Sometimes you just want an old-fashioned BLT Sandwich, you know? Some freshly sliced tomatoes, a little crunch from that cool, crispy lettuce, a nice little slather of mayo. Oh, and don't forget the most important part...
Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon!
Oh yeah, now that's a sandwich!
I can hear my carnivore friends now, snickering over the thought of eating tofu in place of bacon. Whatever, ignore them. WE know that bacon is no longer healthy.
In fact, it's considered a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization. So why do we still want to imitate it like in this Tofu Bacon recipe?
Well because for many of us it represents comfort food. It's something we've grown up with, and THAT can be a game changer when it comes down to actually changing your diet permanently.
So if I can provide a healthier alternative, with a similar texture and flavor, but still keep you on track to better health.....
Hey, count me in.
Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon
It's pretty obvious people love their bacon. I know since changing my diet, I have seen people make it with a variety of things.... mushrooms, eggplant, even rice paper..... so hey? Why not Tofu?
It's cheap, it's nutritious, and it absorbs a marinade VERY well.
The trick is however, to slice your Tofu evenly.
So to do that boys and girls, I suggest one of two things....
- An old-fashioned cheese slicer, or
- A mandoline slicer
Or you can just use a knife if you have a really steady hand....
Any of the above choices will work just fine, but I will say this: if you use a mandoline slicer - please be careful because the blades on those things are RAZOR sharp.
Ask me how I know....
The other nice thing about this recipe is you also have a choice in how you cook it, under a broiler or pan-fried. I've made it both ways and either one will work fine.
So you ready to make this? Ok here we go.
Start with a 14oz block of EXTRA FIRM Tofu. Drain all the water out of the package, and then wrap the block in several layers of paper towels. Now place something on top of it to weigh it down and press all the liquid out.
I place my block between 2 cutting boards and then set my cast iron skillet on top.
Let that sit for a good 15 minutes or so. We want to get as much moisture out of that Tofu as possible.
Ok, now that our tofu is good and dry, we can slice it. As I mentioned earlier, a cheese slicer works well, as does a mandoline. Whatever works for you. My slices came out about ⅛" thick.
Place the slices flat in a glass baking dish and now let's make the marinade.
In a small bowl whisk together the following: ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce,2 Tbs maple syrup, 1 Tbs nutritional yeast, 2 tsp liquid smoke, 1 tsp onion powder, and ½ tsp garlic powder.
Pour the marinade over the tofu and swirl it around so everything is covered.
Now the hard part, because even now it smells good. Let it sit for at least 15-30 minutes, the longer the better.
Once the tofu has marinated, we can either fry it up in a pan, or broil it.
If you have a toaster oven - then broiling it is easy. Just place the slices on a baking sheet and broil until browned. Carefully flip slices over to brown both sides.
Caution: WATCH it closely. I have had black tofu bacon before because I didn't keep an eye on it. Just saying.
To pan fry: just place the strips in a non-stick skillet and turn up the heat to medium-high. It will look like it's going to stick, just pour in a little water and it will loosen right up. Flip and turn as needed to brown both sides.
Now slice yourself some tomatoes, pop in some toast, and get ready for a killer sandwich.
Oh hey wait a minute.....the mayo, almost forgot!
I like this White Bean Mayo I used in my Vegan Potato Salad Recipe. It's very good, low-fat, and works perfectly.
Now, enjoy those sandwiches.
Smoky Maple Tofu Bacon
- Yield: 3 People 1x
- Category: Sandwich
- Cuisine: American
A smoky tofu bacon with just a hint of maple sweetness. Add lettuce, some freshly sliced tomatoes,and a bit of my White Bean Mayo and you got a perfect BLT.
- 1 block Extra Firm Tofu ((14oz))
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce ((low sodium))
- 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
- 2 tsp Liquid Smoke
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- Drain tofu , wrap the block in paper towels, and press under something heavy to remove as much moisture as possible. Let press for 15 minutes.
- Carefully slice tofu lengthwise into ⅛" slices. I have used a cheese slicer and a mandolin with good success. Just be careful.
- Whisk all remaining ingredients together in a small bowl to make the marinade.
- Lay the slices of tofu flat in large pan or dish and cover with marinade. Let the tofu marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 min to 1 hr.
- To broil: Place the tofu slices on a foil lined baking sheet and place under your broiler. Turn occasionally to brown both sides.
Note: Do not use parchment paper.
- To pan fry: Place the slices in a non-stick skillet and cook on med-high heat until browned, flipping occasionally. If the tofu appears to be sticking, pour a little water in the pan to loosen.
Tips are always welcome.
