Test Kitchen - Baked Ginger Sesame Tofu

It's been OC Fair season and you know what that entails if you've ever visited: fried food. Not just any fried food but over-the-top, heart-attack-inducing, regret-in-the-morning fried food. Bacon is everywhere, and gargantuan beef patties might just smother the kids running amok. After such a day of people-watching and nibbling on oily batter, we needed a break. Last week's Test Kitchen ingredient was a Thai Ginger sea salt that many suggested on seafood. I decided that with tofu already on hand in the fridge, it'd be a nice vehicle for the salt. This baked tofu recipe is very Asian-inspired with ginger and sesame notes. You'll surely enjoy it with or without rice.

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 2-3 servings)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 large ginger, thinly julienned
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pkg (about 12-14 oz) firm tofu, triangled
  • sesame seeds, to garnish
  • Thai ginger salt, to taste
  • green onion, chopped for garnish
Step 2: Prepping the ingredients
With ginger, an easy way to remove the skin is to use a metal spoon to scrape it off. Then thinly slice it. Mince garlic. Add to a bowl with soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and chili pepper flakes. For tofu, press out the liquid between two cutting boards by placing a heavy weight on top. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Step 3: Prepping the tofu
When the water has drained from the tofu, slice into triangles. Line a baking sheet with foil and place tofu. Spoon over sesame ginger mixture. Top with sesame seeds and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. The ginger will get nice and crispy after being baked!

Step 4: Finishing
While it is baking, you can chop up green onions for garnish. Remove tofu triangles when done and sprinkle with pinches of Thai ginger sea salt for an extra crunch and hit of ginger. Garnish with green onions and serve!

This week's Test Kitchen ingredient: basil seed
I came across this basil seed in a Vietnamese supermarket. It looked a little bizarre in its bag so I had to bring it home. I see that it is used in a lot of Asian drinks but perhaps we can collectively think of ways to use it outside of liquid form? Share your thoughts on this picture when it goes up on Facebook!

Photography by Duc Duong since Minerva Thai was cooking.