This delicious, salty and sweet Baked Marinated Tofu Recipe is extremely easy and quick to prepare. Baked in the oven, this flavorful Marinated Tofu dish is great with rice, vegetables, stir fry or even on sandwiches.
Never again will you think of tofu as boring and bland. This recipe for Baked Marinated Tofu is a savory, high protein packed dish that you will absolutely love. The marinade transforms the tofu into a sweet and salty bite of heaven. You can serve this with rice or vegetables, or in salads, sandwiches and stir-fry.
I first had this recipe at a local vegan eatery in my town. It was salty, sweet and crunchy from being deliciously deep fried. I decided to try to make this recipe myself and see if I can recreate it at home. Instead of deep frying the tofu, I bake it so that it keeps the calorie count down. I use this recipe for my weekly meal prep and it lasts up to 7 days in the fridge.
Ingredients Needed to Make Marinated Tofu
This recipe is super simple. You probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already, so hurry up and give this dish a try!
- FIRM / EXTRA-FIRM TOFU – both firmness levels are fine and work well.
- TAMARI – this gives the marinade a salty flavor. You can use Soy Sauce instead of the Tamari.
- RICE VINEGAR – adds some acidity to the marinade.
- PURE MAPLE SYRUP – balances out the marinade with some sweetness.
- NEUTRAL OIL – I recommend using a canola oil.
- GARLIC – use freshly minced garlic for a zing of spice.
- GINGER – use freshly grated or powdered ginger
- SESAME SEEDS – adds a nice nutty flavor. You can also add sesame oil if you have.
How to Press Tofu
Tofu Packed In Water Vs. Pressed Tofu
When you purchase tofu, chances are will come in a plastic container packed with water. For the Baked Marinated Tofu Recipe, you will need tofu that is pressed, meaning tofu that has all of the water squeezed out of it. Think of tofu as a sponge, it absorbs everything!
You can skip this step of pressing the tofu by purchasing Pressed Tofu. When you buy Pressed Tofu, it will come sealed air-tight in plastic and it will be much flatter. While this option is extremely convenient, it comes at cost.
Steps To Press Tofu in 20 Minutes
To press firm/ extra firm tofu quickly, here is what you want to do. First, remove it from the water and gently squeeze any liquid out without ruining the integrity of the tofu. Next, cut the tofu into cubes.
Put a few layers of paper towel down on a flat surface like a cutting board or use a thick towel. Then, place the tofu cubes onto the towel and then put another towel on top of the tofu cubes. Place a baking sheet on top and then a heavy pan (like a cast iron.) The added pressure will squeeze the water out of the tofu and the towels will soak up the liquid. See pictures below for step-by-step demo.
You only need to press it for 20 minutes before you have firmly pressed tofu!
How to Make Baked Marinated Tofu
After you let the tofu press for 20 minutes, you are ready to prepare the rest of the dish.
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to Prepare Baked Marinated Tofu
- Prepare the marinade
Start by combining tamari (or soy sauce), rice vinegar, minced garlic, ginger (or ginger powder), sesame seeds and canola oil in a bowl. Whisk together until the ingredients are completely combined.
- Marinate tofu
In a large dish, add the pressed tofu and pour the marinade on top. Place the tofu and marinade in the refrigerator for one hour so the tofu can absorb the flavor from the marinade.
- Bake the tofu for 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350 F. After the tofu is done marinating, place it on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. For crispy tofu, sear in a pan for a few minutes until you get a nice crispy texture.
Absolutely! To pan-fry, add a few tablespoons of canola oil to a pan. Add the tofu to the pan and let the tofu sear for at least three minutes. If you try to turn or flip the tofu before then, it may stick to the pan. Flip the tofu and drizzle in the leftover extra marinade. Once the tofu is crispy, remove and serve.
This recipe lasts up to a week in the fridge. Use an air-tight sealed container.
If you use tamari, then yes it is gluten free.
How to Serve Baked Tofu
- Over brown rice or quinoa for extra protein (Check out our article on Vegan Recipes for Bodybuilders)
- With vegetables as a stir fry
- On sandwich bread or a wrap
- As crispy tofu bites for a pre-workout meal
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! If you try it out, please let me know in the comments how you liked it and give us a rate! Cheers.
Baked Marinated Tofu Recipe (Quick + Easy)
- 16 ounces firm or extra firm tofu (1 normal sized package)
- 3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon dried ginger (or 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger)
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds (or ½ tablespoon sesame oil)
- Start by pressing the tofu for 20 minutes. Cut the tofu into cubes and place them evenly on a flat surface lined with paper towel or cloth towel. Cover the tofu with another layer or paper towel or cloth towel and place a large baking sheet on top. Add a heavy pan (such as a cast iron skillet) on top so that the baking sheet is pressing on the tofu.
- While the tofu is pressing, make the marinade. In a bowl, combine tamari, rice vinegar, minced garlic, pure maple syrup, ginger, sesame seeds and canola oil. Whisk together until combined.
- Remove the tofu from the press and marinate it. Add the tofu to a dish and pour the marinade on top of the tofu. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour and allow the tofu to soak up the marinade.
- After the tofu is done marinating, add it to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes.
- You can pan fry the marinated tofu instead of baking it. Place 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a pan and add in the tofu. Let the tofu cook for at least 3 minutes before flipping. Drizzle the extra sauce on top. Cook until the outside is crispy.