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:
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. 🙂
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