Foodie Friday - Tassajara's Tofu Marinade

I would think that in this day and age, tofu has become familiar enough among the mainstream to lose some of its stigma as 'tasteless, bland styrofoam'. And yet, I suspect there is still some resistance to incorporating the humble soybean curd into one's repertoire. Even among those for whom tofu is a staple, one can always use more creative ways in which to prepare it.

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Tofu, having a very absorbent nature, is a perfect candidate for marinating. This recipe, from Edward Espe Brown's "The Tassajara Recipe Book", is among my favorites.

If you are new to cooking tofu, know that it is best to use the 'firm' variety, as opposed to the 'soft' or 'silken' kind. Also, for best results, you should squeeze the excess moisture out. Do this by placing the tofu on a slanted surface like a cutting board, and then covering them with another board for about 20-30 minutes.

This recipe makes enough marinade for 2 blocks of tofu.

Tofu Marinade

  • 2 blocks tofu
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or powdered
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sherry wine vinegar OR red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (tamari, if possible)
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • some twists of black pepper

Drain and press the tofu to remove excess water.

Simmer the mushrooms in the water for 15 minutes.

Toast the oregano in a small frying pan over medium flame until becomes aromatic (without burning).

Combine the remaining ingredients, adding the oregano when it is ready. The combine with the simmering mushrooms.

Bring to a boil and and simmer a couple minutes longer.

Cut the tofu into four slabs.

Pour the hot marinade over the tofu slabs. Marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight (refrigerated). The tofu can marinate for several days. If the tofu was reasonably fresh and fairly dry when it was marinated, the marinated can be boiled, strained, and kept refrigerated for reuse.