Hi Chuck, I ? this recipe. I marinated overnight which I think wasn’t necessary. I only had regular soy
sauce which was way to salty, so my next attempt will be with Tamari and a 15 minute marinade. Otherwise it’s great to have faux bacon back in my life. On occasion special occasions
Coconut Amino is a good soy sauce alternative with much less salt.
Hi Chuck! Yep, very good "bacon!" I did use tamari and marinated for about 30 minutes. I started frying in my non-stick but wasn't happy with the result so I used my cast iron instead. Because I fried in batches, I put the fried pieces on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a 300 oven. This allowed them to crisp up a bit more.
I would say that 14 oz would satisfy more than 3 people. We had 3 sandwiches generously piled with the bacon and still had leftovers. However! The next morning I did get out the non-stick, added a smidge of vegan butter to the pan and reheated them to have with eggs (I know, I know....it's my once-a-month breakfast). They fried up nicely and were actually crisper than on the sandwich.
Recipe is definitely a keeper! I'll just use 1/2 of a block if I'm only making sandwiches. Oh yes, the mandolin did a fine job. Thanks!!
FYI, you can get a 'chain mail' glove to work the mandoline 🙂
Got mine at Sur Le Table.
Great recipe!! I do have a couple suggestions I found to work quite well. I use the sprouted super firm tofu, I just slice it with a mandolin put the slices between kitchen towels (or paper towels) a few times to get all excess water(super firm doesn’t have much) marinate it in fridge overnight (or at least a few hours) then fry it 🙂
In the description you mention 1/4 maple syrup (is that cup, tbsp.???), then in the actual recipe, you say 2 tbsp. of maple syrup. Could you clarify, please? TIA
I just tweaked it to 2 Tbs recently, and did not update the description. Taking care of it now - thanks.
Flavor is outstanding. I’m thinking I sliced the tofu a little too thin because it fell apart during marinating it. One question - is it supposed to get crispy? I broiled in my toaster over on foil. Regardless, this is so flavorful and delicious. I can’t wait to eat it over my pasta and salads. Thank you Chuck.
Fabulous recipe!!! Very much like the one I was looking for but it is no longer available, so thank you very much!!!! This is delicious!!!!
hi there! this looks SO yummy! I am wondering if you have tried making this in the air fryer...thinking it might be perfect for it,and might try it!
Hope all is well with you and your loved ones! I follow your blog for a while abd usually I can find good substitudes for food and spices I cannot find here in germany. But how can I substitute liquid smoke?? I have smoked Paprika as a spice and I do not want to support Amazon by delivering me liquid smoke from far away. What would you recomend?
Best wishes, Daniela
Use the smoked paprika
I made this for BLT's for dinner today. I had to double the sauce recipe as the original amount did not cover the entire batch of tofu. That aside, I broiled it for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally to get the tofu browned. It smelled like BBQ something, but not exactly bacon. Once it cooled it got nice and dred out and more resembled bacon. Tha taste was very good and combined with lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo, it was an excellent sandwich. I will be making this weekly. Thanks for such a great recipe!
Another winner! Every recipe I have tried are keepers. We love this preparation. I was looking for different flavoring for tofu besides Asian and Mexican which I normally use. This fit the bill. I made it into small steaks, I cut a brick of tofu in half lengthwise and made 8 steaks. Baked it and it came out perfectly!
Will be making it as a bacon as soon as the tomatoes ripen in my garden. I’m impatiently waiting.
Thank you so much Chuck!
Love this recipe
Has anyone tried broiling on a Silpat mat.
Love this recipe and the sandwich! Substituted liquid aminos for the soy sauce. Thank you so much another keeper!
I use extra firm Mori-nu tofu all the time but it falls apart just taking it out of the box! How do you slice it with a mandolin? Is this a brand thing? Are there brands that hold together better? Thanks!
Morinu is silken tofu, which will not work for this recipe even if you use extra firm. You need to use tofu that is packaged in water and thickened with calcium or magnesium sulfate. The texture is much firmer.
I was wondering about air fryer also. Anyone ever put in dehydrator?
Getting ready to make this today! It sounds like another winner! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!
Looks like another winner! Thanks again Chuck for all the wonderful recipes!
Love this recipe.
Hi Chuck, I never recommend draining tofu with paper towels. I like to use paper towels as little as possible.....you know, the trees....the garbage..... I have flour sac towels that are very absorbent AND washable and reusable. Just a suggestion! Love your recipe. I'll definitely try it.
As a clarification on my previous comment, I have an inexpensive tofu press that I use first to press my tofu, then finish it off with the flour sac towels. 🙂