Fried tofu cubes are so handy. You can snack on them, add to salads, or use in recipes. Follow this easy recipe and go make fried tofu cubes in your oven.
In many Asian dishes, you will find that we use a lot of fried tofu cubes. The most traditional way to make fried tofu cubes is of course by deep-frying. You can also pan-fry, but please make sure you have a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or it will end up a horrible mess of tofu sticking on your pan. Or, if you have an oven or even a toaster oven, then you can make oven-baked tofu, a.k.a. fried tofu cubes with baking!
How to drain tofu properly before cooking/frying/baking
Regardless of your choice, please remember to drain your tofu as much as possible before cooking, especially if you opt for deep frying or pan-frying since more liquid means more splattering. You can buy some specialty designed tool to drain your tofu, but I usually do the following:
- Cut each tofu block into small cubes.
- Wrap each block (which now consists of many many small cubes) with a paper towel.
- Place wrapped tofu in between two plates, and place a heavy item (like a cast-iron skillet) on top of the top plate.
- After about 30 minutes, a pool of liquid will gather around the tofu. With the liquid drained from the tofu, I can now safely proceed to make fried tofu cubes.
How to bake crispy fried tofu in an oven
After we drained our tofu, we can now proceed with marinating and baking them. Here are what I do:
- Marinate drained tofu with soy sauce for 30 minutes. If you just want to salt your tofu, simply sprinkle with salt and proceed with the next step.
- Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit), and line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent tofu from sticking.
- Lightly dust tofu with cornstarch or arrowroot starch, then arrange on the prepared tray.
- Bake tofu for 30 minutes, though the exact time will depend mostly on the size of your tofu cubes. The goal is to achieve crispy golden brown skin but the inside is still soft. Please toss the tofu cubes every 10 minutes so they bake evenly.
How do you use this oven-baked tofu?
The easiest and most straightforward way to enjoy these tofu cubes is as a healthy snack, or add them to your favorite salads. If you are like me, then you will want to make a big batch of fried tofu cubes and then use them in these recipes:
- simply braised tofu
- tahu tumis kemangi - tofu and basil stir fry
- tahu goreng sambal sereh - fried tofu with spicy lemongrass relish
- tahu lada hitam - tofu in black pepper sauce
- pindang tahu goreng - fried tofu in spicy broth
- tahu gejrot cirebon - fried tofu in chili soy sauce
- babi dan tahu kecap - pork belly and tofu stewed in soy sauce
- bak kut teh - pork ribs in spices and herbal soup
- oden- Japanese winter stew
As you can see, you can use them in so many different ways. So what are you waiting for? Let’s make your very own batch of oven-baked tofu cubes today. :)
- 1-2 firm tofu block
- 1-2 tablespoon soy sauce
- corn starch/arrowroot starch, to coat
- Cut each block of tofu into small cubes.
- Reassemble the tofu cubes into original block, wrap each tofu block with paper towel.
- Place wrapped tofu in between 2 plates. So if you have 2 blocks of tofu, the arrangement will be plate, tofu, plate, tofu, plate.
- Place a heavy object at the top of the plate. I usually use my cast iron skillet.
- After about 30 minutes, the tofu should be drained and a pool of liquid will form around the tofu.
- In a mixing bowl, marinate drained tofu with soy sauce. Let it rest for up to 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit). Line a baking tray with parchment paper to prevent from tofu from sticking.
- Lightly dust tofu with corn starch/arrowroot starch. Place coated tofu cubes on prepared tray.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, but the exact required time will depend mostly on the size of your tofu cubes. In general, we want to achieve a crispy golden brown skin but the inside is still soft. Toss the tofu every 10 minutes so they will brown evenly.
- The baked tofu cubes can be served as is, with salad, or used in any of the recipes that called for fried tofu.