Tofu is one of those love it or hate it ingredients that is enormously misunderstood — and why wouldn’t it be? Not only is it dull in appearance (seriously… a slack white brick?), but it’s muddy, tasteless and seems impossible to work with. The good news is you don’t have to be some kind of conjuring wizard to transform tofu into tasty food.
This is my second go at creating a vegetarian-friendly fajita recipe, and I’m glad the first one was a muck up; this one takes the proverbial cake.
The first time around, I used marinated portobello mushroom strips. I thought they’d be the sub-in of all sub-ins for chicken because they’re girth-y, meat-y and marinate easily.
First of all, I don’t even like portobello mushrooms (lawl) — so that’s kind of a problem in itself. I can tolerate them if they’re hidden, but for the most part, gtfo. Second, the marinade was lacking punchy-ness — *not* a good thing when you’re marinating something you’re trying to mask, amirite? I truly believed that with a tasty marinade, I could accept portobello mushrooms in all of their grotesqueness, but we’re just not there yet.
Marinated + grilled tofu, however, is a total win.
The bright and tangy flavors of the marinade seep right into the tofu, and the grilling creates an awesome crispy outer layer.
Though I swapped sour cream for plain Greek yogurt and cilantro for kale microgreens (I’m one of those folks who is genetically predisposed to hating cilantro, so it tastes like poison to me), I remained true to the fajita when it came to the veggies and fried up a simple medley of red onions + colorful bell peppers.
The marinade is a swoon-worthy balance of smoky chipotle goodness and tangy lime. It also works well for chicken — my husband can vouch for that. I had made him some traditional chicken fajitas and he was uber satisfied.
Grilled Chipotle + Lime Tofu Fajitas
- 16 oz extra firm tofu
- 6 small soft shell tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bell pepper I used 1/2 red bell pepper + 1/2 yellow bell pepper for extra color, gutted and julienned
- 1/2 red onion sliced into thin wedges
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Microgreens or chopped cilantro
For the marinade:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
Marinating the tofu:
Press the tofu (see notes for directions).
Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together.
Carefully place the tofu slices into a large freezer bag. You could also use a container with a large bottom surface area so that you can lay the tofu steaks down in one layer. You want to be sure that every steak is marinating.
Pour 3/4 of the marinade over the tofu steaks and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Grilling the tofu:
Heat a lightly greased grill to medium heat. I like to use my stovetop double-burner grill for tofu. If using a grated grill, instead of greasing the grill I'd instead place tinfoil on the grill. This will prevent you from losing any tofu bits in the event one of your steaks split/break. This can happen if the grill isn't greased enough, so better safe than sorry.
Place tofu atop the grill and let it cook for 7-10 minutes. Carefully flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Remove tofu from grill.
Slice each steak in half, length-wise, to mimic chicken strips.
Heat a skillet over medium heat.
Add olive oil.
Add the onions and bell peppers, then hit them with a bit of salt and pepper.
Fry the veggies until tender, approx. 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place two grilled tofu strips on each tortilla shell.
Top with a helping of fajita vegetables.
Top with your choice of garnishes.
Tofu acts as a sponge and, since it's been sitting in water, it's full of water. You need to press out the water in order to let other liquids in — like your marinade. If you skip this step, you'll end up with a flavorless tofu. Pressing tofu is easy peasy, you just need to sort of plan a head — but just a bit!
!Pressing the tofu:
Slice the package of tofu open and drain out all of the water.
Cut the block of tofu, length-wise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. You should get 6-7 of them.
Place a dish towel on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, cookie sheet or tray.
Set down a few paper towels on top of the towel.
Place the tofu slices on top of the towels and add more paper towels on top.
Set some heavy objects on top of the tofu. The best way to go about this is to set another cookie sheet on top, and then set heavy things on top of the cookie sheet — such as a heavy pot or canned goods.
Let it be for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.