Friday, February 11, 2011

Amazing Marinade for Tofu or Tempeh!

So, I have tried a lot of marinades for tofu & tempeh, but once I hit this one, I stopped dead in my tracks.  It looked just a tad different than the other recipes and I knew it was going to be great.  Basic ingredients, no time at all to prepare and it tastes great cold, hot or in between.  It is so useful to have two pounds of sliced, marinated tofu in the fridge that I will do it on a regular basis.  We ate ALL of it and I used it for two full dinners (you will see below).  Once I had room in the container after using up some of the tofu, I added a brick of steamed tempeh (sliced into quarters and steamed 10 minutes in my stainless steamer, or 10 minutes in some simmering water before adding). And we ate all of that!  It didn't last the two weeks that it could have.

I got permission from Bryanna Clark Grogan, amazing vegan cook and author, to post the recipe.  It is from her book, Nonna's Italian Kitchen which is a TOTAL steal for $10.27 on Amazon. I highly recommend it.  It's perfect for other Vegan Fazools out there, and I know you are out there!  Especially old-school Italian mommas and grandmas who want to go vegan but didn't think the recipes could translate.  They do.

Breast of Tofu or Tofu "Chicken" 
Now you guys know how I feel about plants not tasting like meat, but it DOES taste the most like chicken of any tofu dish I have ever tried:
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup soy sauce (I use organic Tamari, I find it makes a big difference in the flavor)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (great time to try it, guys)
2 tsp. crumbled, dried sage leaves (I used ground sage and it was fine, Penzey’s brand)
OR 2 tablespoons of fresh sage
½ tsp dried rosemary or ½ tablespoon fresh
½ tsp dried thyme or ½ tablespoon fresh
½ tsp onion powder

2 pounds extra firm or pressed tofu (I press the extra firm one, too, so it can really absorb the marinade)  You could use firm, too, but extra firm is better.

Get out a 5 or 6 cup rigid plastic container/Tupperware that is square or rectangular (ideal) with a tight fitting lid.  Put your marinade ingredients right into the Tupperware and whisk or just stir them up (I like whisking everything with my tiny whisk!). Press the tofu (with your TofuXPress if you’ve got it!), slice it into ¼ inch slices and place it in the marinade so it is tightly packed and covered with the liquid.  Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks, shaking daily.  That’s it! 

You can pan fry it plain (cook over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until golden brown on both sides), you can “oven fry” it, as I did, coating it with some seasoned flour or cornmeal (For 6 slices I used about 1/3 cup cornmeal, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, ½ tsp of dried oregano.  I breaded the slices by spooning it onto one side, putting that side face down on a lightly oiled and foiled baking sheet, then spooning some more breading onto the up-facing side.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes per side, or until they get lightly browned and crispy).

You can use it cold in sandwiches or in salads, too.  Great for that.  

I used it sliced and heated a bit over some garlicky spinach linguine with sauteed mushrooms (you can't see the  mushrooms in this picture, they are under there!):

And I "oven fried" it and served it with sauteed Swiss Chard (w/ garlic & cranberries) and some rice pilaf:

I hope you guys try this, it is really, really amazing.  You can generate many layers of flavor if you use it in combination with other things, or by coating and cooking it (as I did above, and as Bryanna does in her book with seasoned flour).

Let me know how it goes.  Enjoy!

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