Marinated Tofu

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | July 14th, 2014 | Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

marinated tofuSometimes in the summer I just want a dish that is completely cold.  I don’t want to turn on the oven or even reheat in the microwave. I simply want to take ingredients from the pantry and refrigerator and create a cooling meal.  That can be done quite simply by making a lunch of a piece of fruit and cheese and crackers.  However, that isn’t always filling enough.  It takes sustenance to power through an afternoon of work!

Thus, I ponder, how can I have a heartier meal that still is cool and refreshing?  Today’s recipe is one way that I have been able to do so.  Although not a vegetarian, I enjoy many a plant-based dish.  Tofu is an ingredient that I have come to love over the past decade.  While naysayers declare it to be bland, I simply say that it just needs to be utilized correctly.

If you are hesitant about eating tofu, allow me to share one key hint.  You need to add flavor to tofu!  There is no magical set of ingredients; just choose the flavors you like and immerse your tofu in them.  I’ve made buffalo tofu bites and Korean tofu stir fry.  Both worked well, as have other mixtures.  Determine what flavor you want to enjoy, surround your tofu with those flavors for many hours (a day is ideal), and cook as you see fit.  You will find that tofu has much more appeal than you realized.

For this dish, allowing the tofu to hang out in the marinade for a day produced great flavor.  As I wanted to eat this as a cold dish, I began the process on Saturday night, so that I could have cold tofu for my lunch on Monday.  While I did start it a day and a half in advance, it took very little working time.  I spent 10 minutes dicing the tofu, mixing the marinade, and combing both in a bowl.  On Sunday evening I spent another 10-15 minutes sautéeing the tofu.  All I had to do on Monday was pack my lunch.  Yes, a decent amount of time passed between start and finish, but not much effort was actually required of me.

As a side note, if you’re looking for something warm, this tofu can be eaten immediately after cooking.  Serve it with some rice and veggies or other ingredients of your choice.


Marinated Tofu


  1. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  2. 1 tsp. sesame oil
  3. 2 Tb. sugar
  4. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 2 Tb. rice wine vinegar
  6. 1 lb. very firm tofu
  7. olive oil
  1. In a small bowl combine, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic powder, and vinegar. Whisk thoroughly.
  2. Cut tofu into small pieces, approximately 1/2 inch cubes. Transfer tofu to an appropriately sized resealable container or bag. Pour marinade over tofu.
  3. Seal and refrigerate for at least 12, if not 24, hours. Once or twice during the marinating process, give the container a gentle shake to insure that all pieces of tofu are covered in marinade.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Place a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.
  5. When heated, add tofu pieces. Do not add the marinade.
  6. Cook for approximately 2 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a clean storage container. (You can save the marinade for serving.)
  8. Serve atop a salad, in a wrap with an assortment of veggies, or on its own.
  1. Having made this recipe twice, I have discovered that this recipe can be served without sautéing. The tofu will be more tender, but the taste is still fantastic. Plus, that eliminates the need to turn on the stove. The cold tofu is ready even faster!
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