Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baked tofu sticks

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On the rare occasions when I work at home, I try to have a healthy snack waiting for the kids after school. I cut up fruit and vegetables and put them on the table because I know if the good stuff is sitting right in front of them, they're more likely to eat it.

My active, growing boys also need a little protein to get them through the rest of the day. Last week I experimented with some extra-firm tofu. I was trying to imitate the marinated tofu I sometimes get at Whole Foods. Frankly, I liked my version more. I cut it into smaller pieces, which meant more marinade-glazed surface area. And it was a lot less salty.

One kid liked it, one not so much. I loved it. Hello, new lunchbox snack.

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Baked tofu sticks
The longer you let the batons of tofu marinate, the more the flavors will permeate the tofu. Serve at room temperature for the best texture.
  • approximately 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce or plum sauce
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Line a plate with several layers of paper towel. Place the tofu on the plate and cover with several more layers of paper towel. Put a baking sheet on top of the covered tofu, then weight the baking sheet down with a can or two from your pantry. Let the tofu drain for an hour, changing the paper towel once or twice if it soaks through quickly. Pat the blocks of tofu dry and slice them into batons about 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, ginger, hoisin or plum sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Add the tofu and toss gently so all the tofu is coated with the marinade. Leave to marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to several hours, tossing occasionally.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.Lift the tofu pieces from the marinade and lay them in rows on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake about 40 minutes, turning the tofu slices over halfway through the baking time. Let cool on the baking sheet. Serve at room temperature.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings

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