Sunday, May 6, 2012

Marinated Baked Tofu

Recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and
Adapted and Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

My husband and I are rookies when it comes to tofu, but we now know that tofu is low in fat and carbs, has no cholesterol, and is high in protein, calcium, magnesium and iron. One 16 oz. package (which has four servings) was less than $3.00 at Lost River Market & Deli.  While searching for a good way to prepare tofu online, I found this recipe, which turned out to be one I had in a cookbook I’ve had on my shelf for years.  It got lots of rave reviews, so I gave this a try.  One block of tofu was enough for two meals (along with side dishes, of course.)  We ate the first meal with the tofu still hot from the oven along with Sesame Soba Noodle Salad.  The other meal, we ate the tofu cold the next day.  We both agreed that it tasted best cold and would make a super addition to your lunchbox for Meatless Monday.  **I've since made this two more times and kept it in the fridge for quick lunches.  My mother, who had never had tofu before, came for a visit and I gave her a piece to try without telling her what it was.  She asked, "Is this chicken?"  So for those of you who are trying tofu for the first time, be sure to give this a try.  :-)

1 (16 ounce) packages extra firm tofu, in water (I used Organic Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu.)
4 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used reduced sodium soy sauce.)
2 minced garlic cloves, to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger, to taste
Place the tofu cubes on a rack set on parchment paper.
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
½ to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

Open the package of tofu and drain off the water.  Place a few paper towels on a plate.  Put the block of tofu on the paper towels (or a kitchen towel) and then place another layer of paper towels (or a kitchen towel) on top of the tofu.  Place a plate on top of that and then stack a large heavy can onto the plate.  (This process helps to remove as much moisture from the tofu as possible so that it will take on all the flavors of the marinade.) Set the tofu aside while you prepare the marinade.
Mix all other ingredients together in a plastic container, which has a tight-fitting lid.
Cut the tofu into 1" cubes.  Pour marinade over tofu and cover with the lid.
Refrigerate overnight, turning the container over occasionally so that the marinade completely covers the tofu. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and then place a rack on top of that.  (If you don’t have parchment paper or a baking rack, brush the baking sheet with a little olive oil.)  Arrange tofu in single layer on the rack.  (Do not discard the marinade!)
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, flipping tofu (with tongs) once about halfway through the cooking time and brushing with the remaining marinade. 
The tofu cubes will be a lovely brown.  To make them slightly crispy around the edges, turn on the broiler and allow the tofu to broil just a few minutes.  (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) 

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