (I have a big can of vegetarian baked beans that I will probably never eat but I use all the time as my tofu press) and place it on top of the tofu in the smaller bowl or plate and let it slowly press the water out for about 15 minutes, or however long it takes for you to do what follows.

3. In a square glass baking dish (9" x 9"), add the oil, tamari and garlic and swirl it around to blend a bit and make sure the entire glass dish is coated with oil.

4. When tofu is done pressing, cut it into small cubes, about 1/2" square. Add them to the baking dish and toss it thoroughly with a spatula to coat all sides of the tofu.

5. Bake tofu for 30 minutes total, pausing midway to toss the tofu again. When it's done, it will be nicely browned and chewy.

By the way, if you've never heard of tamari soy sauce, I urge you to try it. It's similar to conventional soy sauce, but better, less cloyingly salty and with a richer, more well rounded flavor. You can usually find it in the health food section at supermarkets, although I have found it with the "regular" soy sauce as well.


  1. I'm going to try this tomorrow, Amy. I've never baked it -- I always dry-fry it on high until lightly brown and then toss it with a little nutritional yeast. But this sounds awesome. And by the way, I'm still using the Quick Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook you gave me, all of these years later. Keep them coming!