Marinating and baking tofu is a simple way to produce flavorful tofu that can be used to top salads, serve as a side dish, or simply be eaten with rice.
Soft and pillowy, firm and robust, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, and boiled, we like tofu in almost every way imaginable. These days we find ourselves cooking less and less meat at home and tofu is our go-to plant-based protein source. Soybeans, the building blocks of tofu, contain up to 50% protein!
We often add tofu to other dishes, like sautéed bok choy or even eat it by itself as a snack (usually with mala seasoning). We usually brown it first to give it a slight chewy texture on the outside while remaining tender on the inside.
While we often prefer to pan-fry tofu, many people are more comfortable with the oven. My mom, for instance, feels baking is easier and less messy (no stovetop splatter).
We wanted to provide this marinated baked tofu recipe for those that love flavorful tofu but want to use the oven instead of the stovetop. The extra step of marinating it before cooking allows the flavors to sink in and be retained.
We like to use firm tofu, but you can also use medium or extra firm. The softer the tofu the more water content it has. Baking softer tofu will result in a crispy exterior and a very tender and moist interior (unless you press it - which you don’t need to!) Moister tofu might require a little longer cooking time in order for it to get crispy on the outside - it will be worth the wait though 🙂
You can read our post about tofu to learn about the different types.
Our marinated baked tofu recipe uses simple ingredients to make it easy to make, even on busy days.
- Soy sauce
- Dark soy sauce - if you don't have dark soy sauce you can use all regular soy sauce. It is also available online at The Mala Market or Amazon.
- Cooking oil
- Large zip lock bag
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, cut the tofu into approximately ½ inch (1.25 cm) squares.
Add the tofu, oil, and soy sauce to a large zip-lock bag. Ensure that the soy sauce evenly coats the tofu and lay flat and marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.
Drain the tofu in a colander. Draining the tofu will make it brown quicker in the oven and since you marinated it, it will still retain much of the soy sauce flavor.
Spread the tofu on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and put in a 400-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Turn halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.
Top salads, eat as a snack, or pair with rice! If you made this recipe let us know and tell us how you adapted it 🙂
- Chili bean paste (doubanjiang) - a tasty variation is to add a tablespoon of chili bean paste to the marinade.
- Sesame seeds - add roasted sesame seeds during the last 5 - 10 minutes of cooking.
Baked tofu can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Softer tofu will require a longer cooking time compared to firmer tofu.
We recommend marinating tofu for 30 - 60 minutes. Longer is unnecessary and shorter doesn't give the flavors time to be absorbed into the tofu.
Marinated Baked Tofu
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1.5 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce can substitute regular soy sauce if needed
- Cut the tofu into approximately ½ inch (1.25 cm) squares.
- Add the tofu, oil, and soy sauce to a large zip lock bag. Ensure that the soy sauce evenly coats the tofu and lay flat and marinate for 30 minutes to one hour.
- Drain the tofu in a colander. Draining the tofu will make it brown quicker in the oven and since you marinated it, it will still retain much of the soy sauce flavor.
- Spread the tofu on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put in a 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes. Turn half way through cooking to ensure even cooking.
- Top salads, eat as a snack, or pair with rice! If you made this recipe let us know and tell if how you adapted it 🙂
malaeats.com is created for informational purposes only. Although we do our best to provide nutritional information to our readers as a general guideline, we are not certified nutritionists and the nutritional values provided should be considered estimates. Numerous factors such as variations in fresh ingredients, brands purchased, etc. will alter the nutritional values in any recipe. Different online calculators also provide different results depending on their sources. To obtain accurate nutritional information for a recipe, please use your preferred nutrition calculator to determine nutritional information with the actual ingredients and quantities you used.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove