This Smoky Tofu requires just 8 ingredients to prepare and tastes even better than bacon! It's savory, slightly sweet, and has crispy edges and a tender inside.
Friends, I am very excited to share this recipe with you! I have been testing and re-testing this smoky tofu for s couple of weeks until I have finally cracked the code to plant-based perfection. It is salty, it is smoky, it Is flavorful! So much yum.
This recipe requires just 8 simple ingredients and comes out golden and caramelized with crispy edges and tender inside. It does require some time though. You will need at least 2 hours of preparation, but don't worry, it's not that much effort at all.
Now, let me show you how it's done!
Ingredients you need
Tofu. Try to use extra-firm tofu in this recipe for the best flavor and texture.
Smoked Paprika. Gives that deep smokey flavor.
Olive oil. Or any oil you like. You can choose a neutral oil as well.
Balsamic vinegar. Doesn't make this recipe tangy, but makes for a great marinade.
Molasses. Helps with caramelization and adds to the flavors.
Corn starch. You can also swap with tapioca or arrowroot starch.
Soy sauce or coconut aminos, or tamari.
How to make it
Start by cutting your tofu into the desired shape. You can go with cubes, strings, triangles, etc. One key point to remember here is that the smaller the pieces, the crispier the tofu.
Next and very important is to press your tofu. This is necessary because pressing the tofu gets out the excess water it contains. And less water means more flavor. It's a win!
To press your tofu, simply wrap your it in an absorbent towel and put something heavy on top - a couple of books, jars, cast iron skillet, or a pot, etc. Press for 30 minutes. This makes all the difference, trust me!
While waiting for the tofu, prepare the smoky marinade by whisking together all of the ingredients. You can use a bowl, but we did it right into the baking dish for less washing afterward.
Once the tofu is pressed, add it to the marinade. Coat well all of the sides, and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes.
This recipe is great for meal prep because you can marinade it a day or two before cooking it for even better results.
Make sure to save the remaining marinade on the bottom for later. Use a spoon to spoon it out into a small bowl.
Lastly, bake the tofu for 20 minutes, then take it out of the oven to flip and add the rest of the marinade that was left. Bake for 25 minutes more or until golden and caramelized.
Look at that goodness. So so so good.
What to serve it with
Don't skip the pressing. This step is so important, so make sure to not skip it.
Give it time to marinate. At least 30 minutes or, preferably, overnight.
Recipes with tofu to try
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.
- 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.