For many new vegans, tofu is the edge of sanity. The product that seems so foreign. Mainly due to the fact that it is socially associated with the far-out kinda crowd. Despite this hurdle, I managed try and find some that I actually enjoyed. But for years, I have tried relentlessly to make tofu, but I was always relegated to my favorite dish at a local restaurant if I wanted to sit back and actually enjoy the tofu! That is until I finally acted upon the notion to bake it. So many recipes focus on squeezing and drying the tofu only to end up pan frying it. This seems such an arduous task for the new and/or seasoned vegan. I can understand devoting a little prep time to your meal. That we can all love and appreciate, but squeezing a block of gelatinous bean curd until its barely able to hold itself together seems…spendthrift, at least speaking for time’s sake. I had purchased some new tofu at Trader Joes. It was ‘Sprouted Tofu’. I hadn’t heard of that. I had one inclination though of how it might be different given the experiences I have had with sprouted bread. That’s right. Dry and granular. Perfect for wanting to kick the prep work out of the window, so of course I held on to it until it neared the expiration date as I mulled over the idea.
Yet, I felt confident. The only hint from my favorite tofu dish was based on the exterior and dryness of it, given my history of experimentation, I knew it couldn’t have been pressed and pan fried. I had tried that many times. Also, the restaurant that I got the dish from was not a vegan nor vegetarian restaurant at all, so it would seem probable to assume that they were in fact bulk baking the product in an as-needed kinda hurry. Probably cooking it at a decent temperature (425?). I just knew they couldn’t be frying it, so I attempted the following bake session with awesome results!
The only thing I did that it is worth mentioning here is not taking the time to baste the tofu and cooking it atop unbleached-parchment paper.
Quick & Easy, Baked Tofu by VegGirl.com
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees farenheit
2. Open and drain the tofu (no need to press it to death!)
3. Cut the tofu into small size cubes
4. Grab your favorite teriyaki sauce (see photo below for mine) and bathe the tofu. Tossing it in the broth, but only for as long as it takes to lightly coat each piece
5. Individually lay out each piece of tofu on a large baking sheet laid over with unbleached-parchment paper
6. Drizzle the remaining teriyaki sauce over each piece, individually. I have found this is much more time efficient than waiting for it to “marinate”.
At this point, your pan should look like this (cuppings of sauce atop and around each piece):
7. Place the basted tofu in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked to your liking (which may be less time). I prefer some nice caramelized and slightly burned teriyaki sauce, but you may not.
8. Pull it out of the oven to enjoy. Crisp, sweet, salty, and perfectly textured – minus the hassle, and that is the VegGirl way!