Saturday, June 27, 2015

Teriyaki Tofu "Jerky"

Tofu gets a fair amount of use in the household these days, given that both my mom and I have decided that the white block of concentrated vegan protein is not the creepy, gelatinous, blah hippie food we originally made it out to be. No, thanks to a decent preparation primer, a few years of trial and error and a healthy dose of adventurous nature, we've discovered a few go-to recipes - both savoury (like Chickpea, Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Curry - a fave of mom's, the Chinese Style “Bourbon Tofu” that won over the whole family and my staple Tofu-Roni) and sweet (Soy Awesome Cookies, anyone?). While the household is evenly split on the bean curd debate (my sister and stepdad still won't willingly eat it), Mom and I both find it easier to digest, not to mention almost fun to work with given it's uncanny ability to soak up flavours like nobody's business.

While I've cooked and baked tofu a variety of ways over the years, I'd never thought to turn it into a "jerky" - dehydrating it into an even more concentrated mass of protein than it already was. That said, when I got a copy of The Dehydrator Bible I immediately spotted the directions for marinating and drying tofu and had to give it a go. Out of all the flavour possibilities the book provided, teriyaki seemed the most logical for this originally Asian foodstuff and I went to town! The recipe first drains, presses and infuses the sliced soy curd with a sweet, savoury and slightly spicy marinade, then dehydrates it, making chewy, easy to store strips. Unlike "regular" jerky which can be stored at room temperature, the book suggests tofu jerky be stored in the fridge or freezer for the longest shelf life. The reasoning is that since tofu contains fat it can still go rancid, even when dried, but I would figure beef or any other meat would have the same problem! Either way, this stuff is so addictive that storage really isn't an issue - and not only is it a great on-the-go snack but it made it's way into a recipe too! That recipe will be coming soon - I really promise this time!*

Shared with Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays 

Teriyaki Tofu Jerky

*I've been totally AWOL from the blog for a while thanks to end of the year report cards and my hard drive crashing sucking up all my time. Things are *fingers crossed* getting back to normal now!

Teriyaki Tofu "Jerky"
Makes 24 pieces, about 1 1/2 cups when chopped
1 lb low-fat extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed and pressed
2 tbsp raw sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tamari (I used San-J Black Label)
1 tbsp water
2 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  1. Cut the tofu in half horizontally and slice into 1/4" strips.
  2. Place in one layer in a shallow container and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the tofu strips, making sure to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove tofu from the marinade, discarding marinade, and arrange on dehydrator trays.
  5. Dry at 155F for 14 hours, turning over after 8 hours. Jerky is done when it is dry, firm and easy to break apart with your hands.
Amount Per Serving (4 pieces)
Calories: 140.6
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 378.0 mg
Total Carbs: 5.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 11.8 g

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