This is an easy recipe for crispy oven-baked tofu with no oil using simple ingredients! I was definitely not a fan when I first tried tofu, but I grew to like it once I figured out how to cook and season it. The tamari and garlic powder gives the tofu flavor and the cornstarch creates the crispy texture. If you're a fan of tofu I also have an oil-free marinated tofu that's a family favorite.
Tofu needs to be drained and seasoned. It's very bland but takes on flavors well. By removing a lot of the liquid, adding cornstarch, then baking it will produce a crispy coating and a soft and chewy center without the need for oil.
How to Make Oil-Free Baked Tofu:
- Use firm or extra-firm 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 so be careful when stirring in the tamari and cornstarch.
- Open the tofu tray, drain the water out and gently squeeze any excess liquid out of the tofu. If your tofu is vacuumed packed with no liquid, you probably won't need to drain or press.
- 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 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 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 sliced tofu in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of tamari 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 tofu pieces on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper (these also reduce the need for oil). Spread the pieces out, 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.
- Freezing the tofu will give it a spongier texture.
- Parchment paper or a silicone mat prevents the tofu from sticking to the tray.
- While in the United States I find that a lot of tofu is packed in water, which is why it needs to be drained and pressed. Remove the liquid so it can soak up the tamari. While I've been living in Europe, a lot of tofu I buy is vacuumed sealed without the excess water. This type of packaged tofu usually doesn't need to be drained or pressed.
Storing Crispy Tofu with Cornstarch
The oil-free tofu is best the day it's made, but can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They may lose some of their crispiness if stored with a sauce.
- by itself with a sauce
- add to a stir fry
- a salad
- a bowl with grains and veggies
- add it to a French baguette for a fried tofu sandwich (vegan mayo, shredded lettuce, fried tofu, baguette)
- creamy peanut pasta
- vegan sushi bowl
- vegetable fried rice
- any recipe that calls for pre-made tofu
More Oil-Free Tofu Recipes
I hope you enjoy this easy-baked tofu recipe!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.
- 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