There are many oven-based baked tofu recipes available online, but both you and I know that this process involves planning – for both marinating the tofu and baking in the oven for at least – 30 minutes.
What if we cut the cooking time down to just 5 minutes; that too using an appliance that you have lurking unused in the kitchen corner? – Behold!! the beauty of Panini Press in making the perfect Baked Tofu.
Can I just say, how much I am loving my Panini Press recently? It has been sitting in my appliance shelf for about 3 years now; and this past month I seem to have re-discovered this precious jewel of an appliance all over again.
It has a heating source at the bottom; heat from the top; it applies gentle pressure on the food as it cooks – how have I missed its genius for so long???
This panini press technique has 3 advantages over the oven method:
- It takes less time – just 5 minutes to cook vs 30 minutes in the oven.
- It is a more agile and flexible method – Access the tofu at kitchen counter height, no need to bend down or use a kitchen towel/oven mitt to check on tofu pieces.
- Make the tofu as crispy (high sear) or soft as you needed – The pieces are in your control. Unlike bulk processing in the oven; you can directly regulate the heat higher or lower for the level of crispness you like.
This is such a simple recipe.
- Marinate the tofu in your favorite sauces and cut into long strips
- Roast/Caramelize Tofu strips in the Panini Press (all sides)
- Flip the strips at 2, 2 and 1-minute intervals to ensure caramelization on all sides.
- Coat strips with marinating sauce in-between to avoid drying out and ensuring the absorption of flavors.
How to Make Baked Tofu easily with a Panini PressCourse: Snack, Lunch, DinnerDifficulty: Easy
This crispy baked tofu is made very easily using the Panini Press. The panini press takes less time – just 5 minutes. You can turn the tofu easily to caramelize all sides. You can also make the tofu as crispy (high sear) or soft as you needed.
1 packet firm tofu (16 oz or 1lb)
- Marinating Sauces
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce (optional)
1/2 Tbsp Siracha Sauce (optional – increase for more spicy version)
- Drain the tofu out of the packet. Mix all the sauces together and marinate tofu in a bowl for 15 minutes or more.
- Turn on Panini Press. Set selector to Grill/Panini mode and set heat level to high heat. Cut the marinated tofu into long strips.
- Once the Panini grill is ready (and the light turns green), add the tofu strips to the grill. Close the Panini lid and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Open Panini lid. Turn the tofu upside down. Coat the sides with marinated sauce mix. Close the lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Open Panini lid. Turn the tofu sideways. Coat the sides with marinated sauce mix. Close the lid for 1 minute.
- Done!! (Grill more if you want it crispier)
- I used both Sear setting and High setting on the Panini Press. Sear setting yields very crispy tofu. However, it can burn easily too. Using the High setting gave great results consistently.
- I would recommend starting with High and moving on to Sear once you are comfortable with the process.
This baked tofu recipe dish will please adults and kids alike. My kids just love to dip these baked tofu fingers in a sauce and eat it as a finger snack.
You could chop up these baked tofu strips into cubes and make a stir-fry. But, one of my favorite recipes is to stuff a crispy baguette with this crispy baked tofu and sliced veggies to make a hearty sandwich. Delicious!!
I hope you enjoyed this “How to make Crispy Baked Tofu easily using a Panini Press” recipe. Do try it and post your thoughts and comments below. I look forward to reading them.
If you are interested in vegan-specific dishes, check out:
Stay safe, stay Positive and sending my love to all of you!!
Here’s the amazon affiliate link for the Cuisinart Panini Maker I have.