Smokey Miso Tofu

Smokey Miso Tofu

I hate it when I order a tofu sandwich somewhere, and it pretty much just tastes like (or actually is) blocks of watery, plain tofu stuffed between two pieces of bread. What’s up with that? You might as well be eating a wet, mushy sponge. I love me some tofu, but you got to treat it right, you know?

So I was thinking about tofu, and imagining thin slices of flavorful goodness to stuff into sandwiches.  I knew wanted to use miso as the base for the flavor.  The first sauce I mixed together used a bit of maple syrup, which seemed like a good idea until I tasted it.  Something about the combination of red miso and maple syrup did not sit well with me, so down the drain it went.  I moved on to pure, unadulterated sugar, a twist of lemon, a splash of tamari… I was definitely getting close.  I scooped in a little bit of nooch (nutritional yeast, aka vegan pixi dust) and liquid smoke and it was finished.  It’s a dead-simple marinade, tangy, salty, smokey and rich.  I wanted eat it like a soup.

I thought some pan-frying was in order, but when I heated up my cast-iron skillet and proceeded to burn all of the sauce right off the tofu, I decided the oven was a better choice.  The oven baked the flavor into the tofu, and 20 minutes was all that was needed since the slices were so thin.

This tofu will keep well, so it’s nice to make a whole block and set it aside for sandwiches, salads, or.. umm… snacking directly out of the fridge.

Smokey Miso Tofu

Smokey Miso Tofu
Makes 18-20 Thin Slices

2 Tbs Red Miso
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Tamari/Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke

1 Tub Extra/Super Firm Tofu, drained and pressed

Preheat the oven to 425º F.  Wrap your drained tofu in a few paper towels, then again in a terry cloth bar towel.  Press with something heavy – a cast-iron skillet, a plate with some cans on top, etc, for 10-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the marinade together.

Unwrap the tofu and make many thin, width-wise slices with a large knife.  I got 18-20 slices out of one block of tofu.  They’ll look something like this:

Thin Sliced Tofu

Line up your slices on a baking sheet topped with a non-stick baking mat. Brush both sides of the tofu with the marinade.

Smokey Miso Tofu - Basting

Let the slices absorb the marinade for 10 minutes or so, then brush just the tops again. Bake for 20 minutes at 425º F. Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet. The tofu should be darkened around the edges, but not burnt. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Smokey Miso Tofu - After Baking

I’m a simple girl, so some vegan mayo, baby spinach, and sourdough toast were all I needed to make a delicious sandwich. Whatever your favorite sandwich fixin’s are will go great, most likely. This would tofu would make a nice vegan BLT!

Now that’s a tofu sandwich!

Smokey Miso Tofu


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  2. Nolwenn

    Oh it looks so yummy ! But I got a question: what is “liquid smoke” I’ve never heard about this before (i live in France) ? Can it be susbstitued by something else ?

    Thank you

  3. Jessie

    WOW! this was very good on seedy/wheaty bread with butter lettuce and vegan mayo! also, we snacked it out of the fridge! ;) yum!

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  5. lilizen

    ces belles photos me donneraient presque’envie d elaisser tomber le fromage !
    Bravo pour cetet leçon de cuisine magistrale, ouion peut manger beau bio et bon, attention cependant au tofu 100% propre, pas d’OGM !
    bonne continuation !

  6. Level 20 Bard

    This looks great! I will be trying this on Saturday as soon as I pickup some more tofu.

    Would it still be alright if I were to marinate it in the morning and then bake it at dinner time?

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  9. Susan

    Just made this. Mine weren’t as thin as yours (maybe 16 or 17 slices) and they were getting burned in less than 18 min. I did the freeze, thaw and squeeze method, which gets more of the water out, so maybe that’s why.

    Yummy! I served mine on a big spinach salad with grape tomatoes, onion, and a creamy dressing inspired by the marinade:

    2 tblsp rice vinegar
    2 tbls water
    1 tblsp tamari
    1 tblsp lemon juice
    1 teasp honey
    1/2 cup soft tofu
    1 tblsp veganaise
    dash of smoke

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  11. Erica Phillips

    It is fabulous!!! I can’t wait to try another sandwich tomorrow, I think it’ll be great cold too. Thanks again Lolo, you’re the best!!

  12. Corey

    Delicious! I have been thinking about making this for a while, but didn’t get around to picking up miso until now. I substituted half of the lemon juice for rice vinegar and baked the tofu on an aluminum baking sheet with foil and canola oil. It worked perfectly and I’ll definitely make it again.

