I was asked to create a marinated tofu recipe by Kaia Coach Kelly Hopkins. She was looking for something that tasted like the tofu from a restaurant she likes. I have never tasted this tofu but she said it has balsamic and lots of garlic- that I could work with. I also wanted it to be easy so I utilized a good quality BBQ sauce as the base as well as a spicy Harissa sauce from Trader Joe’s. I love how it turned out but it can also be played with. If you want a more balsamic taste, add more balsamic and less organic orange juice. You could even go all balsamic (though I would reduce it a bit more for a sweeter taste) and eliminate the orange all together. You could also add more Harissa- for more spice and you could also add ginger if you want.

I baked the marinated slices and half way through I spooned more of the marinade over the top. I realized afterwards that I should have cubed the tofu (after baking) and cooked it in a pan with the leftover marinade so that all sides were coated- so you can do that if you want, I know I will the next time I make it. The slices would also be awesome on a sandwich- topped with an asian slaw. So you have options. I just made some rice and a simple stir fry of cabbage and green onions.

To make the marinade:

1 cup of good quality BBQ sauce (I used Kinder’s Mild)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
the juice of 2 oranges (blood oranges would be great in this)
2 tbsps minced garlic
1-2 tsp Harissa sauce from Trader Joe’s or a chili paste

Put the balsamic and the garlic in a small pot and get it reducing a bit while you juice the oranges. Add the orange juice, bbq sauce and Harissa or chili paste and let it simmer for a few minutes. Taste to see if you need more heat or garlic.

I used the high protein super firm tofu from Trader Joe’s and cut it into thick slices. I used 2 packages for this recipe and still had marinade left over (because I didn’t simmer the cubes in the leftover marinade). I also had leftovers which will be nice for sandwiches or tacos later in the week. I let the tofu slices sit in the marinade for 3 hours. I think it would be even better if I had been able to marinate it overnight.

I baked it at 400 degrees. About 20 minutes in I spooned more marinade over the top of each slice, let cook for another 20 minutes. You want the tofu to firm if not a little crispy on the edges. Cut into cubes for use in a stir fry or noodle dish, or even in a salad. Simmer the cubes in the leftover marinade for 5 minutes. You just want that marinade to get sticky all over the cubes of tofu.