Tofu is usually flat-out boring and bland if not cooked with other food, deep fried, or marinated. The latter is what this recipe is all about. It takes about 1.5 hours to make, but nearly all of that is either downtime or cooking time. It’s also really easy to make.
The marinade is primarily made from Japanese flavors, but I had some of the extra Ginger Scallion sauce in the freezer, so I threw that in for more flavor. Using chili oil adds a bit of heat to the marinade, but it’s definitely not “hot.”
One could also marinade with Korean bbq sauce, or for a Thai flavor profile, use soy sauce, Golden Mountain Sauce, fish sauce and a paste made from fresh basil or cilantro.
This makes a great appetizer or side dish for an Asian main dish.
What you’ll need:
- 2T soy sauce
- 1T rice vinegar (can be substituted with an extra T of soy sauce)
- 0.25t garlic powder (or more if you wish)
- 1T sake
- 1T grated ginger, onion or a combination of both
- 1T chili oil
- 1 standard package (about 14 oz) of the firmest tofu you can find. Soft will NOT work, and medium is questionable.
What to do:
Drain, then press the tofu for an hour. I press mine with a large cast-iron pan in a baking sheet to contain the water.
In the meantime, mix the other ingredients well and put them in a shallow, edged plate or some vessel that allows the pieces to sit flat.
* When the tofu has been pressed, slice it into the shapes you want and put them in the marinade, turning them so each side is covered. Marinate for up to an hour, turning the pieces over about halfway through however long to choose to marinate them.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking pan or sheet with parchment paper and put the tofu on the paper in single layer, without the pieces touching. Keep the remaining marinade for later in the recipe.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn the pieces over and pour the remaining marinade over them. Bake for a further 1-25 minutes. The pieces will turn brown, depending on the type of soy sauce, and you’ll now they’re done when they’ve contracted and become really firm.
Serve hot or cold.
* I sliced the brick in half, on the short axis, then halved the thickness.