(via The Kitchn)
1 or more (16-ounce) containers extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Other marinade ideas: minced ginger, minced garlic, lemon or lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce (thinned with water)
1 tablespoon cornstarch, optional for crispy tofu
- Press the tofu: Remove the tofu from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels or a dish cloth. Line a plate with a paper towel and set the tofu on top. Set a small plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Press for 15 to 30 minutes. You will see liquid collect around the tofu.
- Cut the tofu into pieces: Remove the weight and drain off the excess liquid. Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, thin slices, or sticks, depending on how you plan to use the tofu.
- Marinate the tofu (optional): To give the tofu extra flavor, marinate the tofu pieces for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight. Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Transfer the marinade and the tofu to a shallow container. Gently toss the cubes until coated with the marinate. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. If marinating longer, toss the tofu occasionally to marinate evenly.
- Heat the oven: When ready to bake the tofu, heat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.
- Toss with cornstarch (optional): If you’ll be serving the tofu right away, tossing the cubes with cornstarch will make them crispier. (The corn starch doesn’t make a difference once the cubes are cooled and refrigerated.) Transfer the tofu to a bowl with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with corn starch. Gently toss until the outside of the tofu is sticky and coated.
- Bake the tofu: Arrange the tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. The tofu can be close, but try to avoid pieces touching each other. The tofu will shrink as it bakes. Bake until the outside of the tofu is golden and the pieces look slightly puffed, 20 to 45 minutes depending on the size and shape of your tofu. Toss the tofu every 10 minutes so the pieces bake evenly. The longer you bake the tofu, the chewier it will be.
- Cool and store: If serving immediately, serve while still warm. If saving the tofu for later, let it cool on the baking sheet, then transfer to a refrigerator container. The tofu will keep refrigerated for up to a week.