Our gluten-free vegan steak recipe is a tofu steak, and you won’t believe how delicious and juicy it is. It’s also simple and straightforward to make and, as it’s vegan, it’s of course also a recipe for vegetarian steak (some people to whom you may serve it may find calling it ‘vegetarian’ more palatable). The secret is in how you prepare it, and how you cook it.
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The other secret is in how you treat your tofu prior to preparing it, so treat your tofu well! :~) But seriously, this is one of the “freeze your tofu, thaw it out, and freeze it again, then thaw it again” recipes. If you haven’t made one of these recipes before, prepare to be amazed. By freezing water-packed tofu (like you get in the refrigerated section of your supermarket), then thawing it, then freezing it again and then thawing it again, it completely changes the texture, and also how it interacts with sauces and marinades. We keep several packages of frozen-thawed-refrozen tofu in the freezer, so that when we want to make one of these recipes we just take one out of the freezer for its final thaw. Note: You freeze and thaw it right in the unopened package.
Now, this recipe calls for two types of ingredients for which you have several choices. The first one is the ‘beef’ flavoring ingredient. We use Edwards & Sons no-beef bouillon cubes, but you can also use one of the two vegan beef bases (which are like a paste in a jar), which are Orrington Farms vegan beef base and Better Than Bouillon vegan beef base. Each will give a somewhat different flavor, but they are all good. Be warned that by nature these flavorings are high in salt, although the Better Than Bouillon is the least saltful, although not by much. This is why there is no added salt in this recipe. The advantage of the bouillon cubes is that they are shelf-stable, while once you open up a jar of the base it needs to go in the fridge and be used up eventually.
The second ingredient for which you have several choices is you have your choice of using vegan Worcestershire sauce, or Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce, or Gravy Master browning and seasoning sauce. In case you have none of these, you can probably find at least one of them at your local supermarket, or you can order each of them on Amazon (Wizard’s Brand Worchestershire, Kitchen Bouquet, Gravy Master). All of these are gluten-free and vegan (however Wizard’s is the only brand of vegan Worcestershire sauce that is also gluten-free, so far as we’ve been able to determine).
Thank you! ❤️
*Receipts will come from ISIPP.
Delicious Juicy Gluten-Free Vegan Tofu Steak
1 package twice-frozen, twice-thawed water-packed tofu, drained and well-pressed
1 vegan beef bouillon cube (we like Edwards & Sons) or 1 teaspoon vegan beef base (Orrington or Better Than Bouillon)
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (we love the Wizards bran, which is both vegan and gluten-free) or 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master browning sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup boiling water
2 Tablespoons olive oil or neutral oil (for frying)
1 Tablespoon vegan butter (for frying)
Take your twice-frozen, twice-thawed tofu out of the package, drain it, and press it well, for at least 20 minutes; you want to get as much of the moisture out as possible (it will release a lot of water). Pat it dry with a paper or cotton towel.
Now cut the tofu in half through its ‘equator’, for lack of a better term. In other words, stand it up on one edge, and cut it down through the middle, like you are slicing a bagel.
Now you have two tofu planks. Cut each plank in half, so that you end up with 4 roughly equal steaks. If you want to get fancy you can make the cut a bit diagonal, so that you don’t have block-like rectangles.
Place the bouillon cube or vegan beef base in the bottom of a small, heat-proof cup (we use a Pyrex measuring up) and pour the 1/3 cup boiling water over it. Muddle the bouillon cube or base in the hot water until it’s dissolved, and then add the rest of the ingredients (except of course the tofu) to the bouillon/water mixture, and whisk with a fork or small whisk until fully blended. We are going to call this ‘the sauce’.
Lay the tofu out on a large plate, leaving space between each piece, and brush the sauce onto the top of the tofu. Now flip the tofu over and brush the sauce on the other side. Let sit for 15 minutes, then brush each side with the sauce again, flipping it over each time so that which side is on top for the 15 minutes changes. Repeat this until all of the sauce is used up.
Preheat oven to 350°
Heat the oil up in a pan over low heat, adding in the vegan butter. When the butter has melted place your tofu steaks in the pan (it may spatter, be careful). Fry your steaks, turning them over occasionally, until they start to brown, then turn the heat up just to medium-low and fry until they are a nice dark brown on each side, flipping them over every so often so that they don’t stick to the pan. (Towards the end they may well start to stick, at which point stop frying them.)
Transfer your steaks to a lightly greased oven-proof pan, place in preheated oven, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (you want them in there for as close to 30 minutes as possible, but you don’t want them to burn).
Remove from oven and serve. You will be amazed at how the interior stays so juicy, while the outside is nice and firm! These tofu steaks keep in the fridge and are almost even better reheated the second day!
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