If there’s one complaint you hear about tofu, it’s that it doesn’t have any taste. To which I say, well whose fault is that? If you want flavored tofu, add some flavor. A dry rub is a great way to do this. Dry rubs are spice mixtures rubbed onto food before it is cooked. Generally you see people use them for grilling, especially BBQ. It’s not exactly grilling weather here, nor do we own a grill, so I went with broiling.
The special ingredient in this rub is lapsang souchong. Lapsang souchong is a type of black tea that has a smoky flavor from being dried over pinewood fires. (A hot mug of lapsang souchong with a shot of Scotch and a smidge of honey is a great winter drink).
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons lapsang souchong, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 12-ounce block extra firm tofu
- olive oil (to grease pan)
- Rinse the tofu and pat dry. Slice the tofu widthwise into eight even slices.
- Mix all the spices together. Rub all the spice mixture onto the tofu slices, covering all sides.
- If you’re not in a rush, let the tofu to sit for a couple hours (or even overnight) to allow the flavors to penetrate.
- Move your oven rack to its highest position. Turn the broiler on low.
- Grease a cookie sheet. Arrange the tofu on the sheet and place under the broiler. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the tofu. Cook for another 10 minutes. Check the tofu — if it feels firm around the edges remove it from the oven. If not, flip again, place under the broiler, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Continue flipping and broiling until the edges feel firm. Remove from oven and serve.
The tofu will firm up as it cools. It should be slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The longer you let it cook, the chewier it gets. Cook it long enough and you end up with tofu jerky.