Want to make tofu taste irresistible? Try this Marinated Tofu recipe! The easy balsamic marinade is easy to put together and soaks into the tofu within 30 minutes.
Whether you’re new to cooking tofu or a seasoned pro, this Marinated Tofu recipe is a must-have in your repertoire. Not only does it produce the most flavorful tofu ever, but it’s a quick and easy staple that every vegan needs in their back pocket. All it takes is simple ingredients and a brick of tofu!
Why marinate tofu? For extra flavor, of course! Tofu is known for having a mild, somewhat bland flavor on its own, but acts like a sponge when it’s dipped into specialty marinades and sauces. It’ll soak up anything you throw at it, from simple marinades like this recipe to vegan bacon seasoning, stir fry sauce, and more.
The balsamic marinated tofu is pan-fried to develop a crispy crust and seal in that flavor. If pan-frying isn’t your thing, toss the tofu in the oven or air fryer instead! I always choose the fastest cooking method because it lets me enjoy the flavored tofu on salads, grain bowls, or wraps that much quicker.
Tofu marinade ingredients
- Tofu - Firm or extra firm tofu is always best because it contains less moisture. The less moisture and water in your tofu, the better it will be at absorbing the marinade.
- Balsamic vinegar - This is a balsamic tofu marinade, so balsamic vinegar is a must.
- Maple syrup - For a touch of natural sweetness and balance.
- Liquid aminos - Or use soy sauce, coconut aminos, or tamari.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic cloves will give the tofu marinade the most addictive flavor. Feel free to use garlic powder instead.
How to make marinated tofu
Always press the tofu before doing anything else. You can do this with a tofu press or by wrapping the brick in a paper towel and placing something heavy on top. When it’s done draining after 15 minutes, you’re ready to begin:
- Make the marinade: Whisk the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, Italian seasonings, and liquid aminos together in a small bowl.
- Cube the tofu: Slice the brick of tofu into cubes.
- Marinate the tofu: Combine the tofu cubes and marinade in a freezer bag. Seal and shake to combine. Place it in the fridge and let the tofu marinate until it’s time to cook.
- Pan-fry the marinated tofu: Heat some oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the marinated tofu cubes and fry until a crust forms on all sides. Take the pan off the heat, pour in the reserved marinade, and stir until it evaporates. Season the fried tofu with salt and pepper, then enjoy!
Tips for success
- You can reserve the leftover marinade, store it in the fridge, and reuse it another time.
- Don’t flip the tofu in the skillet too early or else it won’t crisp.
- Experiment with more tofu marinades! Swap the balsamic marinade for peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, or this spicy Vietnamese dipping sauce.
The balsamic flavors in the marinade make this tofu recipe especially delicious on top of green salads, in veggie wraps or vegan gyros, and on buddha bowls with tahini dressing. It can also be layered into simple sandwiches with tomato, lettuce, and vegan mayo, mixed into a stir fry, or enjoyed as a snack on its own with ranch dressing.
Frequently asked questions
To bake the marinated tofu, lay the cubes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with the marinade and bake at 350ºF for about 40 minutes (flipping halfway) or until the cubes are firm and slightly crisp. The baking method is oil free but it won’t crisp the outside of the tofu as much as frying.
Yes! Marinate the tofu as normal and use the instructions in my air fryer tofu recipe to air fry the marinated tofu.
Tofu can be left to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight.
Yes! Tofu is like a sponge and absorbs the flavors from the marinade like a pro. It’s especially easy to flavor when it’s cut into small cubes.
The fried marinated tofu cubes can be cooked ahead of time and stored for 3 to 5 days in the fridge. It’s a great last-minute salad topping to always have on hand!
Looking for more tofu recipes?
Enjoy everyone! Happy Day! Please feel free to comment below and give this recipe a rating. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!Print