This Crispy Balsamic Tofu is a vegan and gluten-free dish that is very quick and easy too. Perfect dinner recipe or meal prep lunch!
BALSAMIC TOFU (20 MINUTES) Recipe by Jamie Vespa
Crispy cubes of tofu, garlic, herb-infused balsamic marinade, and roasted red peppers. It’s the most heavenly mashup of sweet, salt, and savory flavors with a little kick of heat for good measure. It holds up well up to 4 days refrigerated, so you can enjoy it on repeat with your choice.
How To Make Crispy Balsamic Tofu:
This recipe requires minimal prep work and comes together in a flash. Here’s how to make it:
1. PRESS AND CUBE THE TOFU
In order to achieve crispy cubes of tofu, you need to remove as much water as possible. To do this, wrap your block of tofu in a kitchen towel and firmly press it on all sides. Alternatively, place a heavy-bottom skillet over it and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Once your tofu is pressed, slice it into equal-size cubes.
2. PREPARE THE BALSAMIC MARINADE
The star of this marinade is balsamic vinegar, which adds tangy, fruity flavor and just enough bite. One note: It really makes a difference to use high-quality vinegar here. Lower-quality vinegar is watery and harsh, whereas higher-quality vinegar is more viscous with well-rounded sweetness.
Also, the mix is fresh garlic and herbs, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, soy sauce, and lots of black pepper. This combination creates a beautifully balanced sauce that coats each crispy cube of tofu like a dream.
3. COOK THE TOFU IN A SKILLET
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once shimmering, add the tofu and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, turning brown on all sides.
Avoid stirring too often, which will inhibit optimal browning, and may even cause the tofu to stick to the pan.
4. ADD THE MARINADE
Once the tofu is golden and crisp, reduce the heat and add the balsamic marinade. Cook for 1 minute, until the harsh vinegar scent, starts to dissipate and the marinade coats the cubes of tofu.
Next, stir in the roasted red peppers, adjust the seasonings as needed, and serve!
- Store this tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Its longer “shelf lives” (at least compared to most meat dishes) make it an excellent contender for meal prep lunches.
- Reheat in the microwave or a skillet over medium heat.
Crispy Balsamic Tofu
- 1 14 oz block extra-firm or super-firm tofu
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 12-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
- Jasmine rice for serving
- Wrap the block of tofu in a kitchen towel and firmly press on all sides to remove moisture. Slice into equal size cubes, and season with 1/4 tsp. salt.
- Combine balsamic, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, Dijon, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in a glass measuring cup or bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside.
- Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add tofu and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden and crisp. Reduce heat to medium-low, pour in balsamic marinade, and cook 1 minute, stirring often until marinade begins to reduce and coat the cubes of tofu. Stir in roasted red pepper; remove from heat.
- Serve Balsamic Tofu over rice or grain of choice.