Tofu is a pretty tough sell, even to vegetarians and vegans, who often claim they don’t really enjoy tofu. I admit, tofu can taste fairly “tasteless” and bland at times, but if you are creative, and you cook it just right, it can be memorable. Tofu absorbs whatever you cook it with; spices, herbs, oils, etc. You also have to remember to press tofu before using it, to get the excess water out of it.
Tofu has a lot of nutritional benefits, and making it a regular part of your diet can help you make the transition to a plant-based diet much easier. You can marinate it or BBQ it just like you would with a piece of meat, but it has much more benefits for the body. Tofu is a soy based complete protein, providing all the essential amino acids. Tofu is also a high source is calcium and iron, as well as magnesium and of course protein. Make sure to always buy organic, non GMO tofu. Between 80-90% of soy grown in North American is genetically modified, which is pretty scary. To ensure your getting all the nutrients you need from tofu, eating REAL food, as well as ensuring you aren’t filling your body with toxins and pesticides, please be sure to buy organic, GMO-free tofu. If you eat non-GMO free tofu you are increasing your chances for illness and the ill-effects of unhealthy estrogen.
I found this recipe a few years ago, and I tweaked it to make it my own. It makes a good midnight snack, appetizer, or part of a main meal for dinner. I love surprising my friends and family with this dish, because they are always amazed about how much they love tofu once they eat it!
Preparing the Tofu
- Start with one package of tofu
- Cut in half and pressed with paper towels to get rid of excess moisture
- Cut the tofu into strips about ½ inch wide and lay them in a large baking dish
- Prepare marinade
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
- 2-3 teaspoons of sweetener (Agave nectar or coconut nectar both work well)
- ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
- Mix the marinade together and pour over the tofu that is in the baking dish. Make sure to spread it on every piece of tofu, coating all sides. Let it sit and marinade for 15-20 minutes to absorb flavour
- While marinating, prepare baking sheet with a small layer of peanut oil (about one teaspoon) and turn the oven to preheat at 400F/200C
- Once tofu is marinated, sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the first side and put it face down on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the other side with more sesame seeds
- Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove and carefully flip the tofu over to the other side, and bake for another 10-20 minutes, depending on how firm and dark you want them
Preparing the Peanut Sauce
While they are cooking, you can begin preparing the peanut dipping sauce.
- 1 tablespoon of ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons of all natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener (Agave nectar or coconut nectar work well once again)
- 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of water
Blend the sauce to mix well.
Serve warm once the tofu is done cooking. Enjoy! And note that it still tastes good even after it has sat in the fridge for a few days!