This is an easy recipe for crispy oven-baked oil-free tofu using just 4 simple ingredients!
The tamari and garlic powder will give the tofu flavor and the corn starch creates a crispy texture. Only a few basic ingredients are needed to create this crispy tofu without oil to go with a variety of dishes.
Tofu needs to be drained and seasoned. It's very bland but takes on flavors well. Removing a lot of the liquid will help the tofu soak up the tamari. Add garlic powder for a little more flavor and then cornstarch to help the tofu crisp up. Then bake the tofu to produce a crispy coating and a soft and chewy center without the need for oil.
- Vegan and oil-free!
- This no-oil tofu is easy and only requires 4 ingredients!
- It's a basic recipe for oil-free tofu, add your favorite seasoning to change up the flavor!
How to cook tofu without oil
- Use a firm or extra-firm block of tofu, it can usually be found in the refrigerated section in the produce aisle at the grocery store. Not the silken tofu found in the shelf-stable aseptic containers. Firm tofu is softer than extra-firm tofu so be careful when stirring in the tamari and corn starch. A block of extra-firm tofu or super-firm tofu are best.
- Open the tofu tray, drain the liquid out, and gently squeeze any excess water out of the tofu. If use super firm or your tofu is vacuumed packed with no liquid, you probably won't need to press it.
- If you don't have a tofu press, wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel. I like to place it on a plate to catch any liquid that the towel doesn't absorb.
- Then place a heavy object or pot on top of the tofu to squeeze out more liquid. Another option is to use a plate (or cutting board) and then place cans on the plate to put pressure on the tofu. You want to remove the liquid so it will get crispy and absorb the seasoning.
- Let the tofu sit and drain for at least 20-30 minutes. It can also be left in the refrigerator overnight to remove any excess liquid. Sometimes after it drains I like to use paper towels to blot off any residual moisture (and sometimes I don't bother with it).
- After it's done draining, cut it into cubes. Slice the tofu in half horizontally, then slice it vertically one way, then slice it vertically again the other way (making eight equal portions), then slice those squares again both ways to create 32 equal squares.
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C)
- Place the tofu pieces in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce) and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. Then sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and toss gently with a silicone spatula to not break the tofu. Make sure all the pieces are coated.
- Place the bite-sized pieces on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper (these also reduce the need for oil). Spread the pieces out in a single layer, don’t crowd them. This also helps the heat move around the pieces so they crisp up. If you don't mind a little oil, you can always lightly spray a baking tray with oil to prevent the tofu from sticking.
- Bake for 40 minutes total, flipping halfway through.
- Add additional seasonings to change up the flavor of the crispy baked tofu.
- Freezing the tofu will give it a spongier texture.
- Parchment paper or a silicone mat prevents the tofu from sticking to the tray.
- Tofu is usually sold packed in water, which is why it needs to be drained and pressed. The pressing is to remove the liquid so it can soak up the tamari. If the tofu is vacuumed packed with little water (like super firm), then it usually doesn't need to be pressed. Drain it, slice it, then pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Then continue cubing or with your recipe.
The oil-free tofu is best the day it's made but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They may lose some of their crispiness, especially if stored with a sauce.
The tofu cubes can be served in a variety of ways, but here are a few suggestions.
- Serve it by itself or with a dipping sauce
- Add to a stir fry
- Toss it in a salad
- Use it in rice bowls with veggies
- Add it to a French baguette for a fried tofu sandwich (vegan mayo, shredded lettuce, fried tofu, baguette)
- Vegan peanut sauce noodles
- Vegan deconstructed sushi bowl
- (Oil-free) vegetable fried rice
- Any recipe that calls for pre-made tofu
I hope you enjoy this easy-baked tofu recipe! If you like the recipe, then feel free to rate it and leave a comment.Print
This is an easy recipe for crispy oven-baked oil-free tofu using simple ingredients.
- 1 (14 ounces) extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Press tofu for at least 20-30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C)
- Slice the tofu into cubes.
- Add the tofu, tamari (or soy sauce), cornstarch, and garlic powder to a bowl and gently toss. I like to sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu so it doesn't clump in one area.
- Place the tofu on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- If your tofu is vacuumed packed with no liquid, you probably won't need to drain or press.
- See the blog post for how to cube tofu.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keywords: baked tofu oil free, baked tofu, oil free tofu