Everything Tofu — covered in a mixture of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and salt — is baked tofu perfection! Serve it in a sandwich, a Buddha bowl, or a salad. It’s also makes a delicious dinner alongside sautéed vegetables and cooked grains. This simple and easy tofu recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
A few months ago, Dennis and I ate at a local Mediterranean café called Mishmish. They serve the usual vegan-friendly fare of hummus and falafels, but there was something no-so-usual on the menu that caught my eye — an everything tofu hummus bowl. Everything tofu? I needed to try that!
The hummus bowl consisted of hummus — of course — with sautéed mushrooms, tahini, grilled tomatoes, and tofu encrusted with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, and onion. It was really delicious, but the tofu was a little softer than I’d like. I felt it could have been baked longer. So, of course, I decided to recreate it at home.
A year or two ago Trader Joe’s introduced their Everything but the Bagel Seasoning (made with sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic granules, minced onion, and salt) and life changed. It was a little jar full of seedy, salty, garlicky goodness, and I was sprinkling that stuff on just about everything, including bagels! I was going through it super quickly, so I started to make my own. I now buy sesame and poppy seeds in bulk and throw them together with garlic granules, minced onion, and salt in a big jar so that I have it at the ready whenever I need it.
Make sure you press your tofu to remove the excess water from it. To do this, wrap your tofu in a towel and put something heavy on top of it, such as a cast iron pan or a cutting board topped with a few cans of beans. If you give yourself enough time in advance, you can wrap your tofu in a towel and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. There’s no need to place anything heavy on top of it, as the towel will absorb the excess liquid over time. You can also use a tofu press, such as the TofuXpress, if you have one.
Once your tofu is pressed, you just need to slice it. I like to cut my tofu on the short end of the block into thin slabs, about ¼-inch thick. If you want to use your Everything Tofu in a salad, you can cut into cubes. Note that cubes may take a few minutes longer to cook that slabs do.
The marinade for this tofu is a simple mixture of apple cider vinegar and tamari. The tofu only needs to marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes, but if you’d like to give it more flavor, you can pop it in the fridge in the marinade for a few hours.
- First you drain and press your tofu.
- Then you slice the tofu and marinate it in a mixture of tamari and apple cider vinegar.
- Next you toss the tofu in cornstarch and everything seasoning.
- And finally, you bake the tofu for 20 minutes!
When you toss the tofu in the seasoning, it will be white from the cornstarch, but the tofu will absorb the cornstarch, and the seeds will become more visible.
If you’d prefer to cut your tofu into cubes, they’ll need to be baked for about 30 minutes, rather than 20. If you’re using pre-made everything seasoning, you’ll need 7 tablespoons, which is slightly less than half a cup. A full jar of Trader Joe’s Everything but The Bagel Seasoning Blend should be enough.
Since I started making it at home, I’ve been serving Everything Tofu in salads and Buddha bowls. It’s also terrific in sandwiches and wraps. If you want to make a dinner out of it, serve it with veggies and cooked grained. If you’d like to make a hummus bowl like the one I had at Mishmish, serve your tofu with fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and hummus.
Baked Everything Tofu
- 1 14-ounce package extra firm tofu drained and pressed
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup low-sodium tamari
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Slice the tofu into 8 to 10 thin slabs, about ¼” thick and place them in a shallow dish.
In a small bowl, mix together the tamari and apple cider and pour the mixture over the tofu. Make sure the pieces are totally submerged. Allow the tofu to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. You can allow the tofu to marinate for several hours in the fridge, if you like.
Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the cornstarch, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic granules, minced onion, and sea salt together in a shallow dish. Dip the tofu slabs in the mixture, making sure each piece is totally covered.
Place the tofu on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, flipping the pieces after 05 minutes.
Allow the tofu to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The tofu will get denser and chewier after it cools.
This recipe can also be made in an air fryer. Cook your tofu on 400°F for 10 minutes, flipping the pieces after 5 minutes.