Best Marinated Tofu Recipes

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Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just like to forgo meat every now and then, tofu is one of the most diverse and delicious vegan-friendly ingredients you can use.

Although tofu gets a bit of a bad rap, with some proper preparation and a little patience, this unassuming white block can be transformed into an ingredient that’s bursting with flavor! It’s also effortless to alter tofu’s texture, giving it an irresistibly crispy exterior and silky-smooth, chewy interior.

One of my favorite traits tofu offers is how easy it is to infuse the soy with any flavors I fancy. But while I love experimenting with my dishes, there are a few combinations I come back to time and time again.

Below, I’m going to share my absolute favorite tofu marinade recipes. Simply whip these up while your tofu presses, then thoroughly coat each piece of tofu in the sauce. Store the tofu and marinade in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight. 

The longer you leave the tofu to absorb all these delicious flavors and seasoning, the better the end result will be, so I really like to prepare these marinades the night before and leave them for around 24 hours. This way, I know I’m going to get incredible taste sensations in every bite!

The Best Marinated Tofu Recipes

These recipes are all 100% vegan and gluten-free, so they’re suitable for almost any dietary requirements. 

I love to mix and match these marinates throughout the week. Each is suitable for any tofu preparation method, including grilling, frying, baking, or throwing in a stir-fry… Serve with your choice of accompaniments or simply enjoy as a snack!

Each recipe offers 8 servings of tasty, marinated tofu and can be ready in just 5 minutes!

Ingredients

Sweet Asian Tofu Marinade 

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper

Balsamic Tofu Marinade

  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral-flavor oil)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp salt

Cilantro & Lime Tofu Marinade

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (or other neutral-flavor oil)
  • 2/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper (such as a jalapeno or serrano pepper)

Teriyaki Tofu Marinade

  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

Thai Chili Tofu Marinade

  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic-chili paste
  • 2 tsp sugar

Cornell Tofu Marinade

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Method One

This method is for the marinades that include granulated sugar – Thai Chili and Teriyaki.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Leave to cool, then pour over your pressed and chopped tofu, tossing to ensure every piece is well coated.

Method Two

This method is for the marinades made without sugar – Balsamic, Cornell, and Sweet Asian.

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Blend together using a fork or whisk. 
  3. Toss in your prepared tofu and mix together to ensure every piece is evenly coated.

Method Three

This method is for the cilantro & lime marinade.

  1. Place all the marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse until everything is well combined and no large pieces remain.
  3. Pour over your prepared tofu, tossing to ensure an even coating.

How to prepare tofu

You’ll notice that your tofu needs to already be pressed and cut for all of these recipes. The process of pressing tofu ensures no excess liquid remains in the block, so the tofu can absorb the tasty marinade flavors. Pressing tofu also enables it to cook better, gaining the crispy exterior that makes it so delicious!

The best way to press tofu is by using a designated tofu press. This evenly squeezes out every drop of moisture in as little as 15 minutes, perfect for leaving while you prepare your marinade!

Final Notes

These recipes will work best with extra-firm tofu, as the structure of this type of tofu is perfect for absorbing the different flavors and holds together nicely during cooking.

I like to marinate my tofu for at least 24 hours in a sealable plastic bag. This makes mixing everything together for an even coating incredibly straightforward and allows for plenty of time for the delicious flavors to infuse.

I think these are the absolute best tofu marinade recipes out there, and I’m sure you’ll agree.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Heather
6 months ago

I need to try all of these. I haven’t found a recipe for tofu that I absolutely love yet, but these all look awesome!

Monica Simpson
Monica Simpson
6 months ago

I want to try the balsamic and teriyaki marinades.

Kathy
Kathy
6 months ago

I’ve never tried tofu before. This actually looks really good too. I may need to give it a try.

Wanda Lopez
6 months ago

I have to say I have never tried tofu before. I am intrigued though. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

Carolina Edson
6 months ago

This sounds delicious! We love tofu and I am always finding ways to make it good. Thank you for sharing!

Ryan Escat
Ryan Escat
6 months ago

Thanks for this list. I’m a huge fan of tofu. Especially when I want to lose some weight.

Lyanna Soria
6 months ago

My family and I love to eat tofu so this is perfect for me to try and learn. Looks quite delicious as well.