If you think you don’t like tofu, maybe it’s because you really don’t know tofu.
I get it. You didn’t grow up with your mother going to the health food store to buy a block, and you had never heard anyone use the word “vegan”. Vegetarian didn’t come to be hip until the 70’s. And by that time we were all eating McDonalds and Sunday night steak and potatoes.
So why do I wax prophetic over a simple vegan protein source, one that is super high in calcium, protein, omega-3 fats and is known to be great heart health, hot flashes, and some cancers?
I actually have been eating tofu for a very long time. I had a very progressive, macrobiotic leaning aunt who introduced it to me in high school and I was hooked. I guess it’s safe to say I have been intrigued by the healing power of food for a very long time.
Here’s the thing with tofu: it is a totally neutral tasting food, which is a good thing in that you can add lots of different flavors. You don’t want to eat it just plain (although you could if you like that). I like to add strong flavors to really jazz it up.
Baking tofu makes it even more flavorful and versatile. This night I added my baked tofu to a brown rice bowl with sauteed garlic broccoli. You can add it to salads or other sauteed vegetables too. You can make it an store it in the refrigerator.
I haven’t made tofu this way in a long time and smelling it cooking reminded me of my beginnings into the world of cooking. It’s really a delicious way to eat less meat and more plant-based. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Asian Baked Tofu
Make 4 servings
2 blocks extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons organic cornstarch (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove tofu from the package, drain and place in a large strainer with a bowl underneath. Let the tofu sit for about 30 minutes. Pat the tofu dry with paper towels.
2. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, then into cubes and set aside in a bowl.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Pour over the tofu and toss well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
4. If you are going to eat the tofu right away, toss the tofu evenly with the cornstarch and then place the tofu on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the tofu does not overlap. Place the tofu in the oven. The cornstarch makes the tofu crispier. If you are making it for a later meal, simply skip this step.
5. Bake the tofu until the cubes are golden and slightly crispy, about 30 to 45 minutes. While baking, check the tofu about every 10 minutes, shaking the pan, to cook evenly.
6. Serve right away in grain bowls (Like above), in a salad or with sauteed vegetables. Or keep for another meal.