This smoked tofu recipe gets it's rich umami flavor from a tofu marinade that's a cinch to prepare. It's baked, and not fried and can be eaten solo or in wraps, stir fries or steaming bowls of ramen.
If you've seen my 15 Tofu Marinades, you'll know that marinating tofu is my favorite way to add flavor flavor to savory vegan recipes. From sesame ginger to Szechwan style marinades, I love how tofu so readily absorbs the flavors around it. That's why I'm excited to share this smoked tofu recipe with you.
Yes, you can buy smoked tofu at the grocery store, but it's infinitely richer and smokier in flavor if you make your own. And, you don't need a smoker or wood chips to make this recipe.
💚Reasons You'll Love This Recipe
💚It's dairy and gluten-free.
💚It takes less than 10 ingredients to make this smoked tofu recipe.
Tofu: I get asked a lot if tofu is vegan. Indeed it is! For more information on the of suitability of tofu for a vegan diet, check out my article "Is Tofu Vegan?" Choose extra-firm tofu for this recipe.
Tamari or Soy Sauce: I love the flavor of tamari. It has a mild, mellower flavor than soy sauce, and it's gluten free. However, you can also use soy sauce to make smoky tofu if you're not sensitive to gluten.
Olive Oil: I used olive oil in this recipe, but any neutral flavored oil will work.
Maple Syrup: Maple syrup adds the perfect earthy sweet taste, and it's free from refined sugar.
Garlic Powder: I recommend using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Fresh garlic burns and tastes bitter at high temperatures. Garlic powder gives you that garlicky flavor without the risk of it burning and ruining the flavor of your tofu.
Chili Powder: Chili powder adds a nice little kick to your marinade, but there's not so much that it's distinctly spicy.
Liquid Smoke: Liquid smoke adds that hickory, smoky flavor that smoky tofu is all about.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Balances out the sweetness of the maple syrup while adding a little zesty tang.
👩🍳How To Make Smoked Tofu
- Step 1 - Press Your Tofu: Wrap your block of tofu in a clean tea towel, and put it on a plate. Put something heavy on top such as a cast iron pan. Weigh it down further with a few tin cans, and leave it for 30 minutes. Or, use a tofu press to press out the excess liquid.
- Step 2 - Make The Smoked Tofu Marinade: While the tofu is draining make the smoked tofu marinade by combining the tamari, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, liquid smoke, chili powder, ground black pepper, salt and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Step 3 - Preheat Your Oven: Heat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Step 4 - Marinate Your Tofu: Cut your tofu into cubes and transfer them to a large shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the top. Turn the tofu over with your hands to ensure that it's evenly coated in marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Step 5 - Bake Your Tofu: Spread the tofu out evenly on the baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Be sure to leave ample space between the tofu cubes on the baking sheet. If they're too close together they steam each other while baking, which results in less than crispy tofu!
- Smoked tofu is a wonderful accompaniment to lentils and rice.
- Cut the smoked tofu into slabs and make a delicious burger or sandwich out of it.
- Tofu makes the perfect protein to add to a Buddha bowl...all you to need to do is add a veggie, a grain and a sauce.
- Serve over a noodle stir fry.
- Thread the marinated tofu cubes onto kebob sticks with alternating veggies such as mushrooms and red peppers. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
After you've baked the tofu and it's cooled down, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to let the tofu cool completely before sealing it in the container to prevent condensation and moisture buildup. Smoked tofu can generally last in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days. During this time, its flavor will continue to develop and enhance.
If you want to store the smoked tofu for an extended period, you can freeze it. Wrap the tofu tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container suitable for freezing. Properly frozen smoked tofu can stay good for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to use the frozen tofu, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once it thaws, you can reheat it or use it cold in various dishes. Keep in mind that freezing and thawing may change the texture of the tofu slightly, making it a bit firmer. However, it should still be delicious and usable in recipes.
🙋Frequently Asked Questions
To store baked tofu, allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate the tofu, and it should be consumed within 3 to 5 days for optimal freshness and flavor.
Yes, you can freeze baked tofu. Wrap the cooled tofu tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container suitable for freezing. Frozen baked tofu can last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
In most cases, I recommend draining tofu to improve its texture and allow it to better absorb flavors. Draining removes excess water, making the tofu firmer and less likely to fall apart during cooking. However, there may be specific recipes where you don't need to drain tofu, such as when using it in smoothies or certain desserts where you're looking for a softer texture.
Craving More Easy Vegan Recipes?
Easy Smoked Tofu Recipe
- 3 tablespoons tamari *or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 ounces tofu firm or extra firm
- Wrap the block of tofu in a clean tea towel, and put it on a plate. Put something heavy on top such as a cast iron pan. Weigh it down further with a few tin cans, and leave it for 30 minutes. Or, use a tofu press to press out the excess liquid.
- While the tofu is draining make the smoky tofu marinade by combining the tamari, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, liquid smoke, chili powder, ground black pepper, salt and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Heat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
- Cut tofu into cubes and transfer to a large shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the top. Turn the tofu over with your hands to ensure that it's evenly coated in marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Spread the tofu out evenly on the baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes.