Tofu is a great first ingredient to practice cooking on: since it’s safe to eat raw, you don’t have to worry too much about how long you cook it, and since it’s so plain, it really soaks up whatever flavors you use. This is a versatile recipe: you can serve the tofu cubes with rice or a simple side, like we do here, top a salad with them to make a main dish, or even use them as a taco filling.
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- Clean dish towel
- Bowl or pie plate
- Measuring spoons
- Baking pan
- Pot holders
- Heatproof spatula or tongs
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray
- 1 (12- to 16-ounce) container firm or extra-firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil or vegetable oil
- Turn the oven on and set the heat to 450 degrees. Use the vegetable oil or cooking spray to grease the baking pan.
- Drain the liquid from the tofu and wrap it in a clean dish towel or double layer of paper towels for 15-20 minutes. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes. (If the block of tofu is 4 x 3 x 2 inches how many cubes will you end up with?)
- Make the marinade: put the soy sauce, cider vinegar, and sesame oil in the bowl or pie plate and stir it together.
- Put the tofu in the marinade and stir it around so that all of it gets coated. Leave it in the marinade for as long as you can — 10 minutes is okay, but 30 minutes is even better.
- Put the cubes of tofu in the baking pan (save the marinade). Once the oven temperature has reached 450 degrees, put the baking pan in the oven. After 15 minutes, take the tofu out of the oven and use the tongs or spatula to carefully turn each piece over. Bake 15 minutes longer.
- Put the tofu back in the reserved marinade and toss gently. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.