Sunday 22 June 2014

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Marinated Tofu

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu (+a tofu tutorial!) - vegan and gluten free
Served with Mexican Rice, Potato Salad and Sweet Iced Tea - hello summer!
Ok, so I am loving this tofu lately! Those of you who like my facebook page will recognize it from a couple weeks ago as part of my blog testing lunches :-) It's pretty much as described, tofu marinated in a zesty lime and tequila marinade then pan fried until lightly charred. It's seriously good, very zesty and downrite more-ish. The marinade is slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eat's recipe for margarita chicken (good tip - don't limit yourself to searching for tofu recipes, meat marinades usually work awesome as tofu marinades!)
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free
Served as a lighter meal on top of some nice lettuce with slices of avocado and a drizzle of the marinade as a dressing.
What I am really excited about here is the tofu preparation method I have used. I'm very limited here in the types of tofu I can buy. I can get firm and soft silken tofu then I'm pretty much left with Cauldron's Original Tofu:
For those of you not in Ireland and the UK it is a VERY soft tofu, bordering on silken in many ways. I do love it but it's softness can be a let down in some cases, particularly in marinating. Obviously when marinating you want to extract as much of the liquid as you can from the tofu, usually by pressing so that the tofu will absorb all your yummy marinade. This tofu is so soft it gets a little smashed when you press it. Not good. So I was looking for a way to draw out the liquid without pressing (or freezing as it takes too long) - enter, the microwave.
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free
I simply cut the tofu as I wanted, in this case thin-ish triangles and placed them on a plate. Microwaved for 1 minute then placed them on paper towels to drain. Wiped the plate clean of all the water that came out and repeated the process so that it was microwaved a total of 4 minutes. In the end you end up with a much firmer and bouncier tofu with almost all the liquid extracted - perfect for marinating. This does 'cook' the tofu slightly but I find that only enhances the texture again. Plus, you are then marinating the tofu while warm which I find makes it absorb even more marinade.

I am really happy to find a way to make soft tofu firm, and in only 4 minutes! If your tofu is too soft, give this method a try (step by step photos below!)
Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu with Mexican Rice and Potato Salad - vegan and gluten free

~Recipe Notes~

♥ If using soft or very soft tofu then follow my microwaving procedure below.
♥ If you are using a firm tofu, simply press the cut tofu between layers of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel for about 15 minutes, change the paper at least once, then marinade as per recipe instructions.
♥ Depending on your microwave you may not need the full 4 minutes, or you may need more. Stop when there is very little water being released by the tofu and it feels firm, bouncy and dry-ish.
♥ The 1 tsp of salt is not a typo! As this is a marinade all of that won't be used and you do want a little salty kick here, just like in a margarita :-) Besides, even when I use it as a dressing it's not too much.
♥ Marinade makes enough for 2 lots of tofu (250g) but I've written this up to serve one. Leftover marinade will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or you can double the amount of tofu here to serve 2.

Lightly Charred Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu - vegan and gluten free

Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu:

40ml lime juice (about 2 limes) +zest of ½ lime
zest of ¼ orange + juice of ½ orange
1 Tbsp tequila, I used gold
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp sweet freedom syrup, light agave or maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt and 16 grinds of black pepper
125g tofu (¼ of a pack of Cauldron) - see notes above

For the marinade simply whisk everything but the tofu together and tip into a container that will fit all the tofu in a single layer.

Marinade Source: Iowa Girl Eats

~Prepare the Tofu~

1. Take ¼ of a pack of Cauldron’s Soft Tofu and slice into 6 thin triangles.
2. Place on a plate and microwave on high 1 minute.
3. Transfer the tofu onto 2 sheets of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down gently to absorb water.
4. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it. Microwave again for 1 minute.
5. Transfer to 2 sheets of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water.
6. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it, poke the tofu with a fork, both sides. Microwave again for 1 minute. (You want to fork the tofu now as it's starting to cook it can 'seal' the out side of the tofu which could result in the tofu not absorbing as much marinade. It also helps the water to release.)
7. Transfer to 1 sheet1 of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water.
8. Dry the plate and return the tofu to it, poke the tofu with a fork, both sides. Microwave again for 1 minute.
9. Transfer to 1 sheet1 of paper towel and place 1 more on top, pat down to absorb water (there should be very little water at this point). Poke again with a fork on both sides.
10. Place the prepared tofu into the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinade.
Perfect Tofu Tutorial
Perfect Tofu Tutorial

~Fry the Tofu~

Brush a little peanut oil onto a frying pan and get it nice and hot. Remove the tofu from the marinade and place in the pan:
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Let it cook until lightly golden brown underneath with some darker spots, then flip them over:
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Spoon over a little of the marinade over each piece of tofu (please take care if you have a gas hob - remember there is tequila in there!!)
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 ...and let it sizzle away!
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
 Flip the tofu over and spoon a little more marinade over, again let it sizzle away.
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu
I now just let it cook, flipping them over until I'm happy with the amount of charred bits I've got on both sides.

Then, just serve as you like! I liked this both ways - as a larger, heartier meal with Mexican Rice and Potato Salad (basic version) and as a lighter salad simply with a nice leaf, avocado and the marinade as dressing. 
(Note that the photos you see here are not with my Mexican Rice recipe but rather an easier 'cheater' version, same idea though.)
Zesty Lime Margarita Tofu Salad with Garden Fresh Lettuce and Avocado. Vegan and Gluten Free.

Nutritional Information: tofu only, 1 serving

Calories: 193
Protein: 10.9g
Fat: 11.2g
Sat Fat: 2.1g
Fibre: 0.9g
Carbs: 8.8g
Sugar: 5.1g
Sodium: 1163 * - will be less as you don't use ALL the marinade :-)

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Moros Y Cristianos from
The World Food Cafe

Chili Cornmeal Crusted
Tofu w/Mexican Rice


  1. This sounds delicious. Perfect summer supper.
    Interesting technique for the tofu too. I use Clearspot organic tofu (you can get it from independent health food shops) and I think it is a little firmer than Cauldron anyway, but the firmer the better.

    1. Thanks, I forgot about the Clearspring one! I can get that here as well but don't use it as often, I'll have to give it a try with this :-)


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