“Tofu is so boring and gross!” is what I often hear people say whenever the subject comes up, and honestly, the naysayers aren’t completely wrong. Tofu is bland and pretty tasteless on its own, but that’s also what makes it an amazing product to work with.
With a little imagination, flavor, and of course, love, tofu can turn into whatever you’d like it to be. Once you know how to prepare it correctly, it might just turn into one of your favorite ingredients to cook with. But if you’re really not into tofu, I’m sure that any other protein option would be delicious with this sauce. Seriously, it’s amazing.
This chipotle lime sauce/marinade is spicy, sweet, smoky, and is a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes. And the best part, is that it’s very easy to prepare, and you’ll have enough to use on more than one block of tofu. Now onto the recipe, already!
- 3 TBS chipotle pepper puree
- 1/2 C lime juice
- 1/2 C tomato paste
- 3 TBS sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt (if you only have regular salt here, that’s fine, just reduce the amount to maybe 2 tsp)
- 3/4 C vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup neutral oil such as vegetable, canola, grapeseed etc.
- 1 package of tofu (you will have plenty of sauce leftover for another block, though)
Equipment You’ll Need
- Food processor or blender
- A medium to large cast iron or non-stick skillet
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Non-scratch spatula or wooden spoon
- 20 oz container for the remaining sauce
- You’ll want to get a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for this recipe. Add the entire can to the food processor/blender and blend until it’s a consistent puree. You’ll only need a small amount for this recipe, so you can keep the remainder in an airtight container in your fridge for months. You could also freeze it and use as necessary later, if you prefer.
- Add 3 TBS of this puree to your food processor, along with the lime juice, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and veggie stock and blend for few seconds.
- You’re then going to slowly stream in the oil while the food processor is going. Slow and steady is key here, so that the sauce are properly emulsified. You should notice as you do this, that the sauce will become lighter in color– this is what we want, as this is a good indication that the ingredients are combining properly.
- That’s it for the sauce…told ya it was easy! Now we’re going to use that sauce to make your boring, bland block of tofu into something exciting and flavorful.
- Turn your stove to medium-high and add a tablespoon or so of oil to it to heat up for a few minutes. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if you add a bit of your tofu to it and it sizzles. But if it gets too hot, it will smoke and become unusable, so let’s not get too wild in here!
- Crumble your tofu into the pan and ensure that it’s spread in an even layer. I personally always use cast iron when making this, because it’s amazing and cooks very evenly. But if you don’t have that, it’s ok, just try to use something non-stick here.
- We’re going to let the tofu cook for several minutes until it starts to brown. Depending on your stove/pan this could take most likely at least 10-12 minutes, but could be more. Basically what we’re trying to do, is draw out some of the moisture, and give the tofu some texture. Don’t mess with it, just leave it be and let it brown. The sizzling sound should subside the more cooked it becomes, so just pay attention and don’t go off and play Candy Crush or something– we don’t want burned tofu, folks!
- Once it’s brown, you’re going to flip it over with your spatula or wooden spoon and do the same thing again. I’ll admit, I get a bit impatient in this step, but the more texture we have, the better. Cook again for another 10-12ish minutes.
- Now you’re going to add about 3/4 cup of sauce to the tofu and cook it until the sauce is absorbed, stirring regularly. Then you’ll repeat this step one to two more times to make sure the tofu has plenty of flavor injected into it. The sauce contains sugar, so it might start to stick anyway– just add a splash of water or stock to it and stir to gather the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
And that’s it! If you’d like, you can add more sauce at the end so it’s less dry and more saucy, if you’d like. It’s pretty spicy to me, so I don’t think it’s necessary, but you do you! You now have tasty, flavorful tofu that you can add to tacos, burritos, salads, and more. I’ll be definitely posting a recipe that I like to make with this in the future, so definitely look forward to that! Like I mentioned before, you’ll have a lot of sauce leftover for this recipe, and you can store it in your fridge in a glass jar for a couple weeks or even freeze it if you’d like. You can even use this sauce to add to other foods to add a smokey, spicy, sweet flavor.
**As an alternative method, you could also choose to cut your tofu block into 1/2 inch chunks, marinate the tofu in some sauce overnight and bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, as well. You can then dress the baked tofu with more sauce and eat it that way, but I prefer the above method because it’s a bit more flavorful that way. Either way, you should try this recipe, cause it’s awesome!