Tofu’s got a reputation for being “hit-or-miss” at the best of times.
And for good reason.
It’s bland by itself, requires extra time, effort and TLC to inject flavor into it – and EVEN THEN it often falls flat.
In fact, I’ve found only a few recipes that make tofu taste good.
And this is one of them.
Simply dusted with sea salt and black pepper; drizzled with tamari (or soy sauce) and vinegar – then baked in an oven for 30-40 minutes; this is the perfect recipe for when you want a head-start on dinner. It’s also one of the most straightforward ways to make yummy tofu.
This recipe is:
- Simple: No techniques or faff required – just press, slice, season and bake.
- Minimal: Uses 6 ingredients including the tofu!
- Versatile: You can change up the seasoning as you please. Soy sauce or shoyu instead of tamari? Sure. Rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? Definitely. Spice it up with garlic powder or hot sauce? Yes!
- Hands-off: My favorite part! This recipe requires minimal supervision which makes for a relatively stress-free protein option for dinner.
Top this tofu on salads or bowls; tuck it into sandwiches or wraps; throw it into noodles – or just enjoy it plain and hot, right out of the oven.
This recipe’s a favorite in my home and I hope it becomes one in yours too.
Try it, let me know if you love it, and share! xo
Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- 14 oz extra-firm tofu
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1-2 tbsp tamari (I used low-sodium) or soy sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1/2 lemon or lime, squeezed
- First, drain and press the tofu. If your tofu is vacuum-sealed, you can skip this step. Press the tofu for 10 minutes using a "tofu-press" or simply place it on a plate or tray and "press" it using something heavy. I use a wooden chopping block and 1-2 cans to add extra weight, as shown in the photo.Discard any remaining liquid that runs off the tofu.
- Preheat your oven to 380F (190C) and prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- Now, on a chopping block, using a sharp knife, cut the tofu into 12 thin slabs as shown in the image. I did this by first slicing the block into half widthwise, then into thin slabs lengthwise 6 times. It doesn't matter how they look as long as you have 12 pieces of the same thickness.
- Lay the tofu slabs out on the prepared baking tray.
- Lightly sprinkle the slabs with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then flip them over and do the same.
- Drizzle the tamari and vinegar on one side of the slabs (no need to flip over). Note: soy sauce and shoyu tend to be saltier than tamari. If you're not using low-sodium tamari, start with 1 tablespoon instead of 2.If easier, mix the tamari and vinegar in a small bowl and brush it onto the tofu slabs.
- Now place the baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and carefully flip each piece over with tongs. Then put it back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Note: the tofu will not crisp up in this recipe, but will become golden brown.
- Remove the tray from the oven and squeeze lemon or lime juice all over the tofu pieces. Optional: If you want to slice the tofu into strips, let it cool for 2 minutes once out of the oven, then slice each piece into strips lengthwise. Then squeeze the lemon/lime juice all over.
- Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce. I use a low-sodium variety here. If you are using soy-sauce, shoyu or regular tamari, use 1 tablespoon in the recipe (it's easier to add more salt/soy later!)
- Squeezing lemon/lime juice at the end is optional, but recommended to cut through and balance out the saltiness. It also brightens up the entire dish.
- This recipe does not make tofu crispy. To get crispiness, you'd need to use cornstarch or arrowroot powder. There are loads of recipes out there if you do a quick search.