Whether you’re a vegan-veteran or plant-based part-timer, you can never have too many simple recipes that make you look like a celebrity chef in front of your family and friends.
Vegan tofu steaks might not sound overly appetizing, however, this easy-to-make recipe transforms one of the blandest ingredients on Earth into rich, smokey, and crispy steaks that can turn the heads of even the most carnivorous of folks.
While prep-time is minimal and you don’t need Liam Neeson’s particular set of skills to execute this plan, you will need to leave the tofu to marinate overnight for the best results.
Let’s get started.
What You’ll Need:
- Tofu Press (Don’t worry if you don’t have one, I’ll show you free alternatives)
- Oven or Barbeque
- A Roasting Pan
- Non-Stick Spray
- 1lb Block of Firm Tofu
- 1 Teaspoon of ‘Liquid Smoke’
- ⅛ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Barbeque Sauce (Optional)
Step 1: Press Your Tofu
The secret to super crispy tofu is making sure you’ve removed as much of the water as possible from your block. While you could try squeezing it with your bare hands, there are a couple of easier ways to get your tofu drier than the Sahara desert on a warm summer’s day.
Either: Use one of these four manual (and more importantly, free) methods to drain your tofu, as explained by wikiHow. This process can take up to 4 hours to remove all the water adequately, so make sure to get to work cooking your meal well in advance.
Or: If you’re lazy (like me), buy yourself a tofu press. Not only will a press drain the water much more quickly, but it’ll remove the risk of broken plates from unnecessary balancing acts. There are many kinds of presses to choose from, but my favorite is the TofuBud. It’s super easy to use and relatively inexpensive.
For me, this press normally removes the water from my tofu in around 15 minutes, though other products may vary.
Step 2: Prepare The Marinade
While you’re waiting for the TofuBud to do its thing, get to work preparing the delicious yet surprisingly easy to make marinade sauce.
Take one mixing bowl (assuming you haven’t got them all balancing on top of your tofu), and add in one teaspoon of hickory ‘Liquid Smoke‘, a ⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil, a ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of soy sauce, and season with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder to suit your tastes. Be it just a pinch or two, or enough to melt off Count Dracula’s face. It’s really up to you.
Now whisk. Whisk like you’ve never whisked before.
When you’re happy that you’ve properly mixed all your ingredients, add two teaspoons of dijon mustard and resume your whisking duties for a minute or two, or until your arm gets tired.
Step 3: Marinade Your Tofu Steaks
Liberate the sharpest knife from your knife block, drawer, or where ever you keep your sharp things and slice the now bone-dry 1lb block of tofu into four equal steak-like pieces.
Grab a suitably sized container and pop the tofu inside before covering it completely with the marinade. While you can cook your steaks after marinating for only a short time if you’re in a rush, you should marinate the tofu overnight for the best results.
Step 4: Cook Your Delicious Tofu Steaks
While your oven preheats to 375°F, take a suitably sized roasting pan and hit it with a little non-stick spray of your choosing, and place the tofu steaks inside.
If barbeque sauce is your thing (and why wouldn’t it be?), brush as much as you’d like on top of the steaks.
Once your oven is nice and hot, put the tray inside and cook for approximately 45 minutes, flipping the steaks halfway through and adding more barbeque sauce if you want.
If you’re feeling a little frisky, throw these bad boys on your barbeque for some extra smokey deliciousness.
Step 5: Enjoy
There are no rules in my kitchen, so you can enjoy these fabulous tofu steaks with a side of whatever floats your boat.
Have them with some sweet potato fries, a few fried mushrooms, slice and dice the steaks and toss in some vegetables and whip up a tasty stir fry, or just wolf them down on their own.
You are limited only by your imagination.