Anybody who hates tofu just hasn’t had it right. Am I right or am I right?
For some strange reason, this year, I tried to manifest my hopes that my family and I would have a home-cooked Christmas feast. Seriously, why on Earth did I believe that such a thing could possibly happen, given that at least one family member is out of the house 99% of the time?
Don’t get me wrong, my family still cooks plentifully, but generally speaking, the time spent making food from scratch has decreased quite significantly. Upon looking in the fridge when I came back, I also found plenty of leftovers and unopened boxes of cereal and full jars of jam and peanut butter that I could have passed on at Trader Joe’s. However, my family is not big on going crazy with holiday cooking when most people treat recipe making as a game to see who comes up with the winning dish!
However, this tofu dish is one of the only homemade creations that I’ve put some effort into preparing, baking and serving at the dinner table! Granted, I was the only one eating the tofu because everybody else had chicken curries and tandoori, which is A-okay since I tend to be quite possessive over my food.
Below is my hoisin tofu served with broccoli and Indian curries for Christmas!
For those of you who do not have a lot of knowledge about Asian food, here’s a quick rundown on hoisin sauce: primarily used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, hoisin sauce is a very thick and creamy sauce made from mashed soybeans that looks almost black but leaves brown traces. Fortunately, unlike many Asian sauces, hoisin sauce is naturally vegan, but it is not naturally gluten free. Luckily, there are many varieties out there with gluten free options, so hoisin sauce can be enjoyed by everybody!
Flavor-wise, the sauce contains a beautiful blend of sweetness and saltiness, similar to teriyaki sauce with a more distinctly “starchy” taste. Think of it this way: if teriyaki sauce is maple syrup, hoisin sauce would be molasses. Sometimes, it can be a bit of a hit or a miss, but personally, it’s a TOTAL hit, especially in this tofu recipe! For the marinade, however, I actually used one of my favorite Vietnamese sauces that is only found at Vinh Loi Tofu, and that is Kevin’s sauce, otherwise another variety of hoisin sauce with a stronger sweetness and slight coconut aftertaste! I still have yet to find the recipe for that sauce, because it is to die for! Coconut and tofu? Actually a phenomenal combination!
- 1 block of organic firm or (ideally) extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
- I actually used 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup of Kevin’s sauce from Vinh Loi Tofu, which is a special vegan Vietnamese coconut dipping sauce
- 4-6 TBSP water; amount will vary depending on your desired consistency for your marinade
- Nonstick spray for baking
- Optional: salt and pepper to taste, soy sauce, teriyaki, herbs, slices, chili sauce, etc.
- Drain the tofu container’s liquid and pat the tofu block completely dry.
- Cut the tofu in even slices, around half an inch wide for each.
- Place the tofu slices in a tupperware container or a large Ziploc bag.
- In a mixing bowl or beaker, combine the water and sauces evenly. Add optional sauces and additions if desired.
- Pour the marinade over the tofu, carefully distributing the marinade around each slice.
- Leave in the fridge to marinade for up to two days.
- When ready to prepare, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Line a baking tray with foil, parchment paper or a silpat sheet.
- Spray the tray with nonstick spray if necessary.
- Lay out each tofu slice on the tray and bake for 25-40 minutes, or until the tofu is golden-brown and crispy to your desired liking.
- Serve warm with anything you’d like!
Hoisin sauce: love it or hate it? What did you make (or order) for Christmas?