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Spicy Baked Tofu

Tofu.  I don't really make it all that often, even though I like it.  In some instances, I even love it.  As in this instance.  I am now adding this recipe to my favorite tofu recipes.  I saw it over at Alyssa's place, Everyday Maven.  And I couldn't get it out of my head.  I kept coming back to it.  I pinned it so that I wouldn't forget about it.  I made a note of it on the "scratch pad" on my desktop.  I printed the recipe and (literally) pinned it to the bulletin board in front of my computer.  I added tofu to my shopping list.  And finally...I went shopping!

I have always loved the texture of baked tofu.  It's sort of meaty and chewy.  For some reason I find the texture hard to resist.  Especially when almost all of the "water" has been pressed from the block of tofu first.  I also love it fried...but that's a whole 'nother story.  Anyway.  Back to this Spicy Baked Tofu.  Alyssa mentioned that she uses and loves Thai Kitchen Spicy Thai Chili Sauce Marinade - so I added that to my shopping list, as well.  I was positive that my favorite market would have it.  They have so many amazing products.  Including Thai brand.  But after quadruple checking the shelves, I was proven wrong.  Shoot.  So I decided to use equal parts Sweet Chili Sauce and Hot Chili Paste in place of it.  It was SPICY!  And delicious.  You could definitely decrease the heat by using less (or none) of the chili paste and increasing the amount of sweet chili sauce.

Make it.  Turn it into a sandwich.  Or top salad greens with it.  Or just grab and nibble.  You may find a new addiction!

Spicy Baked Tofu
by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 2-6 hours, mostly unattended
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: bake appetizer entree snack vegan chiles
Ingredients (serves 3)
  • 1 (12-14 oz.) pkg. Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1½ Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce (Maggi Taste of Asia)
  • 1½ Tbs. Fresh Chili Paste (Sambal Olek)
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 1″ piece ginger root, peeled
Take the block of tofu from it's package leaving any liquid behind. Press it using a tofu press or set in a pan and weigh down with some sort of weight. Press for at least 30 minutes, but up to a couple of hours in the fridge.

Remove tofu from fridge and drain off liquid. Slice into twelve equal slices that run "the short way" and are ~½" thick. Set in a single layer in a small pan with sides.

Combine sweet chili sauce, chili paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove and ginger knob into the mixture (using a microplane). Stir well.

Pour the marinade over the slices of tofu. Move it all around to make sure that all of the slices have marinade all around. Cover with plastic wrap and slide into the refrigerator for at least one hour, preferably longer. Refrigerate for at least one hour, the longer the better.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a sheet tray with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
Lay the tofu slices in a single layer on the prepared sheet. Scrape any marinade left in the pan over the tofu slices. Slide into the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, carefully flipping the tofu over twice (every 20 minutes). The edges should be golden brown and crisp and the tofu should feel firm.

Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.

slightly adapted from Everyday Maven

Try serving over a bed of baby spinach with lime wedges for squeezing over the top of everything before eating. I like to serve some extra Sweet Chili Sauce on the side for dipping.

This version is pretty spicy, if you prefer something with less heat, omit the Chili Paste and double the Sweet Chili Sauce.
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