the most flavorful tofu marInades

Tofu, tofu, oh tofu. It might look boring at first but in reality, the blank slate of tofu offers the cook endless flavor possibilities! Because of this, having a few go-to marinade recipes in your back pocket gives you the power to turn this flavorless block of soybeans into a super delicious and protein packed meal.

Marinades are really pretty simple. Most marinades are made of at least two of these three components – oil (olive, sesame, mustard, etc.), acid (vinegar, citrus, etc.), and an aromatic (most commonly herbs and spices).

Here are just three of all possible marinade recipes. Try them out as they are or play around and tweak them to your personal preference. Good thing is that they are quick and easy to put together so if you don’t like what you first test out, just try and try again. 

Experiment with your favorite ingredients and keep tasting it until you make something you love. 

You’ll get the hang of it in no time and you’ll be able to officially say bye to boring tofu!

Pro Tip: These marinades also work great with other plant-based “meats” such as tempeh, seitan, or jackfruit!

Happy marinating 🙂

check out the recIpe vIdeo

start by pressIng your tofu

First, get yourself some extra firm tofu. This can be found at almost any grocery store you can imagine. Tofu is prevalent these days. Extra firm is highly recommended if you want it to hold any shape such as cubes or slices.

Press as much liquid out of your tofu as possible. The more liquid you press out, the more marinade the tofu is able to soak in. 

But be gentle! You don’t want to crush it. 

I poured the water out of the package then placed my tofu between two dishcloths and two plates. I then placed a heavy fruit bowl (see recipe video) on top of the second plate to add constant pressure. You can place anything heavy on top as long as it can balance on the plate and won’t crush the tofu.

There are also specifically designed tofu pressers you can use but I have found this works just as well if not better.


  • Place all ingredients in the blender (magic bullet or something similar, regular-sized blender, food processor, etc.) 
  • Blend it up!
    • If you do not have anything to powerfully process the ingredients, you could combine everything by hand. Just dice the solid ingredients as fine as you can and then whisk everything together.
  • Soak your tofu in your marinade!
    • Cut your tofu into whatever size you prefer (cubes, strips, chunks), place it into a container with a lid (this will go in your fridge), make sure the tofu is separated a bit (so the marinade covers more surface area), then pour the marinade over your tofu until everything is just covered.
  • Cover with a lid and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
  • Cook using your chosen method and enjoy in a variety of meals 🙂

sesame gInger

IngredIent lIst

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • approximately 1 1/2 Tb ginger

cook It and eat It how you lIke

For the photo below, I pan fried this tofu and it tasted great. Just the tofu in the marinade, nothing else.

I have also baked this marinated tofu in the testing stages of this recipe and can recommend that method as well. I do not remember the exact temperature I had the oven set to but I believe it was around 350. All ovens are different though. You know yours best. I cooked it until it was just golden and a little crispy on the edges. Don’t cook it too long or the sugar in the coconut aminos will burn.

I have found these tofu strips to be particularly delicious on sandwiches. Get your favorite bread, lay on the tofu, add some greens, then finish it off with all your favorite toppings. An easy and oh-so-delicious meal.

SpIcy coconut lIme

IngredIent lIst

  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tb lime juice
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (include those stems!)
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup

cook It and eat It how you lIke

Personally, I think pan frying is the way to go for this tofu marinade. I experimented with baking this one too, but found it did better on the stovetop. Baking didn’t get them as crispy as I wanted.

Out of the three marinades, this is the one I could have consumed in full before even adding any of the tofu. The creaminess of the coconut milk with the freshness of the cilantro and the spice of the chili peppers is just superb. I think it could double as a delicious cold soup with the tofu floating around to add some substance. I’ll defintiely try this one day. Let me know if you happen to try it first!

Additionally, I think this tofu would be excellent on a salad or in a cold noodle dish. I think the freshness of the cilantro makes me want to eat this tofu cold. Highly recommended if you’re into that. 

garlIc balsamIc

IngredIent lIst

  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • about 1/4 cup water (for thinning)

cook It and eat It how you lIke

My taste tester (a more recent meat-eater than I, but now fully plant-based) said “this takes like nuggets” when he tried his first bite of this marinated tofu. Because of that, I am thinking these would be great fried. Cube the tofu, fry it, and  pair it with some comfort food. Although not the healthiest option, that sounds delicious. 

As you can see from the second picture below, I ended up breaking up the tofu with a fork towards the end of cooking. It was falling apart a bit already because the strips were too thin but deciding to crumble it in the end was a great modification. This crumbled tofu is ideal for breakfast burritos. Give it a try!

LEt us know how It goes

Did you try one of these recipes or craft your own?

How did you choose to cook your tofu?

We want to haar about it!


Inspiration and recommendations always welcome 🙂