Tofu Jerky Recipe

As a full-fledged carnivore, I was oddly excited about the thought of delving into the world of tofu jerky, primarily because I wanted to test my recipe on two died-in-the- wool vegetarians. Both of these fine ladies ate meat as young girls but gave it up when they discovered the true destination of the beef cows on their parent’s ranch.

1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, drained (398 g)*
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (1.25 ml)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1.55 g)
1/2 tsp black pepper, fine (1.25 g)
3/4 tsp onion powder (2.7 g)
1 1/2 tsp honey or maple syrup (10.7 g)
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar, packed (7.35 g)
1/4 cup smoky barbecue sauce (75.6 g)
1/4 cup soy sauce (59 ml)

1. Wrap tofu in a layer of paper towels, place wrapped tofu between two plates, set a 10 pound weight on top plate.
2. Allow the weighted tofu to set 1 hour then slice into 1/4” (0.64 cm) thick strips.
3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl; mix together well.
4. Arrange tofu strips in a single layer in an ample size baking dish.
5. Pour marinade over strips, cover, refrigerate overnight, turning one time.
6. Next day, drain off marinade and allow tofu to reach room temperature.
7. Arrange tofu strips on screens in a single layer leaving enough space between the pieces to allow sufficient air flow.
8. It takes tofu 3-4 hours to dry in a 170° (77°C ) oven, turn the tofu over after 1 1/2 hours so that both sides dry evenly.
9. Properly dried tofu jerky has a chewy texture (see below).
10. Place the finished product on a clean surface and allow it to cool completely, store in a closed glass container.

*For the best results, freeze the extra firm tofu for at least 48 hours before using. Freezing will cause the tofu to expand slightly and form ice crystals that have a sponge-like consistency aptly suited for absorbing liquid marinades.

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