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How to Make The Best Smoky Tofu

A very flavorful and healthy way to prepare tofu at home, that requires just 8 ingredients with step-by-step methods. Baked until golden and caramelized with crispy edges and tender inside.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-free, Vegan
Servings 4
Calories 180 kcal


  • Oven


  • 14 oz pack of tofu, extra firm
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar *
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use tamari if gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (or sub honey or maple syrup)
  • 3 tablespoon tapioca or corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke* (optional)


  • Wrap tofu in an absorbent towel and put something heavy on top, like a cast-iron skillet, to press out extra moisture for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare the marinade. In a bowl or directly into a baking dish, add all of the ingredients and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  • Unwrap tofu and cut into the desired shape. Add to the marinade and coat well all of the sides. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably 3 hours or overnight.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180C (350F).
  • If you haven't already, transfer tofu to a baking dish. You will notice that there is a remaining marinade on the bottom, be sure to save it for later.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Then flip and spread the remaining marinade. Bake for 20-25 minutes more or until golden.
  • Serve over noodle bowls, soups, salads, make spring rolls, and more! Save in a covered container for up to 4 days.


You will not taste balsamic in this recipe. It gives a bit of flavor but doesn't taste tangy.
I don't have access to liquid smoke in my area, but if you do, definitely add it, because it will provide a lot of flavor. However, I find that this tofu tastes pretty good without it as well.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
Keyword easy, smoky marinade, tofu