tofu marinade

Tofu, the protein-rich staple food of millions. Cheap, easy to cook and versatile, it’s an excellent alternative to meat. The main problem? How to make it taste less like watery bean curd and more like a delicious, appealing and hearty food.

While many people prefer to fry their tofu, I think the best solution is to bake it in a marinade. The sauce soaks in as the water evaporates, infusing the tofu with flavor as its texture solidifies. You’re left with savory chunks you can sink your teeth into. Try it this way, and you may never go back to fried.

Note: When buying tofu, look for GMO-free products. Buying organic is the easiest way to avoid genetically engineered products. My personal recommendation: Nasoya Organic Sprouted Tofu.

Ingredients

Sesame Orange Ginger Tofu

  • 1 14-ounce block of extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 6 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of organic orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • sesame seeds, lightly toasted (optional)

Thai Peanut Tofu

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh or dried hot pepper (such as cayenne or Thai chili pepper), minced
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts
  • Coconut water

Method

Rinse the tofu. If it was packed in water, wrap it in paper or cloth towels and place it on a cutting board. Place another cutting board or plate on top of the block and weigh it down with a book. Let it press for 30 minutes to remove excess water.

Meanwhile, mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. You may need to add extra liquid (orange juice and soy sauce for the first marinade or coconut water for the second) to create a thin, soupy mixture.

Chop the tofu into any size chunks you like. I prefer slices about 1/4 inch thick; some people like bite-size chunks or large meaty wedges. The more surface area you have, the more flavor you’ll get.

Add the tofu to the bowl and stir it gently to cover each piece with marinade. Again, add liquid if necessary to cover all the tofu. Let the tofu sit at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the tofu in a baking pan, layering it evenly. Pour the remaining marinade over the pan.

Bake the tofu, turning it every ten minutes, for about 30 minutes or until all the marinade has disappeared.

Devour.

image: Suzette Pauwels

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