Baked Tofu via Terry Waters & Dana Treat

by Maris Callahan on March 24, 2011

I mentioned in a recent post that I spend a long weekend visiting the Dana Treat headquarters this month but I didn’t go into very much detail about my first trip to Seattle.

When I quit my job in the beginning of January one of the things I promised myself I would do was travel, now that my schedule is more flexible than it has been in the past (among the other things I promised myself I would do: work out more, get more sleep, keep my apartment cleaner. 1/4 ain’t bad). Dana has been telling me that I should visit practically since I met her so it only made sense that I head to the Northwest asap. I took two of her fantastic cooking classes, we ate at Delancey, Palace Kitchen and what must be the most adorable French bistro outside of Paris, Le Pichet

As it turns out, I’m pretty terrible at taking pictures on vacations, so what you see is about the extent of what my camera saw outside of the pocket on the inside of my purse:

Pike Place Market in Seattle was a fun place to browse: they have tons of fresh produce stands, fresh fish markets and a dozen bakeries, each which smelled better than the first [doughnuts!]. There was a tiny European market that specialized in Italian wines, salumi, cheeses and all sorts of gourmet food-stuff, including espillete, a red pepper from France that I only recently learned about but obviously had to buy.

I wish I took more photos at some of the little cafes and restaurants we went to because the food in Seattle was spectacular and there are so many neighborhoods that are full of charm and personality. Seattle reminded me a little bit like Chicago in that when you were in a specific neighborhood, you hardly felt like you were in a city. Even the grocery stores there were sprawling, well lit – unlike anything you’d find in a city proper.

Some people visit Seattle and go to the Space Needle. I go to the grocery store. Typical. (in my own defense, it was raining too much for sightseeing. I saw what I needed to see from the warmth of Dana’s car, where there was heat and candy. I win).

We did manage to take a quick peek inside the first Starbucks store, so I can truly say I had the full Seattle experience. In a brand new city and I manage to find Starbucks? Also typical.

When we weren’t shopping, cooking, eating, or dodging the raindrops that never seemed to cease, I found myself immersed in one of Dana’s cookbooks, which lined multiple shelves in her kitchen. If she had put me in a room for the weekend with her cookbooks, I probably would have been able to entertain myself.

Okay, that’s a lie. I would have also needed a batch of Dana’s malted milk sandwich cookies. But THEN I would have been able to entertain myself just fine. For about an hour. Anyway. The moral of the story is that while I was browsing through Dana”s cookbooks I came across Clean Food by Terry Walters.

Many of Terry’s recipes are vegan and after browsing the book, I was inspired not only to go home and buy it, but to cook more tofu. It’s so easy, it’s super healthy and unlike cooking raw poultry, (which to be honest, kind of weirds me out) you won’t have to give your entire kitchen an antibacterial bath after you prepare it.

Baked Tofu
Makes about four servings

I can’t take the credit for this recipe. It’s about 75% Dana Treat, 20% Terry Walters, 5% yours truly. The truth is, there are so many things that you can do with tofu and Asian flavors that you could probably use any combination of the ingredients below to produce an edible, if not delish, recipe for tofu. I like this sliced, served over spinach or alongside steamed broccoli with a little bit of lemon. Add brown rice if you so desire.

What You Need:

1 block extra-firm tofu [Note: do not buy the kind sitting in water. look for a tightly sealed/vaccuum-packed block of tofu that will absorb more flavor] blotted dry
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin [an Asian-flavored cooking wine, similar to sake]
1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. hoisin sauce
2½ tsp. light brown sugar
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced [or buy it in jars at the grocery store. Whole Foods has it, as do many local chains, in the produce aisle].

How-To:

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the tofu. Place the tofu in a small baking dish and pour the marinade over top, coating well.  Allow to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to make sure the tofu is coated with the marinade.

Place in the oven, uncovered, and allow tofu to bake until most of the marinade has been absorbed and the top of the tofu begins to brown, about 35 minutes.  Remove tofu from the oven and allow to cool. Serve immediately over spinach or brown rice [or both!].

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Daryl March 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

So glad you had such a nice trip. I always order tofu from the local Chinese restaurant but I am sure yours (and Dana’s) is far superior.

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Kristen March 24, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I love Dana and I love you, so what a perfect foodie friend combination! So glad you had fun and found your Starbucks!

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lisa keys March 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Maris-you must put Charleston, SC on your travel list (when Chicago is feeling wintery)! It is a young and fun foodie destination! Don’t think you will find alot of tofu there but you might like shrimp & grits!

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bellini March 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I love Seattle and will be heading ther in a few short weeks. Going to Pike Place Market is a must!!!!

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A Plum By Any Other Name March 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Love your blog! So jealous you got to eat at Delancey!!

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Roz March 26, 2011 at 3:41 am

How fun. I’m in Vancouver, so we go to Seattle a couple of times a year. It IS a great city. And I laughed, I go to grocery stores when I visit other places too. Glad you enjoyed your time away, have a great weekend.

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Joanne March 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Dana’s been trying to convince me to go visit her since I met her as well and I really need to make the trip. Perhaps after I take the medical boards in May…

It sounds like you had an awesome trip! Man I would love to live in Dana’s cookbook shelves…that would be a dream come true.

This tofu sounds delicious! I really need to cook with it more also.

PS – I emailed you back about cohosting the blog event! Just wondering if you got it since i haven’t heard back! No rush :)

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Rosa March 27, 2011 at 1:07 am

That baked tofu must taste good! The sauce is very flavorful.

Cheers,

Rosa

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celine March 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

love, love, love tofu and Terry Walters’ books. I’ll try this one soon.

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Happy When Not Hungry March 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Glad you had a great trip to Seattle! I’ve never been, but I would love to go. This baked tofu recipe looks simple but delicious as well!

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Sarah Caron March 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Looks like you had a great trip! But I dunno … tofu? It might take a little convincing.

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polwig March 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm

We love Seattle and Pike’s place, my husband has his favorite fried halibut there. To your defense it is hard to not bump into Starbucks in Seattle since that is where it started. They even have carts (like ice cream) with coffee in the summer all over the place. I love that Tofu and its sauce.

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Kimmie March 27, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Seattle is high on my list of cities to visit one of these days. I have yet to make tofu at home, but this recipe sounds so simple and doable that I think I might have to give it a try!

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Heidi Renée March 28, 2011 at 4:08 am

I love tofu! I have never made my own baked variety, but I should. I’m always tempted to buy it when I go to stores that carry it.

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella March 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

Hehe I find myself making a real effort to go to the regular tourist attractions when all I want to do is visit markets and food stores and restaurants! :)

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CookiePie March 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

That looks fantastic, and so healthy! I love tofu, and baked is such a great way to enjoy it. Can’t wait to try it with your yummy marinade! So happy you enjoyed Seattle too :)

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Barbara Bakes March 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm

How fun to hang out in Seattle with a fellow foodie. Sounds like a great trip!

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Cookin' Canuck March 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm

It sounds as though you had a fabulous trip to Seattle, Maris. Baked tofu has a wonderful texture and tofu has a way of absorbing any flavor you pair it with.

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Three-Cookies March 28, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I only recently heard of baked tofu but have yet to try it. Your version with the marinate sounds excellent

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Little Inbox March 29, 2011 at 4:47 am

Hmm… love this type of simple dish. It can be cooked through steaming method too.

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Quay Po Cooks March 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

Never tried baked tofu. Looks good. Got to try this.

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peabody April 4, 2011 at 2:05 am

Love Dana! She’s awesome. Glad you enjoyed our fine city.

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