Store-bought-style baked tofu at home
January 4, 2009 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Store-bought-style baked tofu at home: how?

I love tofu and cook it frequently, usually in stir-frys. I always freeze my tofu to improve the texture, then press it for long enough to get excess moisture out. I'm pretty happy with my typical methods, but I would love to be able to make baked tofu similar to the store-bought kind. My previous efforts have yielded tasty results, but nothing like the soft, yet very firm texture of a packaged baked tofu (like White Wave or SoyBoy). Those store-bought tofus are pretty expensive - can I mimic that style at home? (Note: I am interested in mimicking the texture, not necessarily the flavor) My googling is turning up nothing.
posted by acridrabbit to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
How much do you pay for baked tofu?

Consider looking for baked tofu in Chinese stores rather than health food stores. I've noticed that it's an order of magnitude cheaper that way.
posted by answergrape at 3:44 PM on January 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

If you live in a big city, you can buy baked tofu from a Chinese grocery store (usually in the refrigerated or tofu-specific sections) for way less than western brands.
posted by ikaruga at 3:47 PM on January 4, 2009

I've had good luck with Mark Bittman's recipe. The texture isn't exactly like the store-bought stuff, but I no longer feel the need to spend $3 on a tiny hunk of baked tofu from the grocery store.
posted by arianell at 4:35 PM on January 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

You have to freeze and squeeze tofu to get the chewy texture.
posted by fritley at 4:40 PM on January 4, 2009

Just as a note, the health food store's tofu is generally made with non-GMO soybeans. I once asked the owners of the local Japanese food place where I used to get cheap, homemade tasty tofu if he knew it was organic. He looked at me like I had 1000 heads.
posted by nevercalm at 5:32 PM on January 4, 2009

you live in boston so there should be some places where the asians in boston shop. find out where and shop for tofu there. WAY cheaper than buying them from a western market.
posted by violetk at 9:11 PM on January 4, 2009

freezing tofu makes it firmer, but gives it a spongy texture. definitely press your tofu by placing heavy object on top of it. try marinating it after it's pressed, then bake it will the marinade.
posted by gnutron at 10:42 PM on January 4, 2009

I freeze my tofu, too, when I use it for stir-fry. But if you're looking for that soft texture in the baked tofu, definitely skip the freezing part. I wanted to link you to my favorite recipe for Italian Baked Tofu at the Post Punk Kitchen, but the site appears to be offline. Basically, though, follow gnutron's advice -- press the tofu, slice it into slabs, marinate, and bake at a low temperature, turning each slab a couple times throughout the process. You'll end up with a nice crust on the outside and an almost creamy, soft center.
posted by kittydelsol at 5:46 AM on January 5, 2009

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