Tofu is condensed soy milk pressed into white blocks. The level of softness determines the type of tofu, including [silken](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/silken-tofu-guide), soft, firm, extra firm, or super firm. The absorbent texture of tofu allows it to take on marinade and seasoning flavors easily. You can also purée tofu to make sweet desserts, or bake it as an addition to a savory dish.\n\nTofu is high in protein and iron and often operates as a meat replacement in vegan dishes. It is also gluten-free and has been a popular ingredient in Asian recipes for more than 2,000 years. You can find tofu at the grocery store, and some stores even sell baked tofu.\nBaking tofu is a straightforward process that involves draining, cutting, marinating, and baking:\n\n1. __Drain__: Press onto the tofu to squeeze out excess liquid. The best tofu for baking is extra firm tofu because it will retain its block shape after draining and has a higher level of protein than softer options. \n2. __Cut__: Cut the tofu into cubes to allow it to absorb more seasoning. If using the tofu as a replacement for chicken breast or another main protein dish, you may not want to cut the block. \n3. __Marinate__: Allow the tofu to sit in a marinade of your choice. The longer it sits, the more robust the flavor will be. Many tofu recipes call for sesame oil, [soy sauce](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/soy-sauce-explained "https://www.masterclass.com/articles/soy-sauce-explained"), or low sodium condiments like tamari sauce or coconut aminos.\n4. __Bake__: Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment paper and put your tofu in the oven at 400 degrees for fifteen to thirty minutes, depending on how crispy you would like it. \nBaked tofu can last up to five days in the refrigerator if you store it properly. Consider the following tips to help baked tofu maintain its crispness:\n\n1. __Drain as much liquid as possible__. The drier the tofu, the easier it will crisp when baked.\n2. __Toughen the exterior__. Just as you might bread chicken before baking or frying, you can create crispier tofu by covering each side with cornstarch or arrowroot flour. Even after draining, the tofu should have enough moisture for cornstarch to stick to it.\n3. __Use a sauce instead of a marinade__. To make extra-crispy tofu, cover the tofu in cornstarch and seasonings, bake it, and then drizzle the marinade over your final plate as a sauce. \nTofu is a highly versatile product that is great on its own or as the protein element in a dish. Consider the following ideas for how to serve baked tofu:\n\n1. __Sandwiches or wraps__: The firmness of tofu makes it a great filler for sandwiches and wraps. Cut baked tofu into smaller pieces to make a tuna replacement.\n2. __Stir-fry__: You can add cubes or smaller pieces of baked tofu to veggie, noodle, and rice dishes like [mapo tofu](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/mapo-tofu-recipe) or a teriyaki [stir-fry](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tofu-stir-fry-recipe). \n3. __Salads__: Cut baked tofu into strips or large pieces and add to a salad as a swap for chicken.\n4. __Tacos__: Tofu’s mild flavor allows the spicier ingredients to shine in vegan variations of Mexican recipes like [tacos](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/a-guide-to-authentic-mexican-tacos) and fajitas.\nLearn how to prepare and serve baked tofu.