I vividly remember the first time I tried eating tofu.
I was 11 years old when I decided to become a vegetarian – back then, growing up in Israel in the 90’s, I didn’t know anyone else that was vegetarian, and I don’t think I even knew the concept of ‘being vegan’ existed. Now days, Israel in general,. and Tel-Aviv in particular, are both a vegan heaven – with so many amazing vegan restaurants and options on every corner, but back then, even though Israel was already a vegetarian heaven in a way – with falafel stands and pizza shops everywhere – there wasn’t much awareness of what a new young vegetarian should eat to maintain a healthy balanced diet. One day my mom came home with a package of tofu and said “I heard this is good for vegetarians”. We both looked at this odd looking block, and cut a slice – then we proceeded to eat it RAW! Now see, these days I can definitely find myself snacking on raw tofu while I cook, but as an 11 years old.. well, both me and my mom were not excited about the flavour to say the least.. we looked at each other and started laughing, and my mom said to me – “don’t worry, I won’t make you eat this..”. And so, until I was 18 I didn’t try tofu again. Years later, I found myself in Philadelphia visiting friends. We went over for dinner at my then new friend Joy’s house – and she made us an amazing dish – some sort of coconut curry with TOFU – I couldn’t believe how good it was, as all those years I was avoiding it.. It was then that I learnt how it is such an amazing ingredient to work with – it just needs some love and care.
There are so many great ways to prepare tofu, and this is one of my new favourites – you can add this smoky tofu to your sandwich, to vegan sushi, salad rolls, on top of salads, or just snack on it on its own..!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time: 2 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
(Gluten free optional)
- 350 gram firm tofu
- 4 tbsp tamari soy sauce*
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- A pinch of chili flakes or cayenne powder (optional)
*Use gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free option
Place all of the ingredients except for the tofu in a bowl and mix well.
Cut the tofu into slices (about 1 cm thick).
Dip the slices in the marinade, making sure to coat each slice on both sides.
Place the tofu slices in a shallow container with a lid, and pour the marinade on top.
Set in the fridge for at least 2 hours to marinate (best is overnight), gently shaking the container a few times.
After marinating, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Transfer the tofu with the marinade into a baking pan (a brownie pan is great).
Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip and bake for 15 more minutes, until the tofu absorbs all of the liquid in the pan.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt & pepper on top.
I like to make a sandwich with vegan mayo, mustard, avocado, greens, fresh tomato, and this delicious smoky tofu!
Making this recipe? I’d love to see your creation! Send me a photo or tag Roni’s Kitchen on social media 😍