July 3, 2016

The Perfect Tofu—2 Ways. {Recipe}


I am a fan of finger food.

My college roommate once teasingly said I was on a “small object diet:” Tater tots, mixed nuts and crudités are all my friends—and if they are accompanied with dipping sauce, even better.

I looked for a way to make a bite-size nibble similar to a chicken nugget or falafel that also packs in the protein. I wanted to keep it simple enough to be baked or grilled, but didn’t want to chintz on the flavor.

Tofu tends to lack firmness and taste, so the trick to this recipe is in the preparation.

The secret to firm tofu is to get rid of excess water before marinating it. Even extra-firm tofu has excess water, and if we marinate before removing the water, it loses flavor.

Start with a block of extra-firm tofu. I like to buy it at an Asian market where it is freshly made. Wrap it in a clean terry dishcloth. Place it on a baking sheet to catch the excess water. Place a heavy book on top to apply pressure. Let it stand for four to eight hours until most of the water is strained.

The block will shrink in size. Its texture will be firm and spongy, like a boiled potato. Now it’s time to season it. My favorite is lemon pepper seasoning.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Black pepper to taste


Massage olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper into the tofu. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into cubes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tofu cubes on greased baking sheet. Bake until lightly brown. It usually takes about 10 minutes to get a golden-colored coating.

If grilling, grill entire block until crispy brown before cutting into cubes. Cut into cubes after cooking.

Serve with honey mustard or my favorite pesto.

If you want to toss them in a salad, get some grape tomatoes cut them in half, sprinkle in a few basil leaves and drizzle with balsamic vinegar for the perfect Caprese salad.




Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Image: FuFu Wolf/Flickr

Editors: Caitlin Oriel; Renee Picard

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