1 12-oz. / 340-g block extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free option
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 green onion chopped (*Footnote 1)
Optional Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Optional Sriracha sauce for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Line a baking tray with parchment.
Press the water out of the tofu while heating up the oven. Carefully press the tofu with your hands. Slice the tofu into two even-thickness pieces. Wrap a few layers of cheesecloth (or kitchen paper towel) outside the tofu, and place a small tray with a heavy weight on top. The weight can be a jar of pickles or canned tomatoes.
When the oven is heated, cut the tofu into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces. (*Footnote 2)
Season both sides with salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the tofu turns golden and the surface puffs.
Now you can use it in stir fries or serve the tofu with sauce.
Prepare the garlic sauce while baking the tofu. Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small bowl until completely dissolved.
Heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and green onions. Stir for 20 seconds to release the aroma.
Stir the sauce again to make sure the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour into the pan. Stir constantly for 10 to 20 seconds, until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Transfer immediately into a small bowl, so the sauce won’t overcook in the residual heat.
When the tofu is baked, drizzle the sauce over the tofu. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds, if using.
Serve immediately as a snack or appetizer.
Use the white part to cook the sauce and save the green part to garnish the tofu before serving.
It is OK to cut the tofu slightly larger, up to 3/4-inch (1.5-cm) thick. It will take longer for the pieces to crisp up, about 35 to 40 minutes.