Back in the 1980’s, my family used to frequent a natural foods store. And in their deli case, they sold marinated baked tofu by the slice. In time, my family befriended the deli staff, and they shared the recipe for the marinated baked tofu with us. For decades, my family has enjoyed making that recipe. Since that time, I have created my own version, and would like to share it with you!
Whether you slice or cube the tofu, this recipe has many applications. This grilled or baked tofu recipe can be enjoyed on sandwiches, on salads, in tacos, in burritos, on pizza, in a grain bowl, in vegan sushi or whatever your imagination can come up with. Sometimes, I just make a batch and eat it by itself. It is tasty! And even better, it is so easy to make, and tastes great hot or cold.
This recipe makes ~8 slices or 2 cups of cubed tofu. I like to marinade it in an 8″ X 8″ baking pan (the kind I would use to make brownies in). To satisfy the orange juice requirement, I bought 1 orange, and squeezed it into a measuring cup. I find this easier than buying an entire jug of orange juice, and maybe you will too!
Here are some general tips for marinating and grilling or baking tofu:
- Always press the extra firm tofu before marinating it. It will remove the water the tofu is stored in, and make the tofu like a wrung out sponge–ready to soak your marinade up.
- Marinades should have a strong flavor. It needs to permeate the tofu and make it taste like something. If you taste your marinade, it should be strong, but still pleasant.
- Before marinating, cut the pressed tofu into slices for sandwiches or cubes for just about everything else (salad topping, burrito/taco filling, grain bowl, etc). Then, marinate and grill/bake. It will result in a more uniform cook on the tofu.
- Grilling on a grill-proof sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil that has been lightly greased with oil is a game changer. It makes it easy to grill tofu, and flip it.
Marinated Grilled or Baked Tofu
16 ounce package of extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into slices or cubes
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 1/2-2 Tbsp agave (OR maple syrup)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1. In an 8″ X 8″ glass pan, add soy sauce, sesame oil, agave, orange juice, garlic powder and ginger powder. Mix together with a fork, and taste. If it’s too bitter, add a little more agave (or maple syrup). Place tofu in a single layer over the marinade, then flip each piece over to the other side to make sure it’s well coated. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for, at least, 1 hour. Flip over each piece. Then, cover again and refrigerate for another hour.
2. Line a large, grill-proof sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Lightly grease it. Place the tofu in a single layer over the foil.
3. Grill or bake at 400º F for ~4-6 minutes (less time, if you cubed the tofu). Flip it over. Grill or bake for about another 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it throughout, and make sure it’s crisped up to your preference.
4. Remove from grill or oven. Serve marinated grilled or baked tofu hot or cold on sandwiches, in salads, as taco filling, inside a burrito, on pizza, in a grain bowl or in vegan sushi. Get creative!