Prep 15 mins
Cook 12 hrs
This is a nice substitution for beef jerky, as it provides the saltiness and smoky flavor (it has been a long time since I've had real beef jerky, though, so I may not be the best judge). The texture will not be the same, of course, but it is chewy and satisfying. Enjoy!
- 1⁄2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1⁄8 cup water
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 crushed fresh garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 lb extra firm tofu (not silken type)
- Cut the cube of tofu horizontally into four pieces, and then slice it into strips (I had a total of 12). The strips should be about 4 millimeters in thickness. They're going to shrink a lot in the oven, so they should start out pretty thick.
- Mix all the other ingredients together.
- Arrange the tofu in a single layer in a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet and pour the marinade over it.
- Let it soak for several hours or overnight.
- Drain excess liquid and dry tofu in food dehydrator or 200 F oven. This will take 4 to 8 hours, depending on the weather (it took six hours for me in the oven).
- Flip the tofu over hourly so it dries evenly.
- Dry the jerky until it is very chewy, but not crispy.
Found this a bit on the salty side so use low sodium soy sauce. Otherwise it was very good. I used 1 teaspoon liquid smoke and that was plenty (Colgin brand mesquite flavor). I froze the tofu first. Makes it firmer. and you can increase heat for a while to dry it faster.
I made this with low sodium soy sauce and several people sampled it and liked it. I'll try regular soy sauce when I make it to take backpacking. I used a dehydrator for 7 hours at 195 F, and the texture came out nice -- not really chewy, but not crispy either. It made the house smell smoky for a couple days, but it's a pleasant smell. When I laid it out to dry, I made sure some of the marinade solids (garlic and pepper) was on each piece.
This was my very first time using tofu in anything other than miso soup! I figured something like this recipe would be a good introduction for this carnivore as I love beef jerky and all things salty. I followed the directions and used the dehydrator, which, after 2 hours, resulted in all but one piece being completely crispy! The last one had a chewy texture, but I'm not really sure which I like better. They were definitely extra salty, even for me, but with a good flavor. I can see experimenting with the marinade ingredients. All in all, a nice alternative to beef jerky and not-so-healthy snacks. Thank you, Aunt Cookie!