I began to like tofu when I learned how to get it hot and crispy instead of cold and squishy. Thanks to Kathryne Taylor of Cookie + Kate for this method that produces crispy squares of tofu without frying. She spells out all the details in her post, but to cut to the chase, you need extra firm tofu, press out as much water as possible by weighing down the tofu after draining off its liquid, then toss the squares in soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos) and a bit of starch (cornstarch or arrowroot). After 30 minutes in the oven, you’ll have a sheet pan of crispy nuggets to add to your rice bowl, stir fry, salad, or to add protein to a simple dinner of roasted veggies.
Extra-Crispy Baked Tofu
adapted from Cookie + Kate “How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu”
- 1 block 12 – 15 oz. extra-firm organic tofu West Soy by Yves is my favorite, Wildwood also good
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
Drain the tofu, and slice it lengthwise into 3 slabs. Stack the slabs and slice them lengthwise into 3 columns, then slice across to make 5 rows. Arrange the tofu squares in a single layer on top of a couple layers of paper towels or a clean, lint-free kitchen towel. Layer more paper towel on top, or fold over the kitchen towel, and place a heavy cutting board on top to weigh down the tofu and drain it. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, but the longer the better, so aim for 30.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Get out a rimmed sheet pan. Transfer the drained tofu from step 1 to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and the soy sauce (or substitute). Toss to combine. Sprinkle the cornstarch or arrowroot starch over the tofu and toss until evenly coated and no powdery spots remain. Tip out the bowl onto the sheet pan and arrange the tofu squares so they are in a single layer and have space around each one. Bake until tofu is deeply golden on the edges, 25 – 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through baking.