Smoky Baked Marinated Tofu



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.

Soy sauce, smoked paprika, and toasted sesame oil come together in this to make this neutral enough to go with anything, and richly flavored enough not to need any other embellishments.You could, if you want, add other flavors to this, like ginger or garlic, but you don’t have to. With just these three ingredients, you have tofu that I can imagine in not just Asian recipes, but all kinds of Mediterranean recipes, and American ones too. (I’m leaving out a few areas of the world here, I know, but that’s because I don’t know enough about their cuisines, not because I’ve forgotten them.) I’m even going to throw it on the grill soon. I have high hopes that it will be delicious. The evening I made this, I had a minor ingredients mishap and didn’t get to use this in the dish I wanted. We ended up eating it plain out of hand, and it was awesome that way too. Tofu for breakfast? Yep, if it’s this one.

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?
Smoky Baked Marinated Tofu

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 3 to 4

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.)

You might also like

12 Responses

  1. Looks delicious, great recipe!

  2. That looks delicious…I LOVELOVELOVE baked tofu!…going to try it your way…

    ~Have a lovely day!

  3. This looks great. We make tofu bacon regularly and it is a fantastic thing to have in the fridge when I want to make something that usually has meat – last night I threw it in a pasta sauce and it was so satisfying. I haven’t been baking tofu for ages but your recipe (and the cooler weather) make me want to make this

  4. I love tofu, and this looks really nice. It must be really good if serve it with rice, porridge or make a salad with fresh vegetables. :)

  5. Thanks, yung! Salad was one of the things I was thinking of using this with.

  6. Think it would work without the oil? I’ve never used tofu but I think I could do this.

  7. I LOVE this recipe!!! instead of baking it I put in on skewers and grilled it with shish kabobs!!! Wasn’t a big fan of tofu but I’m making it again tonight!!! yummm I think it is perfect O!!!!

Comments are closed.