Japanify: Tofu To-Go
Protein is a great thing to carry around. It stays together and packs an energy-filled punch, in comparison to a salad or veggie stir-fry --which can either take up lots of space or taste very bad because of a temperature change. Hunks of hamburg or chicken tenders, on the other hand, can be easily saran wrapped or tossed in a plastic container for enjoyment a few hours later.
I wanted a tofu equivalent. Raw tofu will spoil in a matter of hours outside of the fridge and fried tofu can get really unpleasant and oily on-the-go. So I decided that the best way to go was to bake little squares of tofu. Baking them makes them firm and less watery, which means the texture won't change much throughout the day -- even if they hang out in a plastic container at room temperature. And if you marinate them before baking, you have "baked-in" taste, eliminating the need to carry around packets of soy sauce or other flavorings that complicate 21st century life.
1 block of tofu (14 oz)
3 tbsp ponzu (or soy sauce)
2 tsp of grated ginger
1. Squeeze water out of tofu. To do this, wrap the block in a paper towel and place it on a cutting board. Then put a plate on the tofu with something heavy on top of it to weigh it down. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
2. Pat dry the tofu and cut it into squares that are kind of flat, approximately 1 x 2 x 3 inches.
3. Combine ponzu or soy sauce and grated ginger. This is your marinade.
4. Marinate tofu by placing the tofu squares on a cookie sheet or tray and pour marinade over it. Marinate each side for at least 10 minutes.
5. Discard excess marinade and bake each side at 350-400˚F for 15 minutes (longer if your oven is not as intense).
After these squares cool, you can place them in a plastic container and put them in the fridge to take to work in the morning.
No more grabbing for those chemical-laden energy bars at 3pm.