Sunday, June 23, 2013

recipe: the best damn tofu marinade ever.

If you don't cook it often, tofu on its own can be a hard one to tackle. Making something spectacular boils down to two essentials: the quality of your ingredients and your marinade.

This recipe is my mom's famous salmon marinade. She has made people cry her salmon is so good. Her secret? Fresh Copper River salmon (wild Alaskan salmon for those of you not from the PNW) and this marinade.

It magically transforms tofu into something even the pickiest eaters will love; they will probably even beg for more.

1/4 cup soy sauce (I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos.)
1/4 cup honey or agave or maple syrup (I am one of the vegans who eats honey and that's my preference here. Each type of sweetener adds its own flavor.)
1/4 cup sesame oil
3-6 cloves garlic*, minced
A thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger*, grated or minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Sesame seeds
Pepper to taste

*The garlic and ginger can be replaced by powdered versions of each in a pinch, though it pains me to even make that suggestion. Just like you can buy cheapy tofu or farmed salmon, it will not be as orgasmically delicious if the ingredients aren't fresh.

To make the marinade, mix everything together so that the oil is well incorporated.

Press your tofu to expel all the liquid. The more liquid you press out, the more marinade will be absorbed and the more flavorful your tofu will be.

Cut your tofu however you please, usually based on how you plan to cook it. Cubed or crumbled is good for sauteing. Sliced into rectangles or triangles is great for baking or broiling or barbequing. In general, the thicker the pieces, the longer they will need to marinate and cook.

Put your tofu in a container and cover with the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least an hour, turning the tofu once to make sure both sides get equal marinade love.

My favorite way of cooking it up is on the grill; the barbecue adds an extra smoky flavor that works really well with this marinade. A close second is broiling. Line your broiler pan with some aluminum foil and dump it all in. Baste every few minutes and cook until the tofu's slightly browned and it smells so good you can't stand it anymore, 10-20 minutes depending on thickness.

I guarantee you will ask for seconds.

Bon appetit!


  1. Thank you so much for this marinade, I could eat tofu this way every day for the rest of my life.... It really is the BEST!!!