Haley Rowe-Kadow

Tofu to Change Minds & Hearts

I love this recipe because I know that it has the power to change the minds and hearts of even the most skeptical tofu non-believers.

While traveling in Mexico with my best friend from high school we found this little vegan taqueria on the beach. Serving all types of Mexican taco classics- chorizo & cheese, al pastor, barbacoa, the works. Now, normally I would have just passed up this little ex-pat vegan taco truck. When in Mexico I want the real stuff, but my friend was adamant and frankly, the Yelp reviews were unexpectedly glowing. The chorizo taco was so special and delicious I went home and made a version of it for myself. This recipe is actually the great great grandchild of that taco I ate in Mexico. It has the same roots, but I went a little spice crazy. But don’t let this long list of spices deter you! Every single one of these should be a pantry staple. It’s 2022 – If you don’t have these spices, consider your spice drawer incomplete. Let this recipe be the perfect excuse to start filling in the spice gaps in your spice rack. I often turn to this recipe on weeknights where I’m particularly uninspired because it is so simple, versatile, and delicious. As long as I have a block of tofu, I know I can make this dish. 

You’ll Need:

  • Extra Firm block of Tofu
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Sumac
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Cilantro
  • Turmeric
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Soy Sauce
  • Lime Juice
  • Vinegary Hot Sauce 

 Steps:

  1. Drain and press block of tofu. I like to use a kitchen towel to press out some of the extra liquid.
  2. Cut the tofu into ½ inch cubes
  3. In a Nonstick Pan over med-high heat add a glug of canola oil and a glug of olive oil- once the oil is nice and hot and add your tofu cubes
  4. Once the tofu is crispy on one side you can start adding your spices. I always do it differently, but I would suggest starting with a teaspoon of each. Except Nutritional yeast. I always add a bit more of that. Add your salt & pepper here as well. Make sure not to over salt because you will be adding soy sauce at the end, which will add a good bit of saltiness to your tofu. 
  5. Once the tofu is coated in spices, turn the heat down to medium and let the tofu keep cooking in the pan another 10 minutes- stirring every now and then to keep from burning. The tofu should be krispy on the outside and soft in the center. 
  6. Next, while the pan is still hot, add soy sauce and lime juice. They will evaporate quickly, so once theyre evaporated turn the heat off. You can also add a vinegary hot sauce here as well. 
  7. Taste test, obviously. Make any necessary adjustments. 

If you prefer crumbles to cubes (I love crumbles for lettuce wraps, tacos, breakfast burritos) follow the same steps but instead of cubing, just crumble directly into the pan with your hands. I recommend getting them as small as possible. The crumbles may need a bit more oil and will also take longer to cook. Trust me its worth the extra effort. You’ll know your crumbles are done when most of the moisture has evaporated from the crumbles and you have very nice evenly krispy brown crumbles.