  13. Erica Phillips

    Quick question Lolo, mine were soft, not chewy at all. For some reason, I imagined them being chewy. How do yours turn out? Thanks!

  14. Soup and Song

    What a wonderful recipe and blog! I just discovered your blog yesterday, and made this today and it was the best tofu dish I’ve ever made, so thank you! I have never cooked with liquid smoke before and am always excited to learn something new in the kitchen. Vegan yum yum indeed!

  15. Erica

    I just made the tofu tonight! I actually used the tofu in a miso chopped salad that came from 101 cookbooks. The tofu was sooo delicious and the marinade is perfect!

  16. Robyn

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I bookmarked it awhile ago, but I didn’t make it until today. It came out perfectly. I made a double batch and I can already tell we are going to eat through it pretty quickly.

  17. sam

    I was interested in this by the beautiful photos that you took. i live in a diverse neighborhood in seattle, washington which is mainly vietnamese immigrants, and i am obsessed with the tofu sandwhiches from the vietnamese delis. i did not have any liquid smoke on hand and am not to fond of it, but ommiting it was just fine! lovely! thank you!

  18. jennaisavegan

    I tried this with tempeh and added a splash of cooking wine. It didn’t turn out so well – dunno if that’s the fault of the wine, or if it doesn’t go well with tempeh. I’m willing to try again with tofu, though…

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  21. Susan

    Delicious and easy! Thank you! I’ve now made this recipe three times and have shared it with friends. A couple suggestions for anyone who is interested: 1. double the marinade so that you don’t have to try to squeeze out every drop at the end (4T = 1/4 c). 2. Mix any remaining marinade with a little veganaise and use as an aioli spread on the sandwiches. 3. In my doubled recipe, I added 1T of sugar/agave – I like it a little sweeter. 4. I used a little peanut oil to coat the pan, but maybe that’s not necessary.

  22. Emily

    Looks delicious, but when I stopped by the store to get the liquid smoke, they said they don’t sell it because it’s carcinogenic. :(

  23. ren

    This looks and sounds absolutely yummy! now if I can only find the red miso. I can’t wait to try it….sounds like miso might be a new secret ingredient in my house :-)

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  25. stephen

    i just made this.

    secret: it’s ALL in how you slice the tofu. too thin and it burns while the others aren’t ready, too thick and it’s too rubbery.

    I would say the uncooked slices in the slicing photo are TOO THICK.

    The ones on the baking pad look closer to what you’re aiming for. (hoping for my sake they’re not the same ones)

    To experiment, I made a batch that varied from pretty thin to as thick as the ones in the slicing photo. The middle 1/3 of slices turned out the best, and cooked well around 20 minutes exactly, (though were making me nervous at 18).

    Hey Stephen! Must be an optical illusion, because the uncooked slices are indeed the same as the ones on the baking sheet. ;)

  26. Donsie Lass

    I made this with rice vinegar instead of lemon and used a few shakes of pimentón and a squeeze of harissa instead of the liquid smoke. It was really tasty and my somewhat tofu-phobic boyfriend liked it cold, which is unheard of for him. I used vegan green goddess dressing/dip I made myself with silken tofu, lots of chives, tarragon, roasted garlic, shallots, an avocado, cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper and slapped in on some bread. It was a very fine combo and the dressing/dip keeps for ages, so it’s good to have on hand. Yum!

  27. Donsie Lass

    Oh, and I froze the tofu first so it absorbed better… and used white miso because that’s what I keep around. In any case it was tasty and obviously it’s highly adaptable!

  28. porcelaincougar

    Just tried this today! SO Delish!!
    I didn’t have the silicone sheet, so I lined a big casserole dish
    w/foil, [clean up is a breeze] put a little peanut oil on the foil, then drizzled some of the sauce, added tofu, spooned the rest of the sauce, let this sit 10 min, baked at 425 for 18 minutes, put the broiler on for 2 minutes.

  29. Gretchen leigh

    This is excellent!
    I lined my baking dish with foil, [easy clean up]
    then put a little peanut oil on the surface, I also added a little oil to
    the marinade to help get those crunchy edges on the tofu!

  30. Matt

    I just tried this recipe. Though it smelled good, I ended up discarding the results. I believe the sugar was the issue. The sweetness clashed with the other flavors and the end result just didn’t work.

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  39. Cathleya

    Everytime I look the photo of that sandwich, my mouth is watering like there is no tomorrow. I am planning to try this recipe one day. (:

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