You can firm up the texture of tofu by removing some of the moisture and baking it.
I frequently serve tofu for dinner, and I’m pleased to say my family does not rebel. I think they’ve gotten used to it over the years.
Baked tofu is a blank canvas. You can marinate it, then fry it, stir-fry it, sauté it, put it in soups, salads, and casseroles.
Before you bake it, you have to get rid of some of the moisture. You do this by pressing it with a weight between layers of toweling. The resulting change in the texture gives the tofu a firmer bite and makes it less delicate.
14 to 16 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
A little pressure. First you need to press the excess water out of the tofu so that the baking will be more even. I actually remove some of the moisture in the tofu for most preparations where it is slabbed or cubed – as a main dish component, stir-fries, in salads, etc.
Line a plate or sheet pan with a double thickness of kitchen towel, or paper towels. Slice the tofu in half though the middle and place on the towel. Add another layer of paper towel, then top with another plate. Weigh it down with a large can (I used a 28-ounce can of tomatoes).
Let this sit for a half hour, and you are ready to cook. If you want the tofu to be even more firm, repeat this step, but I seldom find it necessary.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the tofu into the desired size, bite-sized or slabs, depending on how it will be used. You might want small cubes for a salad, but large slabs for a main dish entree.
On a baking sheet, place the olive oil and add the tofu in a single layer. Turn them over to coat both sides with oil.
Sprinkle on some of the cornstarch and salt. I use a small mesh strainer. You want a light layer of cornstarch. You can add pepper too at this point, or any other dried spices that might work in your recipe. Turn them over.
Sprinkle on a little more cornstarch and a little more salt.
Transer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes, set your timer, then flip over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until the tofu is at the desired crispiness.
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.