I read recipes from all kinds of sources, blogs, magazines, the backs of food packages, you name it. I come across recipes all the time that sound super delicious, except that they have meat. There are plenty of ways to make a meaty recipe vegetarian. Sometimes, all you need is a vegetarian meat substitute. Most of the time, though, I prefer to use more vegetables, lentils, beans, and high-protein ingredients like tofu and tempeh. When I use one of the latter, I usually need to ramp up the flavor with other ingredients. For ages, I’ve wanted a go-to marinated tofu recipe that was already perfectly seasoned for any recipe, so that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, as it were, each time I vegetarianized something. This is it.
Finally, this is kind of random, but I wanted to share this picture of my neighbors’ tree that seems to have a face on it. Every time I spy it through one of my front windows, I imagine it has its hands on its hips and is saying “Ooh, girl?”
Ooh, girl, how’d you make that tofu so good?
The tofu will shrink a good bit (my 16-ounce block weighed 9 ounces after baking) but it will still be quite soft, unlike commercial baked tofu. It does firm up some as it cools though.
- 1 pound tofu
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Cut tofu into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Mix remaining ingredients well. Pour about 1/3 of the marinade in an 8 x 8-inch non-metal baking pan. Places the slices in the pan in a single layer, then pour the rest of the marinade on top. Marinate overnight, or for up to two days.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove the tofu from the pan and discard the marinade. Wipe out the pan, spray with no-stick spray, and transfer the tofu back to the pan. As soon as you place the pan in the oven, turn the heat down to 300 F.
Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, turning over once or twice. (You remembered to turn to oven down to 300 F, right? Awesome, go you.)