Once upon a time, there was no Trader Joe’s in Columbia, SC. I would go every few months to Charleston, Greenville, or Charlotte for a day trip that included stocking up on tons of the exotic and exciting products that were unavailable to me on a daily basis at this magical oasis.

Given the perishability of their baked tofu, a favorite product, I decided to experiment with making my own. Even if it didn’t taste similar, this stuff is delicious on its own merit. I had to stop myself from drinking the leftover liquid. I succeeded there, but did eat some of the finished tofu as is since it’s that good.

savory baked tofu

Luckily, we do have a TJ’s in Columbia now, but this recipe still holds a special place in my heart when I don’t want to deal with Forest Acres traffic.

tofu press



  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 block firm or extra firmtofu


  1. Use a tofu press or something heavy to press the excess water out of the tofu.
  2. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the tofu and set aside until the tofu is pressed.
  4. Pour the liquid in a flat, shallow plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the liquid over the tofu.
  5. Poke a few holes in the top of the tofu with a fork so some liquid can seep a little further in. savory baked tofu
  6. Let the tofu marinate for 10 minutes, then turn over so the other side can marinate for another 10 minutes.
  7. Place the tofu on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
  8. Carefully pour some of the extra liquid on the tofu, but not to where there are puddles all around it.
  9. Place in the heated oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Turn over and bake for an additional 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Use it in this green curry recipe or as desired. No judgement if as desired means cut into triangles and eaten as is.