Looking for a delicious and healthy tofu marinade that will tantalize your taste buds? Look no further than this Thai-inspired recipe that features the irresistible creaminess of almond butter!
Whether you’re new to tofu and trying to find a way to enjoy it or a seasoned veteran just looking for a recipe to change things up, this tofu marinade is a recipe that will wow you.
We’re meat eaters through and through in our household but I still like to enjoy a tofu meal at least once a week. If I’m not adding it to a soup, chances are it’s getting roasted or air fried for the best crispy texture.
What I’ve learned over the years of baking tofu, however, is that if you have the time to marinate it, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.
I’ve played with many different types of marinades and two have risen to the top. One is the exact same recipe used in this marinated tempeh.
And the other is this Thai inspired creamy almond butter marinade. If you’re a lover of things like peanut noodles and Thai cuisine, I can pretty much guarantee you will fall in love with this simple tofu marinade.
It’s perfect for when you want added flavor to baked tofu (I don’t recommend this marinade for stove top cooking) to make it the star of the show. If you’ve previously thought of baked tofu as some boring meatless meal, this recipe will have you reevaluating that opinion after the first bite.
TOFU MARINADE INGREDIENTS
- extra firm tofu – drained, pressed and cubed
- creamy almond butter – swap out peanut butter or another nut butter if desired
- coconut aminos – or soy sauce/tamari
- maple syrup
- lime juice
- rice vinegar
- fresh ginger
As you can see, there’s an obvious Thai vibe in these ingredients. Once the tofu is baked, serving it with fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro will complement the marinade really well.
HOW TO BAKE THE TOFU
Once the tofu has been drained, pressed and cubed, add it to a large bowl or a sealable plastic bag.
Whisk all the remaining marinade ingredients together until smooth then pour over the tofu.
If you’re marinating in a bowl, gently toss the tofu with a rubber spatula to make sure each cube is well coated. If marinating in a plastic bag, gently massage the marinade around with your hands to coat.
Let the tofu sit to absorb the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight. If marinating longer than 30 minutes, keep chilled in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tofu out onto the baking sheet in an even layer so that no cubes are touching eachother.
Reserve any excess marinade as it can be used as a sauce after cooking if desired.
Bake for 20 minutes flipping the tofu half way through until the edges start to crisp up.
Remove from the oven once crispy and serve with lime wedges.
WHY MARINATE TOFU?
Tofu is very mild flavored. Chances are, if you’ve thought you don’t enjoy it, you will once you try marinating it.
Marinating the tofu gives it the ability to absorb flavor. Think of it just like you would when marinating chicken wings or venison backstrap, the more opportunity given to take on added flavor, the better it will taste in the end.
HOW LONG TO MARINATE TOFU?
Ideally, an hour or two is enough time for the tofu to marinate and really absorb flavor well. That said, I often don’t have the foresight on busy nights to do so and even just 30 minutes will make a big difference in the end result.
- Be sure to use extra firm tofu. Silken tofu, while great for recipes like mapo tofu or soup, will not crisp up when baked.
- Always press the tofu. This makes a big difference in the final textural outcome of marinated tofu. You’ll be amazed at how much water comes out from just pressing for 15 minutes.
- Try this in the air fryer! I have a basic go-to air fryer tofu recipe I love but this marinated tofu is also great in the air fryer, especially if your oven does not have a convection setting.
- Don’t try this recipe on the stove-top. This creamy type of marinade is really more suited to baked tofu than pan-fried tofu.
HOW TO SERVE MARINATED BAKED TOFU
Because of the bold flavors in this marinade, the tofu really shines. Make it the star of your plate by enjoying simply with rice and a vegetable for an easy dinner.
If you’re doing some tofu meal prep, use this marinade for the tofu along with the veggies.
MORE TOFU RECIPES TO TRY
For takeout lovers, I can’t recommend this sweet and sour tofu recipe enough.
This balsamic tofu pasta salad is a fun meatless idea for summer cookouts. Can’t go wrong with pasta salad and throwing tofu in there is a great way to amp up the protein content without any meat.
Looking for another baked tofu recipe? I also love this BBQ mango baked tofu. It’s sweet, sticky and smoky all at once and you get BBQ vibes without the usual meat.
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.
The Best Tofu Marinade
- 1 block extra firm tofu drained, pressed and cubed
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos sub soy sauce or tamari
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
- Place tofu in a large bowl or sealable bag.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients until well combined.
- Pour over tofu and gently toss to combine making sure each cube is coated in the marinade.
- Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. If marinating for longer (up to 8 hours), cover and place in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large heavy duty baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the tofu out onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping half way through until the edges of the tofu start to crisp.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately with lime wedges.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Watch the web story – How to make the best tofu marinade.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.