I love fried tofu, and mom was super good at it. When she was younger she was a wiz in the kitchen and I do missed those days. She was a wonderful cook and so meticulous with her dishes. Now in her 90s she can barely stand without her cane and eating is more like a chore for her. When I saw her in July I was taken back by how much weight she has lost, all because she has no appetite.
When I stumbled upon this recipe, I got a little misty eyed because it took me back to those days when mom would stand by a hot stove and carefully fried those thinly sliced tofu with love and patience . She would fry them to the right crispness, she never burned them which is so easy and neither would they stick to the pan. I remember standing by her and watched ,she would tell me the secret of making the perfect fried tofu. The most important thing as she pointed out is patience and low heat. I had tried to make it accordingly and most of the time were disastrous. I stopped making them eventually because I know they will never turn out right.
This recipe definitely brought me down the memory lane, and I could not wait to try it just to surprise my chickadee. The first time I attempted to do it, I failed. The recipe calls for the tofu to be “pressed” to get the water out. You are supposed to have a plate over it, but I thought I could ” change” it a bit to speed up the process, and thought that a chop board will do the trick. Well, surprise, surprise……5 minutes later when I came back I discovered the tofu had flattened so much that it ended up in many little pieces. So much for trying to be smart.
The next day I tried it again,knowing that there are no short cuts to this preparation. The tofu turned out really yummy, even though it does not taste like the fried ones which I love so much, but definitely it has a different kind of flavor and texture. The next time I will have to cut down the miso paste, for I found it to be a little salty for my own taste.
Here is the recipe:
Baked Tofu in Miso Sauce
makes 4 servings
total time: 45 minutes to an hour, depending on tofu pressing time
total hands on time: 5-10 minutes
What you’ll need:
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 1/8 cup of miso paste (I used white paste, but red is good too!)
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
- sprinkle of powdered ginger
- sprinkle of garlic powder
What you’ll do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350. Then, you need to drain the tofu of liquid. Place one or two paper towels on a plate, then put the entire block of firm tofu on top
Put another plate on top of that, and add some heavy things (I used jars containing rice and chia seeds. You can use pans, books, whatever.) Leave it for at least 20-30 minutes.
2. While the tofu is pressing, you can make the sauce. Combine miso, water, canola oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), ginger, and honey or agave nectar in a small bowl and stir well to blend. The sauce will be kind of thick, feel free to add more water if necessary.
3. Slice the block of tofu in half vertically (into two even squares). Then, cut the thinner blocks of tofu into triangles by slicing diagonally.
4. Transfer miso sauce into a shallow dish and dip the tofu squares into it, carefully covering both sides with the sauce. Transfer slices to a greased baking pan or sheet.
5. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you’d like it. About halfway through, I added a little bit more sauce to each slice. When the tofu is baked to your liking, garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!