Quick and easy marinated tofu


Quick and Easy Marinated Tofu – The Hidden Vegetable

Quick and Easy Marinated Tofu

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This quick and easy marinated tofu recipe is bursting with flavor. The tofu is marinated in a sweet, savory, and spicy sauce that gives it a deliciously bold taste. You can use it in stir-fries, salads, sandwiches, wraps, or even as a snack on its own.

Marinated tofu being pan fried in a white skillet.
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  • ❤️ Why make this recipe
  • 🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
  • 🔪 Helpful tools
  • 🥄 How to make marinated tofu
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips
  • ❓ How to make crispy marinated tofu?
  • 🥡 Storage and reheating
  • 🌟 More tofu recipes
  • 📋 Marinated tofu recipe

This sweet, sassy, molassy tofu is my go-to recipe for adding flavorful tofu to wraps, sandwiches, and salads.

❤️ Why make this recipe

Marinated tofu is a vegan staple that can be used in so many different dishes. It's versatile, protein-packed, and has a satisfying texture that makes it a great substitute for meat. Whether you're a vegan looking for new recipe ideas or a meat-eater looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, marinated tofu is a must-try.

We love tofu in my house and I have a ton of tofu marinades, but this is my go-to quick and easy one that I make when I want flavorful tofu to add to wraps, salads, and stir-fries.

Once marinated you can bake it, deep fry it, grill it, or simply pan fry it.

🧾 Ingredients and substitutions

  • Tofu - Extra firm or high protein tofu holds up best to pan-frying.
  • Soy Sauce - or Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Tamari.
  • Sweetener - I like to use molasses or maple syrup, but you can also use agave, coconut sugar, or organic brown sugar.
  • Sesame Oil - this gives the tofu a nice flavor, but feel free to omit it.
  • Rice Vinegar - you can also use balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice for a little acidity to balance the flavors in the marinade.
  • Optional Spices - add a teaspoon of minced garlic or freshly grated ginger for more flavor. You can also add a teaspoon of sriracha or chili garlic sauce for a little heat or a teaspoon of liquid smoke for a smoky tofu.
  • Cornstarch - optional for crispy tofu.
  • Cooking Oil - for frying.

🔪 Helpful tools

  • Cast Iron Skillet or A Non-Stick Skillet - Tofu will stick to metal pans! It makes the tofu fall apart and you have a mess when you're done. To make nicely browned pan-fried tofu, you have to use a well-seasoned iron skillet or a non-stick skillet.
  • Tongs - to make turning your tofu easier. You have to make sure all sides of your tofu are cooked evenly. Tongs make flipping easier, but you can also use a spatula.

🥄 How to make marinated tofu

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Step 1 - Drain and press a 14 oz container of the firm or extra firm tofu. Be sure to get out as much liquid as possible. Pat it dry, then cut it into small 1/2-inch-sized cubes.

Step 2 - Add soy sauce, molasses (or brown sugar), water, vinegar, and sriracha (optional) to a shallow dish. Stir well, and add pressed tofu.

Step 3 - Flip the tofu a few times to get it well coated in the marinade and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes to soak it up. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 2 days and cook it at your convenience.

Step 4 - For extra crispy marinated tofu - dust your tofu with 5 tablespoons of cornstarch before frying.

Step 5 - Add 2 tablespoons of light olive oil to a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Once your pan is warm, add the marinated tofu and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.

Step 6 - Serve the tofu over rice, with a stir-fry, in a sandwich or tofu wrap, or cold on a salad.

*You can also coat the marinated tofu in panko bread crumbs as I do in my breaded tofu recipe. Follow my recipe for baked tofu if you would rather bake it than pan-fry it.

Marinated tofu is delicious when drizzled with spicy peanut sauce, tahini sauce, or any other vegan sauce of your choice.

👩🏻‍🍳 Pro Tips

  • Press out as much liquid as possible. This will allow your tofu to soak up more marinade and get infused with flavor.
  • Wait for your pan to heat up before you add your tofu. This will help the tofu not stick to the pan.
  • See for more detailed information, see my post on how to marinate tofu.

❓ How to make crispy marinated tofu?

You can cook your tofu once it has soaked up the marinade, but if you want it extra crispy, coat the tofu in cornstarch before frying it for a deliciously crispy texture.

🥡 Storage and reheating

Refrigerate: Marinated tofu will keep well in the fridge for 2 days before cooking. (If you marinate it longer than that the acidity in the marinade will start to break down the tofu. Cooked marinated tofu will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Freeze: Cooked marinaded tofu freezes well and can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Reheating: Reheat the tofu in the microwave for about 1 minute or toss it back into a frying pan with a little oil and allow it to heat through again.

Three marinated tofu wraps with spicy tahini sauce and veggies stacked on a plate.

🌟 More tofu recipes

  • Sticky Tofu
  • Tofu Fried Chicken
  • Orange Tofu
  • Tofu Sausage
  • Sweet and Sour Tofu
  • Teriyaki Tofu

📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!

📋 Marinated tofu recipe

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Marinated tofu in a white skillet with a spatula
Print Recipe

Easy Marinated Tofu

Quick and easy marinated tofu in a simple sauce.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Marinating time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, vegan
Keyword: easy marinated tofu, marinated tofu, quick marinated tofu
Servings: 4
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Monica Davis

Equipment

  • tofu press optional

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz) package firm tofu (or extra firm)

For the marinated

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos or Tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (or maple syrup, agave, or brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or garlic chili sauce (optional for spicy tofu)

For pan frying

  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch optional
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil

Instructions

  • Drain and press a 14 oz container of the firm or extra firm tofu. Be sure to get out as much liquid as possible. Pat it dry, then cut it into small 1/2-inch-sized cubes.
  • Add soy sauce, molasses (or other sweetener), water, vinegar, and sriracha (optional) to a shallow dish. Stir well, and add pressed tofu.
  • Flip the tofu a few times to get it well coated in the marinade and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes to soak it up. You can also store it in the fridge for up to 2 days and cook it at your convenience.
  • For extra crispy marinated tofu - dust your tofu with 5 tablespoons of cornstarch before frying.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of light olive oil to a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Once your pan is warm, add the marinated tofu and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
  • Serve the tofu over rice, with a stir-fry, in a sandwich or tofu wrap, or cold on a salad.

Notes

  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This will allow your tofu to soak up more of the marinade and infuse the flavors.
  • Wait for your pan to heat up before adding your tofu. This will help the tofu stick to the pan.
  • For more detailed information, see my post on how to marinate tofu.

Worship: 0.5the cup | Calories: 206kcal | Sugars: 10g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 5g | Monounsaturated fats: 8g | Sodium: 537mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 2mg

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