This vegan marinated baked tofu recipe is packed with flavor from sesame and soy sauce. With simple gluten-free options, this recipe is a great way to add tasty protein to a variety of meals!
Skill: Easy | Time: 30 min | Servings: 4
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Can you Marinate Tofu?
Not only can you marinate tofu, but you absolutely should marinate tofu whenever you have the time!
Tofu is quite bland on its own. It needs quite a bit of flavor to create a tasty meal.
Marinating tofu is the ideal way to pack in loads of flavor and the marinade options are endless. This recipe uses a simple sesame soy marinade which is great with most stir fry recipes or alongside veggies and rice!
How Long to Marinate Tofu
For the best results, tofu needs to be marinated for at least 1 hour. Marinating overnight results in an even better outcome!
If you don’t have as much time, cut the tofu into smaller pieces. Larger pieces take longer for the marinade to soak all the way into the center.
I don’t bother marinating tofu if I don’t have at least a full hour to let it sit. I’d rather save the marinade ingredients to create a tasty sauce for the tofu (otherwise it feels like a waste of ingredients to me).
This tofu recipe can be left to marinate for 3-4 days if you like. This makes it an ideal option for baked tofu meal prep – simply cut the tofu, cover in marinade and place in the fridge in an airtight container or jar. Through the week you can bake the tofu to serve fresh with your meals.
If you want, you can also meal prep this recipe by marinating and baking the tofu at the start of the week. The cooked tofu lasts about 5 days in the fridge.
Easy Vegan Tofu Marinade
Making an easy vegan tofu marinade is quite simple. The easiest way is to just marinate in soy sauce or tamari. Soy sauce is quite salty which provides plenty of flavor to the tofu. There are lots of other fun ways to add salt to tofu marinade, for example, a flavored or smoked salt!
To take tofu marinade a step further, consider adding an acidic ingredient. This recipe uses rice vinegar but other types of vinegar or citrus are great options.
To balance out the salty and acidic flavors, a bit of fat and/ or sweetness is needed. For this recipe I’ve opted to use sesame oil which is extremely flavorful. A touch of maple syrup or hoisin sauce is a nice choice for a bit of sweetness as well!
Lastly, any marinade can benefit from additional herbs and spices. This recipe is kept simple with some garlic powder but feel free to get creative and use any blend of spices and herbs you like!
Marinade Variations to Try
There are endless options to switch up a basic tofu marinade. I’ve made this recipe at least a dozen different ways.
Some of my favorite variations include:
- Adding hoisin sauce for sweetness (2-3 tbsp)
- Using Sriracha or hot sauce for a spicy kick
- Switching out the rice vinegar for fresh lime juice for a fresh twist
How to Cook Marinated Tofu
The easiest way to cook marinated tofu is by baking it. For this recipe, drain the marinade and place the tofu pieces onto a parchment-covered baking tray.
The tofu in this recipe browns up nicely but doesn’t necessarily become “crispy”. I like the texture of tofu so the browned edges are crisp enough for me!
You can also pan fry marinated tofu. Drain away the marinade then pan fry in oil, over medium-high heat, until all sides of the tofu are golden and crispy. If you’re looking for a crispy tofu option, pan frying is the way to go!
How to Serve Baked Tofu
You can serve this baked tofu recipe alongside pretty much any meal.
This baked sesame tofu doesn’t need any additional sauce for it to be delicious but the added sauce from a stir fry is nice.
Gluten Free Options
This recipe is easily made gluten-free. Simply substitute the soy sauce for additional gluten-free tamari and you have a tasty gluten free tofu marinade! Tamari tofu is a delicious option even if you don’t require a gluten free meal.
Tofu is typically gluten free which makes it a delicious and easy protein source for gluten-free vegans!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Deliciously Vegan Side Dishes
Marinated Baked Tofu with Sesame and Soy
- Cutting Board
- Well-sealed container
- Baking tray
- Silicone baking mat
- Slice the tofu however you want (cubed works well).
- Toss tofu and remaining ingredients together in a well-sealed container. Give it a good shake.
- Place tofu container in the fridge for at least a few hours, one night is ideal (and up to 3 nights is okay as well). If you get a chance give the tofu a shake to get the marinade over all the tofu pieces.
- When you are ready to cook the tofu, drain away the excess marinade. Place the tofu onto a baking tray lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Bake at 350 °F for 10 minutes, then flip tofu and place it back into the oven for 10 more minutes.