Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tofu Jerky

So I was monkeying around on the Internet, browsing recipes and vegetarian websites, and I came across the idea of Tofu Jerky. I've never tried Tofu Jerky, and you know how I was a bit skeeved out by the texture of tofu, but yet I was oddly intrigued by the idea of jerky made out of it. And since I'll try anything once, I decided to give it the old college try.
I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Although the texture isn't like real jerky, it's oddly close enough. I also think that the seasonings are distracting enough that this is rather enjoyable. I definitely think that most people, vegetarian or not, would enjoy this as a fairly healthy snack. While I can't see myself making this weekly, I definitely think it will be kept to try again.

Tofu jerky

Tofu Jerky
(recipe based on this one)

1 lb extra-firm tofu
1/2 c tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tbsp liquid smoke
1/8 c water
1 tbsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp harissa (optional)

I pressed my tofu by wrapping in paper towels and putting it on a plate. I then put a large wooden cutting board on top, and stacked about 4 cans on top of it. I left it for about 45 minutes, and then took it out of the "press."
Slice tofu about 1/4" thick. I carefully placed my slices into a ziploc bag, and added the marinade. Allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
I then put mine in the food dehydrator, and it took about 17 hours to dry to a chewy, not crispy texture. Alternately, you can bake in a 200 degree oven, flipping every few hours, for about 4 to 8 hours, until done.


Saun said...

4-8 hours in the oven makes this a definite weekend recipe for me but I think I'm going to try it. I just wanted to say again how much I like your blog. Lately my life has been all about the hummus and I plan to try that lastest recipes real soon.

Susan Voisin said...

I'm going to have to try this! I really like the veggie jerkies you can buy at health food stores, even though I know they're loaded with salt and preservatives. This looks like a healthier--and cheaper--option. Thanks!

Fiber said...

Saun - thanks so much. I'm such a huge fan of your work! I love your latest ideas. And seriously? It is all about the hummus.

Susan - you know, I've never tried them in a store, so I don't have a comparison. But I can imagine that storebought would definitely have more preservatives. I was considering doing a "tofu-leather" option next, blending the tofu with some spices, and then spreading it out on the fruit leather sheets. We'll see.

Special Sauce said...

OK. I've tried it. And I'll admit- I was totally put off by the creepy raw-pork looking picture, and the fact that "Um, it's tofu jerky, how good can this possibly be" kept running through my mind. But I have to say- it's actually good. Like... eating a nice piece of pepperoni. Only not.

The concept still creeps me out a little bit, but it's no scarier than eating cheetos, and a lot healthier.

Anonymous said...

This skeeves me out something fierce. Maybe it's because I'm a newbie vegetarian. Maybe it's because jerky (the meat variety) scares me. I'm tempted to try it though. I'm just scared of scared. I haven't been disappointed with your recipes yet---so maybe I will make it this weekend!

Anonymous said...

love the 'tofu-leather' idea. very tempted to try that. seems like it would work up so much quicker, but I'm not a leather-pro!

loving your stuff. I'm all about peanut sauce these days. everything peanut.

Fiber said...

hws - I have to admit that it does skeeve me out still a tiny bit, but honestly, it's pretty good. Lina wasn't a huge fan though.

Deb - I'll have to let you know if I give it a try. I just threw a batch of asian-marinated tofu in the dehydrator (fresh ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce, etc) so we'll see how that turns out.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. As mentioned above, I wasn't the biggest fan. However, I don't blame that on 28 Cooks. I blame that on my Amish upbringing. And it won't stop me frome eating anything else that you make. Maybe I'll try some again tonight with a glass of wine. It can't hurt, right?

Mindy T. said...

Probably won't try this, because I never was a jerky fan. Plus, I like tofu a lot in so many other, simpler preparations. But it reminded me of something I haven't made for a long time -- tofu chorizo (a vegan verson of the spicy Mexican sausage). It's great for tacos, burritos, tostadas, and such. I'll publish my recipe on my blog in the next few days. Thanks for sparking my memory about interesting tofu "meats."

Anonymous said...

alright...made the jerky yesterday. Ick. The recipe is great, but apparently, I just don't like jerky (it reminds me of dog treats). My husband thought it was just like regular beef jerky, but it was VERY salty. He said it was very good though. How did your asian type fair?

Anonymous said...

On a side note, today my husband was looking for something to snack on and he asked me where the jerky was. So apparently, other than it being a bit salty, this recipe works. I just don't like jerky, so my "ick" comment shouldn't be taken to heart!

Fiber said...

Mindy - I can't wait for the tofu chorizo post. That sounds like an awesome idea.

HWS - see? It's really not that bad. The asian type didn't come out quite so well - I went too light on the marinade, since I didn't want it to be overdone, so I need to make another batch, and try again.

Katina Mooneyham said...

I am going to try this! It sounds so yummy and I love to try new things in the kitchen.

The picture makes it look even yummier. Thanks.

jae said...

here's what i like about tofu jerky - it makes for great traveling food. as a veg or vegan especially, it's hard to find anything but sugar and carbs on the road. jerky, having been dried out in the oven for so long, is a great protein souce that doesn't need to be refrigerated.
if i go on a roda trip, or one of my musician frineds goes on tour, i'm usually sure to whip up a batch.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

This is awesome! I may try this with seitan, my boyfriend buys Stonewall jerky [seitan] in bulk and it's 7.99/lb and I'm always looking to cook and save money : )

Anonymous said...

I slice the tofu with dental floss - works beautifully

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