Hey jerk! I really like you. A lot! You’re so hot and mellow, all at the same time, just like a good Jamaican jerk is supposed to be. And I know that my friends are going to like you just as much as I do. We’re a match made in Heaven.
Things just got so much more interesting up in my vegan kitchen. I’m refusing to let go of summer, so my mind is going to places where summer never ends, like Jamaica. And what’s more Jamaican than jerk tofu? Not much. Well, there are Bob and Ziggy, but after those two, there’s jerk.
Jamaican jerk spice is one of my favorites. It’s right up there with garam masala. It’s a crazy kind of spice, because it slaps you in the taste buds with the heat from the jalapeno and black peppers, but then it soothes you with the gentle flavors of allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Passive aggressive, yes. Exciting and unpredictable, yes. I like that in my food. Not in people, though. If you’re PA and EU, stay home, you’ll make me crazy.
Speaking of crazy. For those of you who don’t know my friends, Amrita and Levan from the now defunct—I like that word—My Wife Makes, you need to check out their new blog, Crazy Vegan Kitchen. They’ve changed roles. Amrita is the chief writer/creative, and Levan is mostly behind the scenes. They thought that their old brand made them seem like they were “thirty years older.” Cough, cough, news flash, I’M about that much older than they are. No offense taken. 😉 But seriously, go check them out and help their new brand get back to where they left off. They’re super cool kids (I can say that because I’m thirty years older) with fantastic recipes and great humor. You’ll love them.
Back to tofu.
How to make Jamaican jerk tofu. It’s so easy you could practically do it with your hands tied behind your back. NOT! Untie your hands and let’s get to it.
First you need to dry out the tofu. Cut it into thin slices (approximately ½ inch thick) and press them between paper towels. Put something heavy on top of the top layer of towels and keep changing the towels as they become soaked with water. Do this for about two hours, then put them in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. This will ensure that the tofu is super dry.
Make the jerk marinade. The recipe is below.
Put the marinade in a shallow bowl that’s large enough to hold the tofu slices and then put the tofu in the marinade. Turn the tofu a few times to cover both sides in the marinade. Soak for four hours (turning every hour) so the flavor is absorbed in the tofu.
Now it’s time to cook it.
Heat a large skillet and cover with a thin layer of avocado oil. You need the oil or the tofu will stick because of the maple syrup that’s in the marinade. When the pan is hot, place the tofu in the pan and cook for approximately three minutes. It will turn a beautiful caramelized color. Now gently flip to the other side and cook for another three minutes or so.
Now eat it!
You guys, this is such a treat. I’m so addicted to this, I could eat it every day. The flavors in this jerk recipe are amazing. You get a little sweet, a little savory, a little heat, and a little salt. If we were talking about Mexican food I’d say it was the whole enchilada.
Serve it on a bed of fancy lettuce, or turn it into a wrap (recipe coming on Monday). The possibilities are endless. Make a pineapple lime margarita to go with it and you’re going to feel the ocean breezes and smell that Jamaican air.
Tomorrow I’m keeping the Caribbean theme going with an easy piña colada sorbet recipe. On Monday I’m going to show you how to turn this delicious Jamaican jerk tofu into a healthy and delicious wrap.
Have a fabulous weekend! I’m off to play tennis in the USTA Regional Championship round. Indian Wells, here we come. Fingers crossed tight!
Have you ever been to Jamaica?
Have you ever had Jerk tofu?
Did you remember to check out Crazy Vegan Kitchen?