When we lived in St John’s, NL we used to frequent The Sprout, a fantastic vegetarian restaurant with a lovely menu. One of our favourite items to order were their delicious tofu strips, something I have been trying to replicate with varying levels of success for the past couple of years. Back in the day when I used to eat bacon, I was on team crispy and the same now applies to tofu strips!
I tried a few different variations with cook time and temperature before discovering a few tricks that gave me the results I was looking for, a combination of marinading and oil brushing that allows for full flavour and a lovely crispiness. I like to broil these strips, although you can lower the temperature if you have the patience for a longer cooking time. Either way, I like to use coconut oil or avocado oil for brushing as both oils have a high heat tolerance and won’t degrade in temperatures over 350F. I wouldn’t recommend brushing the strips with toasted sesame oil to cook, as its function is to impart flavour as a marinade rather than being used as a cooking oil.
I am providing a simple base recipe, with a few fun modifications that you can experiment with to switch up the flavour. I would recommend using toasted sesame oil as opposed to plain as it adds much more flavour. Maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness, while smoked paprika and/or a touch of liquid smoke add a bit of depth to the final flavour. This recipe works really well for tempeh also. Feel free to experiment – and please be sure to let me know what you come up with!
Garlic (powder or crushed cloves)
Smoked Sea Salt (only a pinch or so, more would make the marinade too salty)
Cut the tofu into slices and then strips. The thickness and width is based on personal preference, although if your strips are thin you won’t need as much cooking time (and the reverse is also true).
Pour tamari and sesame oil (and any optional add ins) into a glass container and whisk to combine.
Add tofu strips and the container lid, and shake to coat.
Let the strips marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours, shaking every so often to distribute the marinade.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and arrange strips on top, with a bit of space in between.
Lightly brush the strips with coconut or avocado oil using a pastry brush.
Broil on low for 10 minutes per side, flipping in between and brushing the other side with oil.
Arrange on a plate, and let sit for a couple of minutes to crisp up before serving. The strips may still be a bit soft when you remove them from the sheet, but they will be nice and crisp when you serve them if you include this step.