The Secret To Better Baked Tofu Is In How Long You Marinate It

Whether you're plant-based or simply looking to add some variety to your cooking repertoire, a solid tofu recipe is a good thing to have in your back pocket. Made with just soybeans, water, and a coagulant (like nigari or calcium sulfate), tofu is an excellent source of protein and polyunsaturated fats. While it boasts some nutritional strengths, it is rather lackluster in the flavor department. But there's nothing bland about food blogger Ksenia Prints' Mexican-inspired baked tofu recipe, so what's their secret?

"The key to getting the most flavor possible out of your marinated baked tofu is leaving it in the marinade for as long as possible," Prints explains. Because tofu has a loose structure, it easily absorbs moisture through pores on its surface (much like it does with the water it comes packaged in). As marinades are made with a liquid base, the flavors can sneak between the curds and seep into the tofu.

Good things come to those who wait

Ksenia Prints says marinating tofu gives it the "most flavor and the best texture", but the process does take time. According to Prints, you should marinate it for at least two hours so the flavors can effectively penetrate it. However, they suggest the "golden zone" is eight hours. "You can also make the marinade ahead and leave the tofu to marinade for a day," they note.

While you can marinate a whole block of tofu, Prints' Mexican-inspired baked tofu recipe calls for cubed tofu. Slicing it into cubes exposes more of the tofu's surface area, which allows more of the marinade to be absorbed and makes for an even more flavorful final product. Simply put the cubes in a plastic bag, give it a good shake to evenly distribute the mixture, and wait. If you intend to marinate an entire block of tofu, you might try poking a few holes in the surface with a fork in order to expedite the process.