I used to be irrationally cautious towards buying new ingredients. For the longest time, I simply refused to bake bread or make cakes because I didn't have any flour on hand. Since then, I've grown more receptive towards building up a pantry (how else would I make challah?), and I now stock miso paste. Miso is fairly versatile, cheap ($5 for a large container), and long lasting, and you can find it at Asian groceries.
After a while, you get bored of miso soup. Fortunately, since miso is made of fermented soybeans, you can substitute miso in a lot of recipes where you'd normally use soy sauce. The main difference is that you shouldn't boil miso because it'll lose aroma and health benefits.
Miso pairs especially well with peanut butter in peanut butter miso baked tofu. Even though plain tofu is bland and squishy, baking the tofu with this wonderful sauce makes the tofu crisp-chewy and flavorful. Use the tofu to top salads, rice bowls, or just enjoy it by itself - the tofu cubes make great finger food. You only need 5 minutes of prep to make this healthy, easy dish, so you can have dinner in a jiffy.
Peanut Butter Miso Baked Tofu
- 1 package (14 ounces) of firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of miso
- 1 teaspoon of Sriracha
- ¼ cup of hot water
- 1 teaspoon of oil for baking
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Drain the tofu, and dice into ½-inch cubes.
- In a medium bowl, stir the peanut butter, miso, Sriracha, and hot water to form a sauce.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with oil.
- Put the tofu on the baking sheet, pour the sauce on the tofu, and toss to combine.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Tofu: Required for peanut butter miso baked tofu. Firm or extra-firm tofu works best. Soft or silken tofu would disintegrate.
- Peanut butter: Adds richness and nuttiness. Substituting any sort of nut butter also works. You can omit for plain miso baked tofu.
- Miso: Seasons the tofu and adds savory flavor. Substituting 2 tablespoons of soy sauce would work, but the tofu may be less flavorful. If you don't have either, you could use 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Sriracha: Adds spicy, garlicky flavor. You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
- Hot Water: Helps form a smooth sauce. You can substitute broth for more flavor.
Step by Step Photos
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. You can bake between 350 and 450 degrees depending on how done you like your tofu. I bake at lower temperatures because I prefer soft tofu cubes.
When you open a pack of tofu, you will see a ton of water. Pour out the water to drain the tofu. You can press more water out of the tofu if you'd like, but I find this step messy and time-consuming. Dice the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Tofu blocks are rectangular prisms, so they're super easy to cut evenly. I ended up with 70 pieces of tofu.
Measure out the peanut butter, miso, and Sriracha. The quantities are super flexible, and a tablespoon is basically the size of a normal spoon. I measure 2 big spoonfuls of peanut butter, and I measure the same amount of miso.
Add the hot water, and stir to form a sauce. Hot water from the sink has a lot of impurities. The easiest way to get clean hot water is to microwave some cold tap water in a microwaveable vessel for about 30 seconds. You should use hot water because it'll be a lot easier to stir.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and lightly grease with oil. The aluminum foil is for easy clean-up. To grease with oil, pour a small amount of oil, and spread it with your hands. If you omit the oil, the tofu will stick to the aluminum foil, and it'll be really hard to get the tofu off.
Put the tofu on the baking sheet, and pour the sauce on the tofu. You should add the sauce to the tofu before baking so that the tofu absorbs the sauce better. The peanut butter miso sauce tends to be fairly thick and clumpy, so it doesn't pour very evenly.
Stir to combine the tofu and the sauce. It's a bit messy, but the easiest way to do so is to lightly mix the tofu and sauce with your hands. If you use any other utensil, you may tear the aluminum foil, which means you'll have a really sad baking sheet to wash later.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. The tofu basically looks the same, but the sauce is more solid. The bake time is also super flexible. Tofu is already cooked, so you really don't have to bake the tofu at all. I like my tofu fairly soft, so I err towards the shorter bake times. Let cool for a bit before serving. Peanut butter miso baked tofu pairs well with rice and other Asian-style veggies, such as cabbage stir fry. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days.
Salty, savory, and addictive, this tofu won't last long. How do you like to prepare tofu? I usually pan-fry or bake it. I've made vegan tofu quiche before, but I wasn't very fond of it.
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