This savory and extra spicy tofu jerky is made with oven dried tofu strips flavored with smoky seasonings and fiery sriracha sauce!
I generally have a backlog of a few weeks' worth of recipes for this blog. Occasionally I make something and decide I need to post it the very next day, but most of the time my recipes work their way through the list and slow process of photographing, editing, writing and publishing. This recipe has been in my queue for a few weeks now, and my husband has asked me numerous times when I'm going to post it. I usually take that as a sign that the recipe was pretty damn good.
In this case, I've been informed, that not only is the recipe awesome, but jerky played a part in his journey towards going meatless.
I'm lucky to be with a guy whose food preferences are pretty close to my own. But he tells me that during his younger years, long before contemplating cutting out animal foods, he belonged to a band in which he was the only meat-eating member. His vegetarian bandmates mockingly brought him several packages of veggie jerky, which he devoured and loved, much to their amusement. I suppose if jerky had ever been an obstacle to him going veg, he did away with it then and there.
I don't really think it's surprising that he loved it so much. Jerky's appeal really isn't about meat, right? It's all about the seasonings, spices and flavor.
Any recollection I have of eating jerky made from animals is way foggy at this point. I'm sure the texture of tofu jerky isn't exactly like it, but I definitely had something of an "Oh, yeah, I remember this kind of food!" moment when I tasted it.
I made my jerky by basing tofu in a super-flavorful sauce and then cooking it in the oven at a super low temperature. If you've got a food dehydrator I'm sure that would work too.
And just to show you how easy the oven method is, I went and made a video of it!
Spicy Sriracha Tofu Jerky
- 1 pound extra firm tofu
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 ½ tablespoons sriracha sauce (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Parchment paper
Drain the tofu and pat it dry.
Cut the tofu into very thin slices, between ¼ and ⅛ of an inch, shooting for ⅛ inch. (Too thick and they'll take forever to bake.) Then arrange the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Stir the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl, and brush half of the mixture over the tofu slices. Flip the slices and brush the remaining mixture on the opposite sides.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake at 200°F for 2-3 hours, or until slices become tough and dry, very carefully flipping them about halfway through.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the tofu to cool. The texture will toughen up a bit more as they cool.
Store the jerky in a sealed container for 2-3 days.