My first experience with tofu was not a pleasant one. I found the taste bland and the texture uninviting. Fortunately, I gave tofu a second chance during college and discovered a crispy baked tofu at Whole Foods that stood up to any meat dish. Because I’m not vegetarian, I only eat tofu when the sauce and preparation warrant attention. The beauty of tofu is it's ability to truly absorb the flavors of whatever sauce you choose.
Recently it seemed I couldn’t escape discussions of tofu recipes and dishes. The final straw was watching an episode of Iron Chef with tofu as focus. I NEEDED to cook some tofu of my own.
I took a recipe that my friend Sean had recommended and adapted it to my own tastes. The final result pays homage to the original with the soy sauce and cilantro, but it’s a new creation. If you were turned-off by your first experience with tofu, you may want to give it a second look.
Oven-roasted Tofu with Gluten-Free Asian Ginger Marinade
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
1 14 oz package firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into one-inch cubes
6 tablespoons gluten-free low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
4 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
4 teaspoons creamed honey
2 garlic cloves sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Set aside the cubed tofu pieces and combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Pour the sauce over the tofu and let marinate for 15-20 minutes. Spread the tofu cubes and sauce flat in a casserole dish or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring 2-3 times to get an even crisp on all sides.
I enjoyed this with some sautéed Broccoli Rabe and a mushroom quinoa, but the possibilities are endless. Please share any tofu tips you have with the rest of us.