I will shamelessly admit that I love Cinco de Mayo because it is the day before my birthday! I prefer to spend my birthday drinking tequila and eating Mexican-inspired food, so it all works out really well. Plus, Baltimore VegFest is this weekend! The next few days are gonna be awesome. As part of the whole celebration, I decided to make a little bit of fusion food. This tequila lime baked tofu is what I came up with.
Freezing the tofu makes all the difference in this particular recipe – without that step, the tofu wouldn’t soak up nearly enough of this mouthwatering tequila lime marinade. So, if you’re making these for Taco Tuesday, you’ll want to get started on Monday. Through trial and error I have learned that the water-packed tofu works better for this particular thing than the vacuum-packed tofu. That’s good news for me because the latter is significantly more expensive here.
As my self-birthday gift I am strongly considering getting a tofu press (any recommendations?). For now, I press it out by folding up a clean kitchen towel, placing the tofu on top, placing another folded up towel on top of that, and finally, weighing down the whole thing with my mini cast iron pan or something else at least as heavy. I mentioned this in my sweet & sour tofu nuggets post, but I was a tofu newbie only a few short months ago. I’m starting to really get the hang of it, though! Tofu is really easy once you ascend the learning curve!
I consulted Wikipedia and up to 35% of the alcohol from the tequila may remain in the finished tofu. In other words, eating the entire batch of tofu is like taking 1/3 of a shot (since the original marinade has about 1 shot in it). So that’s probably not a big concern for the under-21 crowd. I just thought I would mention it =]
Though it requires a day of planning ahead, this recipe is otherwise as easy as can be! I can make it faster than I can walk to the closest Mexican restaurant. While this isn’t saying much because it’s kind of a crappy Mexican restaurant, I would much rather eat these delicious non-authentic tacos 🙂
Baked Tequila Lime Tofu Tacos with Chipotle Crema
For the marinade:
- 1 shallot , minced
- 2 large cloves of garlic , minced
- Juice of 4 key limes + zest of 3 (see notes)
- Juice and zest of 1/2 of a navel orange
- 1/4 c . cilantro leaves , finely chopped
- 1 tb . liquid aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
- 1 and 1/2 tb. coconut nectar (see notes)
- 1/4 tsp . coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp . cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp . oregano powder
- 1/8 tsp . ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
- 3 tb . tequila (any color)
- 1 tb . coconut nectar
- 1/2 tb . balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp . liquid aminos (or soy sauce/tamari)
For the chipotle crema:
- 1/2 package silken tofu , drained
- 1 and 1/2 tb. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tb . cider vinegar
- 1 tsp . lime juice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the tacos:
- 1 package extra-firm tofu , water-packed
- Tortillas of choice
- Refried beans (I use Trader Joe's brand - check labels for lard)
- Baked tequila lime tofu (above)
- Chipotle crema (above)
- Chopped green onions & cilantro , for topping
Prepare the marinade:
Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients except for the tequila, and taste for seasoning. Stir in the tequila. Store in a nonreactive container.
Prepare the baked tequila lime tofu:
Slice open the package of tofu and drain out the water. Place in the freezer for at least 8 hours.
Remove the tofu from the freezer and set at room temperature to thaw, or thaw on low in the microwave.
Use towels and a heavy object to press the tofu for at least 20 minutes. Slice it into about 10 equal slices.
Add the tofu to a nonreactive container in layers, spooning the prepared marinade over each layer. Pour any remaining marinade over the top, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 48 hours. (See notes for another option with no marination time.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Spread out the tofu slices on the baking sheet.
To the excess marinade, add the additional coconut nectar, balsamic vinegar, and liquid aminos, and whisk together. Spoon this mixture over the tofu, reserving about 2 tb.
Bake the tofu for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and drizzle the reserved marinade mixture over it. Return to the oven.
Bake for another 15 minutes, and optionally broil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the oven.
Prepare the chipotle crema:
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Set aside.
Spread a thin layer of refried beans on a tortilla, chop up one of the tofu slices into smaller pieces and place on top, and finish with a drizzle of chipotle crema, green onions, and cilantro.
Recipe NotesTo substitute regular limes for the key limes: A regular lime is a little more than twice as big as the key limes that I used. For the marinade, start with the juice of 1 and 1/2 limes and the zest of 1.
The coconut nectar adds a rich sweetness and beautiful dark color to this marinade. But if you don't have it on hand, you can definitely substitute another 'sticky' sweetener like maple syrup (which tastes the closest), brown rice syrup, or agave nectar, and add a dab of molasses if you have it.
If you want to bake the tofu right when you're done pressing it, then make the marinade in advance. Whisk it together when you put the tofu in the freezer. This gives the flavors time to meld before baking.