Did you know that you can make vegan jerky out of tofu? Even if you knew that, this vegan tofu jerky recipe is going to rock your world! It’s delicious, it’s so very good for you, and it’s so darned easy to make! If you have a dehydrator use that, but if you don’t have a dehydrator you can also use your oven. The House brand (which is the name of the brand, as compared to “house brand”, which means the store’s own brand) of tofu at Costco is great for this, and is what we use, but you can use any brand of firm, water-packed refrigerated tofu.
Now, if you don’t have a dehydrator, and you’ve always wanted one, this is a great excuse to get one! You can do all sorts of amazing things with a dehydrator, it isn’t just for, you know, dehydrating things! You can, for example, make our Fast and Easy Raw Flaxseed Cracker recipe, or our Easy Pumpkin Flax Crackers. You can also use it to incubate homemade almond yogurt (or really any kind of homemade yogurt), or for raising bread in a controlled warm environment. And, oh yeah, you can dehydrate in it. :~) (For a really easy fruit roll-up, put a Teflex sheet on a dehydrator tray, dump a jar of apple sauce onto the sheet and spread it out into a circle, and dehydrate – this is really good with berry-flavored apple sauce!)
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We have had our Excalibur dehydrator for more than 15 years, and it has never failed us! We absolutely love it! (We have this Excalibur dehydrator.) We make all sorts of things in it, including this incredible “raw” summer fruit crisp (a/k/a crumble). (This is on one of our old sites, which has not been updated in ages, but the recipes on it are all really good!)
Again, if you don’t have a dehydrator (and don’t want to use this as an excuse to get one ;~) ) you can make this tofu jerky in your oven.
While we’re talking about our kitchen friends that we love (yes, we do think of our kitchen appliances and gadgets as friends, don’t judge us), we love our tofu press, too. You will need to press the tofu for this recipe, although you do not have to have a tofu press to press it. But if you want an excuse to buy one, this is a great excuse, and this is a great tofu press.
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And now back to our recipe!
Vegan Tofu Jerky
2 Tablespoons liquid aminos
2 Tablespoons liquid smoke (yes, it’s vegan! At least most brands are)
Black pepper to season
1 block water-packed, refrigerated tofu, pressed overnight (yes, really)
*Note: If you have the Tofuture press like we do, put it on the lightest setting (the top ‘rung’) for 15 minutes to a half hour, then put it on the middle setting (middle rung) and stick it in the fridge overnight.
Take the tofu from the press, and pat it dry if there is still any moisture on it.
Slice the tofu the long way into slices about 1/8″, and no more than 1/4″, thick.
If you are using a dehydrator, lay the tofu strips on the dehydrator tray so that they are not touching. If you are using an oven, lay them on a parchment-lined baking pan so that they are not touching, and preheat the oven to 200°.
Stir the liquid aminos and liquid smoke together, and brush each tofu strip with the liquid, making sure that each strip is fully covered. Sprinkle the coated tofu strips with pepper, and then turn the tofu strips over and repeat the steps on the other side.
If you are using a dehydrator, turn it on and set it to 125° (if your dehydrator doesn’t have a thermostat and just has one heat setting, you will need to adjust the length of time that the jerky will be in the dehydrator; you don’t want it to cure too quickly). Leave in the dehydrator for 6 to 8 hours; start checking the consistency and texture of your jerky after 6 hours. You want to ‘over-dehydrate’ it a tiny bit, as it will soften a bit once it’s out of the dehydrator and stored in a container.
If you are using an oven, put the baking pan in the preheated oven and cook for 2 to 4 hours, checking and flipping them after the first hour.
These will store well in an airtight container for a few days (ha! Good luck making them last that long!), although to be safe we keep them in the fridge.
Yummy Vegan Jerky!
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