This is my go-to, basic-yet-delicious, goes-with-everything baked tofu recipe. It’s a perfect plant-based protein to add to fried rice dishes, soba noodle bowls, and vegetable stir-fries. The longer you marinate the tofu, the better it will be. I try to press the tofu, mix up the marinade, and leave the tofu marinating in a glass container in my fridge before I leave the house in the morning. That way, when I arrive home hungry and ready to eat at the end of the day, dinner will be on the table super fast and effortlessly.
I also love this recipe because you can strain the marinade and use it as seasoning for whatever else you’re serving with the tofu. The other night, I was craving a hearty portion of vegetables, so I cut up some carrots, daikon, mushrooms, scallions, and baby bok choy. I stir fried the vegetables with the marinade and just added a little grated ginger and garlic at the beginning for extra flavor. Served with a side of brown rice and topped with gomasio, this meal felt balanced and nourishing.
A few notes about buying and cooking tofu. First, buy organic tofu whenever possible. Soy is one of the most common GMO corps grown in the US. Buying organic insures that the tofu was made without genetically modified soybeans, the more sustainable choice for the environment. Second, this recipes call for “pressing” the tofu before cooking. Pressing tofu removes the excess water. Not only will it create a meatier, chewier texture, but the tofu will also soak up the marinade much better.
CULINARY WELLNESS TIP: Have you ever tried gomasio? It’s a dry condiment made from ground sesame seeds, which are packed with calcium and other minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium, and even iron. You can purchase gomasio at the store (I like Eden’s Garlic Gomasio), or you can make your own if you have a mortar and pestle. Simply grind one cup dry roasted sesame seeds with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Adding a sprinkle of gomasio onto your meals is a fantastic way to increase your intake of essential minerals and add a boost of flavor.
Ginger and Tamari Marinated Baked Tofu
Yield: 4 entrée-sized portions
1 16-ounce block firm tofu
1 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
Pinch red pepper flakes
Gomasio, for garnishing
Drain tofu, wrap in paper towels, and press under a weight (I use a heavy skillet) for 20-30 minutes to remove excess water. Slice tofu into desired shapes and place in a deep baking dish.
In a blender, add garlic, ginger, water, tamari, rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sweetener, if using, and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and pour over tofu. Marinate the tofu in this mixture for at least 1 hour, turning the tofu so all sides can absorb the marinade evenly.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Drain tofu and spread onto a parchment-lined baking dish. Bake in oven for about 30-40 minutes, until tofu becomes firm and brown.