A lot of people are scared of tofu, and I totally get it. There’s a lot of bad tasting tofu out there (I’ve had my fair share). HOWEVER - I want to assure you that tofu is SO delicious when it’s prepared properly. It’s tender on the inside, crispy and well-seasoned on the outside. When it’s hot from the oven, it’s amazing on top of whole grain bowls like quinoa, brown rice, or farro. When it’s cold, it’s delicious on top of a salad or even inside of a wrap.
Also Fun Fact: Yes, tofu is a plant-based protein, but did you know it contains over twice as much iron as steak?? A half cup serving also provides 43% your daily dose of calcium! If you try this recipe using these super simple steps, I guarantee you will be converted into a tofu lover.
1 (15 oz.) package extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
How to cook tofu:
1. Remove extra-firm tofu block from 15 oz. package. Place on cutting board and cut in half longways.
2. Cut each half into small bite-size pieces. You will want them to be pretty uniform, so they each get pressed in the next step evenly. If you see some pieces larger than others, cut them so they're about the same height. I find it so much easier to cut my tofu before pressing, the smaller surface area really does help draw out more of the liquid and in less time!
3. Press tofu to remove moisture - this is so important! Tofu has such a high amount of water, and you don't want to end up with soggy tofu. Draw out as much water as possible by following these steps. Place a cloth towel or paper towels on top of a flat cutting board, then lay tofu pieces on top. Lay another towel on top of the tofu. Place a heavy casserole dish, book, or cast-iron skillet (object should be flat!) on top of tofu to press out the moisture. Let this sit for about 30 minutes.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the marinade (soy sauce, maple syrup/honey, garlic, olive oil) and whisk together. Place your pressed tofu pieces in a glass dish and pour marinade over evenly. Let marinade for 10-15 minutes, then flip the pieces over and let marinade for another 10-15 minutes (marinade at least 20-30 minutes total). The tofu should soak up almost all of the marinade.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with non-stick olive oil cooking spray and spread tofu out on top. Bake tofu for about 40 minutes total. Flip tofu over after about 20 minutes to assure it's crispy on both sides, and remove once golden brown and just crisp.
This tofu makes an excellent topping for quinoa or brown rice bowls, or on top of my farro, kale, & pomegranate salad!