A few of you lovely readers have asked me to share how I make my tofu. It was only a couple of months ago when I figured out how to make it just how I like it – firm, meaty textured and deliciously savoury. My favourite ever tofu is the baked tofu I got at the salad bar at Whole Foods in NYC and this was an attempt at recreating that! Here’s my step by step guide to making perfect tofu:
Here in the UK, the most accessible tofu brand seems to be Cauldron:
I get mine from Sainsbury’s for £2. The tofu comes in this plastic container stored in water. Slit the plastic and drain the water from the packet then remove the tofu:
Looks lush doesn’t it ;-) As it is you can use it in tofu scrambles and what not but I like to press the liquid out of the tofu to make it firmer and so that it absorbs a marinade better. As I’m yet to be able to find a posh tofu press that’s reasonably priced here in the UK I go DIY.
I use a clean fresh cotton tea towel to absorb the liquid:
Place the tofu in the middle and gently wrap it in the towel:
I have tried this using kitchen roll before but I’ve found you need almost a whole roll to be able to absorb all the water, a towel works much better and results in firmer tofu. Once its wrapped pile a couple of heavy books or other flat objects on top:
You need something heavy enough to press it but not too heavy so it crushes it. Leave it to press for at least 10 minutes. You should find that the tea towel is completed soaked. I tend to pop it straight in the wash ready for next time. Once pressed you will be left with a block of lovely firm tofu:
I like mine in thick slices so I cut the tofu in half…
…then I slice each of those halves through the middle into 3 pieces, resulting in 6 slices:
Mine crumbled a little as I think I used slightly too heavy books that time! I lay mine out on some foil ready to be marinated. See the end of the post for a few different marinade ideas and recipes, but for my cheap and lazy option use 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of ground ginger and 2 tbsp of shoyu / soy sauce:
I mix that up and spread it on the tofu, turn it over and do the other side then wrap it up in the foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours so it can absorb the marinade.
After 3 hours its ready to bake! Pre heat the oven to medium high, I go for 200c. I tend to just pop the tofu in the foil (opening it up) onto a baking tray and bake it as is for 20 – 30 minutes, flipping once. It should go a lovely golden brown and crispy. It does stick a bit on the foil so you could transfer it directly to a greased tray instead of you wanted to. Once baked its ready to eat!
I particularly like this left to cool and then refrigerated. It goes really firm and meaty and tastes wonderful in salads. I honestly think the trick that makes this so good is pressing it in the tea towel for maximum liquid absorption.
This marinade is a bit salty so if you don’t like really salty things try one of these other ideas:
- A simple mix of soy sauce and honey or agave
- Sesame ginger maple – this is delicious!
- Almond butter and soy sauce
- Green tea and honey
- A pre made Teriyaki sauce
The possibilities are endless!
You can also freeze the tofu before you get to the marinating stage. Freezing it, and then defrosting tofu gives it a different texture altogether – almost spongy and it will bake up even crispier. Of course you can also grill, fry and scramble tofu, or even blend it into a sauce, dressing or pudding – its such a versatile ingredient!
Have you tried tofu before? Any other tips you would add? What’s your favourite marinade?