Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cheap Eats: Easy Baked Tofu

The Topic: Making the yummiest, easiest, cheapest tofu you'll ever eat with Assistant Editor Anna Peraino

The Dish: Savvy Vegan is almost two years old, and between posts about cheap and easy biscuits, soup, more soup, and peach pie, we've posted some really delicious, inexpensive recipes. While combing through our Cheap Eats one day looking for Abby's tortilla recipe (so good, y'all), I realized something quite disturbing: We don't have a recipe for baked tofu on here! Baked tofu! It's the vegan everyman's meal. The recipe you can whip up in three seconds. The vegan's infinitely more awesome baked chicken.

In order to right this wrong, I offer to you this incredibly simple and delicious baked tofu recipe. You'd think that working at a food-obsessed establishment such as VegNews would mean that I spend my evenings whipping up seitan Wellingtons and homemade ice cream with some two-cheese lasagna for dessert (what? I'm Italian), but alas, that's not my thing—we have Associate Editor Jennifer Chen and Office Manager Lyndsay Orwig for that. Most of my meals consist of the very baked tofu I am about to share with you. So, without further ado…

The Easiest Baked Tofu Ever

Serves 5

What You Need:
1 package extra-firm tofu
2-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 packet or 1 teaspoon stevia
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

What You Do:
   1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drain tofu and place on 2 paper towels
   folded in half. Cover with another 2 paper towels folded in half and
   gently press to remove excess moisture. Cut tofu into 1/2- to 1-inch
   2. In a glass baking dish, combine tofu with all other ingredients.
   Gently toss to combine.
   3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until tofu seems firm to the touch and
   marinade has dried in pan.

The Final Word: As I mentioned before, baked tofu is a vegan's bread and butter. The best thing about it is its versatility, and it will only get better as you hone your flavor profile (fancy culinary phrase: $0) and figure out what you like best. And we want to hear about it! Please post your favorite everyday baked tofu recipe in the comments below!


  1. STEVIA? Groan. I miss Abby!

  2. This is one of my favorites. But I have many more because I love cooked tofu(hate raw). So here's Glazed Tofu: 2 Tblsp tamari,3 Tblsp real maple syrup, 3 Tblsp mirin, 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, 1 Tblsp. vegetable oil. Mix tamari, syrup and mirin in bowl.Set aside. Cut tofu into steaks or cubes and fry in oil until golden. Add tamari mixture, turn until tofu is coated with glaze. I also have recipes for oregano or pecan crusted tofu for people who love crusted food.

  3. Despite being a vegetarian/vegan for 10 years, I have never successfully made baked tofu. I ate Baked Sesame Tofu at Whole Foods once years ago and it was magnificent - really thick with tons of the marinade soaked in. I have never been able to re-create that texture and absorption at home; mine always come out tasting like bland tofu. I will try this one though and hope for the best! How much sugar would one use if they wanted to replace the stevia with it? Thanks!

  4. This is my standby "Tofu/Tempeh/Eggplant Crispy Coating" recipe.
    Combine 1 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 cup rice flour, 1 TBLSP garlic powder, 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt, 1/4 tsp pepper. This keeps indefinitely in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator. (never drop food into this jar)
    In a flat dish, combine 1 TBLSP Braggs or tamari, 1 TBLSP apple cider vinegar, 1/2 TBLSP filtered water. Add 1/2 cup cubed firm tofu and let marinate 30 to 90 minutes. Turn occasionally.
    Separate some coating from the jar into a bowl, add drained marinated tofu and coat on all sides.
    Place coated tofu in a heated (on med-high), lightly olive oil sprayed cast-iron pan and cook til lightly brown.
    Add to raw salads, steamed greens or a sandwich.
    Long recipe but so easy once you have the jar of coating always ready in the refrigerator.

  5. while I enjoy tofu, I don't love the nearly inedible mistakes I've managed to make with it... baked tofu is a definite go to when I don't want to risk it. Since Thanksgiving, I've been experimenting with using leftover cranberry sauce (apparently once the turkey's gone, no one in my house knows what to do with it!), and came up with a marinade using cran. sauce and soyaki, plus a little bit of apple cider vinegar, apple cider (added when it seemed like it needed to be sweeter), some pineapple chunks, and various basic spices. I let it marinade over night, then baked it for lunch. very tasty, and easy!

  6. 1 packet of Stevia = 2 Tablespoon of sugar

  7. can you publish finished pics of the recipes?