Easy Baked Tofu
Crispy baked tofu with a sweet and savory sesame ginger glaze is perfect for adding to rice bowls.
I can’t believe I’ve never shared one of our most common easy weeknight dinners! I cook a pot of rice in the Instant Pot, roast or steam whatever veggies I have in the fridge, and add baked tofu for a nutritious and balanced meal. I like this Easy BBQ Baked Tempeh sometimes but my kids much prefer tofu. If you don’t eat soy, try these Korean BBQ Chickpea Bento Bowls.
Use this simple, easy baked tofu recipe in any of your favorite recipes, dipped in peanut sauce, or with the sticky soy sauce glaze I’ll share below. One of my favorite ways to use baked tofu is with a homemade soy sauce-maple-ginger sticky glaze. It takes just a few minutes to make and ads so much flavor.
What Type of Tofu to Use for Baked Tofu
It’s best to use extra firm tofu for baking so it has a nice meaty, chewy texture. I like this Organic sprouted tofu from Trader Joe’s but you can find organic, Non-GMO tofu at most grocery stores these days. Medium tofu is best for things like miso soup, while soft is nice for a softer tofu scramble (though I use firm for my breakfast burritos).
How to Bake Tofu
The first step is to drain the water from the tofu package and pat dry. Some people like to press the tofu between two towels and let something heavy like a skillet or some books sit on top to press the water out. I don’t find that’s necessary, so I always skip that step.
How to Make Baked Tofu Crispy
Once the tofu has been patted dry, cut it into cubes and set on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or lined with parchment. Coat the tofu with cooking spray or brush coconut, avocado, or olive oil over. When you fry tofu in oil in a skillet it’s the oil and heat that crisps up the edges. Baking in the oven has the same effect but with much less oil. A hot oven and a little coating of oil are all you need for crispy baked tofu. Season with salt and pepper.
Crispy Baked Tofu Tips & Tricks
Bake the tofu cubes for about half an hour until the outside is golden brown and crisp. If you happen to have an air fryer I recommend air frying rather than baking for extra crispness!
Corn Starch: Some people also like to coat the tofu in a little coating of corn starch to help the edges crisp up more. If you’d like to go that route, simply toss the tofu cubes with a tablespoon of corn starch until lightly coated and then add the oil. I don’t notice much difference when adding corn starch, so I usually don’t add it.
Tofu Press: A tofu press is another way to squeeze a lot of water out of tofu. You can create your own press by placing towels on either side of the tofu then placing heavy books on top. I skip the pressing all together as I don’t find it makes much difference and don’t have the patience.
Freezing Tofu: Some people swear by freezing their tofu, then letting it defrost before cooking. They say this gives it an even firmer texture. I have tried it yet so let us know if you have!
How to Use Simple Baked Tofu
Ginger Soy Sauce Glaze
While the tofu is baking you can start the glaze. It uses just a few ingredients and is so much better than a store-bought teriyaki sauce. I love using fresh ginger and garlic in Asian inspired recipes like this. This glaze is adapted from this Bon Appetit fried tofu recipe.
You can add all the sauce ingredients right to the pan. After a few minutes it will bubble and thicken.
Add the baked tofu to the sauce and toss to coat. You’ve saved yourself a bunch of oil by baking, rather than frying the tofu.
Serve your soy sauce glazed baked tofu with rice or quinoa and your favorite veggies for an easy weeknight bowl meal. Here we used steamed broccoli, carrot ribbons, microgreens, cilantro, and radish over rice.
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained
- cooking spray
- sea salt
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon unseasoned rice or white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cut the tofu in half. Use paper towels or clean dish cloths to gently press as much water out of the tofu as possible. Cut into 1" cubes and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Coat the tofu with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning once, until crispy and golden brown.
- To make the glaze, add the soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, garlic, and ginger to a frying pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened enough that when you drag the spoon across the bottom a space remains for a few seconds. This takes just about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the baked tofu to the warm glaze in the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
You can skip the glaze and use the baked tofu in other recipes, or with Peanut Sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 968mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 13g Protein: 18g