I love tofu. Even before I became a vegetarian, tofu was a regular part of my diet thanks to my Korean mother. I enjoy it in all of its incarnations, but I do realize that the soft texture and mild flavor of common preparations isn't for everyone. With that in mind, the following recipe is great those who haven't had tofu before, as well as avowed tofu-haters. It's based on Korean marinated beef, bulgogi. The combination of thorough marination and prolonged dry heat create a tofu dish with a taste and texture unlike any other.
2 pounds of firm tofu
2 cups of soy sauce (this is a lot of soy sauce, but you can freeze leftover marinade. It will keep indefinitely. If you're certain that you'll be able to marinate overnight, you can do 1 cup soy sauce and 1 cup water, as the marinade will completely infuse the tofu and make the dish too salty for some people's tastes)
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp sugar
4 cloves of garlic, minced (more if you like)
1 inch x 1inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tsp black pepper
Set the blocks of tofu under a plate and a weight for an hour. If your tofu is exceedingly firm, you can skip this step.
Cut each block of tofu into 8 slabs. Place the 16 cutlets in a large oiled baking dish. Mix the remaining ingredients well, then pour over the tofu.
Let it marinate for at least an hour, but it's even better to let it marinate overnight. Turn the cutlets over once during their marination. Pre-heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and turn over, then return to the oven for another 20 min. Serve with lots of rice and kimchi if you have it.
Tofu Bulgogi served with brown rice.
* All pictures except for the final one were from a previous batch of tofu bulgogi. The earlier batch was marinated for only an hour or so, while the batch I made last night was marinated overnight, resulting in the deeper color.