Tofu is all about texture and Crispy Baked Tofu doesn’t fall short on that! Crispy on the outside with a crunchy coating, and perfectly moist on the inside with a little chewiness. This tofu is meant for the hearty!
We all love tofu in our home. I’m the only one who tends to pay more attention to the texture of tofu, however. Even though we love it, I don’t cook with it as often as I should. Usually, any meal with tofu comes from our favourite take out restaurants.
Both John.e and McKenna tend to lean more towards a softer/silken tofu. I, on the other hand, prefer a heartier, chewier, more firm tofu. Here’s my basic rule for which tofu to select. If it’s in a soup or broth, it’s got to be silken. But, if I’m tossing it with veggies and sauce, it’s firm tofu all the way!
GET THAT WATER OUT!
Firm tofu is easy to find in just about any store. However, even the firmest tofu will still have a lot of water content. Most cooking sites will suggest that you go out and spend money on a tofu press. Now, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I need is another kitchen gadget. And, how often are you eating tofu that you need to invest in a tofu press!?
Keep your money in your pocket where it belongs, Dear Reader! I’ll tell you how to get all of that water out of the tofu with things you already have on hand. All you need is a few sheets of paper towel, a cutting board, and some heavy cans or bottles. Are you ready?
PREPARING THE TOFU
Most firm tofu is sold in blocks that are roughly one and a half to two inches thick. You will want to slice the tofu so that it is half that thick. Lay each slice on a few sheets of paper towel. Top each slice with a few more sheets of paper towel and place a cutting board right on top of that.
Be sure the cutting board covers all of the tofu. Next, you’ll want to place something heavy on the cutting board. You can use large cans of tomatoes or beans. Or, do what I do. I fill a pot with water and set it right on top.
In essence, you’re trying to get as much moisture out of the tofu without breaking it apart. The more moisture you can extract, the firmer your tofu will be. Let the tofu sit for 20 minutes or so to drain.
MAKING THE DREDGE
Dredging is a cooking technique used to coat wet or moist foods with a dry ingredient prior to cooking. Put most simply, dredging involves little more than pulling or rolling the wet food through the dry material to provide an even coating. It’s not fancy at all!
To get this tofu crispy, but keep it moist inside, you’ll need to dredge the tofu in a dry mixture. All you need is cornstarch, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir them with a whisk and that’s it!
Once your tofu is prepared and coated in olive oil, sprinkle the dredge mixture over it. Use a rubber spatula to toss the tofu gently. You’ll want to coat each piece well in the cornstarch mixture before baking.
EATING CRISPY BAKED TOFU
Now that you have your Crispy Baked Tofu, what are you going to do with it? Yes, of course you can eat it just like it is. To be honest, I love to dip the little cubes in ketchup. Try it; it’s delicious!
But, since you’ve gone through the process of making a delicious, dense tofu with lots of texture, why not do something more special? Consider sauteing some bell peppers and tossing the tofu into the pan with some Sweet Heat Chili Sauce? That would make a delicious dinner!
Another great way to eat this tofu is in a salad. It looks like a crouton anyway! And, it has a great flavour with the garlic powder being baked right into it. Let me know what you do with yours. Did you just dunk them into ketchup like me!?
Crispy Baked Tofu
- 28 ounces extra firm tofu (2 blocks)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
- Slice each block of tofu into two even slabs so that they are just less than one inch thick.
- Lay a few sheets of paper towel onto a flat surface. Set the sliced tofu on the paper towels. Top with more paper towel.
- Cover the tofu with a cutting board, ensuring that the cutting board covers all tofu slices.
- Set heavy cans or jars on top of the cutting board and allow the weight to push out the excess moisture. Leave for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together the cornstarch, garlic and onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Once the tofu has been pressed, remove the weights and cut the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
- Gently toss the tofu pieces with the olive oil until well coated.
- Sprinkle over the cornstarch mixture and toss gently to coat.
- Lay the tofu onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Do not overlap the tofu pieces.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn tofu pieces over, and bake for 15 minutes more.
- Plate and serve immediately.