Recipe | Baked Italian Herb Tofu + How to Press Tofu Like a Champ

Baked Italian Herb Tofu
I am going to confess something really shameful to you right now. When I decided to make this recipe, I realized that the dried rosemary in my pantry was 12 years old. Escandalo! If my rosemary were a person, she would have Justin Bieber posters in her room and be sass-mouthing me when I ask her to do her chores. Herbs! They grow up so fast! I think you’re supposed to keep dried herbs for a year, so this is pretty embarrassing. In my defense, I hardly ever use dried rosemary in my cooking. Which is good because when I opened it up, it smelled like dust and nothing instead of smelling like rosemary.

Whenever I post a tofu recipe, people ask me how to press it. There are some cooking techniques that I never know if I should take the time to explain because I’m not sure if people know about them already. I don’t want you guys to be like, “Duh, thanks, I knew that.” But I don’t want you to be confused either! So I thought I’d post another baked tofu recipe and explain how to press tofu. Then when I post a tofu recipe in the future, I can link back here.

How to Press Tofu Like a Champ
In my opinion, the best way to press tofu is with a tofu press (which you can read about here). But pressing tofu with a tofu press is self-explanatory and if you have a tofu press, odds are, you know how to use it. So if you don’t have a tofu press, all you need to do is:

1. Take two paper towels and fold them in half and in half again.

2. Place one of the folded towels on a cutting board. Make sure the cutting board is on a surface that can get wet, like your countertop.

3. Take the tofu out of the package, drain off the water, and put it on top of the first paper towel.

4. Put the second paper towel on top of the tofu.

5. Place something heavy on top–either a plate, another cutting board, or a skillet. I usually put additional weights on top of that too. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed or the plate/skillet/cutting board will fall off, usually smashing one side of your tofu in the process.

6. Let this sit for 30 minutes. You can change out the paper towels once or twice if needed.

Is this worth it? HECK YES IT IS WORTH IT. When you press out all that tofu water, the tofu can better absorb the flavors you add to it. Even if a recipe doesn’t call for me to press my tofu, I still press it. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

Baked Italian Herb Tofu Baked Italian Herb Tofu Pita Pockets
So this gave me a good excuse to make Baked Italian Herb Tofu, which had been on my to-make list for a while. I used to buy it, but they stopped selling it locally, which was a bummer. This tofu is simple to make and it’s a delicious addition to pasta, sandwiches, and salads. You can bake the slices for 30 minutes, which results in tofu that’s soft and golden brown in color, or you can bake them for a full 40 minutes, which makes the tofu browned and chewy.

Baked Italian Herb Tofu

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 slices of tofu

Baked Italian Herb Tofu

This easy baked tofu is perfect for adding to salads, pasta, and sandwiches!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos (I used coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • A dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes and cut into 8 slabs
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the liquid aminos, oil, water, vinegar, garlic powder, herbs, and pepper in a small baking dish. Place the tofu slices in the baking dish and marinate for 30 minutes, turning the slices over after 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Transfer the tofu slices to a baking sheet that's been lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray. Rub any remaining marinade onto the tofu and season with a few sprinkles of salt. For softer baked tofu, bake for 30 minutes; for chewier tofu, bake for 40 minutes. Flip the tofu over halfway through cooking time.
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Julia says

    Pressing tofu is must. I like to press my tofu for several hours, in a tea towel. I also like to marinate the pressed tofu for several hours. I usually press the tofu overnight, then, in the morning, make the marinade, add the tofu and let marinate all day. Then, I will bake the tofu for supper. Or I might press all day, marinate overnight and bake in the morning. Here is a link to my blog – tofu pressing instructions plus two recipes using tofu.

    http://mostlyveganfun.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/recipe-updates/

    As for rosemary, you should try growing some. Start a seedling in the spring, it will grow all summer then overwinter, continue to grow next season and before you know it you have a rosemary bush! Of course, I live in an area with mild winters (south-west coast of Canada) so this kind of outdoor growing is possible.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I actually do grow my own rosemary, but I used dried in this recipe because I knew not everyone would have access to the fresh kind in the fall/winter. :)

  2. Irene Grun says

    Thanks for sharing a multitude of great veggie recipes and tofu. Im always looking for new nd healthy veggie and tofu recipes….im sharing ur recipes, too…much appreciated! Thanks, Irene

  3. agedtechie says

    Oriental grocery stores sell already pressed tofu: it is usually brown on the outside and white in the middle. Comes in a variety of pre-cut shapes and sizes..

    I always wondered where PeiWei got their great tofu and this is it. No pressing or weighting or draining necessary. Usually vacuum packed in the dairy (cool foods) section but not frozen. Keeps a very long time in the fridge. I can actually almost never get to one of these stores (40 miles away) but when I do I stock up!

  4. Pamala says

    Kiersten. Hi am wondering if you have a tofu recipe made from scratch. I have recently returned from Manila in the Philippines and dined frequently at the SEventh Day Adventist Hospital where they made their own Tofu and soya milk? Thnx in advance.

  5. says

    Baked tofu “steaks” flavored with turmeric and with roasted veggies is my favorite easy weeknight dinner. I like to serve them with marinara sauce. I’ll have to try Italian herbs next time!

  6. Donna Cuic says

    How long will this keep do ya think? Wondering if I could make this and if it would last the week to use in my lunchtime salads.

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