Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

February 9, 2022

This Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky is an easy and affordable plant based snack to make at home.  The smoky flavor is barbecue-like and the texture is chewy, but not tough!

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Jerky is one of my favorite snacks. Especially plant based jerky! But the last bag of plant based jerky that I bought contained a single rectangle of jerky. A major ripoff at $5.99 a bag! Thankfully I came across a tofu jerky recipe in one of my cookbooks and decided to give it a try.

The cookbook recipe suggested making the tofu jerky in the oven.  But I wanted to try it in my dehydrator.  So I did a little experimenting with seasonings and made a batch of dehydrated tofu jerky that was better than any plant based jerky I’ve had recently!

The only thing I did differently this time around was dehydrate the jerky for less time.  It was a bit too tough for my liking the first time I made my own jerky.  A big plus about making jerky at home is that you can adjust the texture and seasonings to your liking.

Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

This Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky has a meaty texture and delicious, almost barbecue-like, flavor!  Marinade sliced tofu and dehydrate the next day.  It’s that easy to make plant based jerky at home!

The first thing we have to do is press our tofu (see recipe notes).  When the tofu is ready to use, we’re going to cut it into thin slices widthwise.  This will give you the perfect sized jerky pieces.

Now, we can mix up our marinade.  In a bowl, we’re going to mix coconut aminos, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.

You can use as little or as much of the crushed red pepper as you like.  I like my jerky with a little kick to it.

Once the marinade is mixed up, place the tofu slices into a freezer bag or resealable container.  Then, pour the marinade on top.  Seal up the bag or container and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

The next day, when the tofu has soaked up all of that flavor, start adding the slices to dehydrator trays.  Set the dehydrator to 160 degrees for 7 hours.

Depending on your texture preference, you might want to check the jerky every so often.  If it feels dry, but still has a slightly chewy texture, you’re good to go!

Then, you can remove it from the dehydrator and store it in a container in a cool, dry place or the fridge.  Or, you know, get to snacking!

Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Crushed red pepper, as little or as much as you like
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the tofu into thin slices widthwise.
  2. In a bowl, mix the coconut aminos, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, paprika, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  3. Place the sliced tofu into a freezer bag or resealable container.  Then, pour the marinade over the tofu.
  4. Seal the bag or container and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 12 hours.
  5. Set a dehydrator to 160 degrees.  Then, place the marinaded tofu slices onto the trays, making sure to leave space between each slice.
  6. Dehydrate the tofu for 7 hours or until it feels dry, but still has a slightly chewy texture.
  7. Remove from the dehydrator and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.

Notes

To press the tofu: Line a plate with a paper towel. Add the block of tofu to the plate and place another paper towel on top. Place another plate on top of the tofu and place something heavy like a can of food on top. Leave the tofu for 30 minutes, then it can be used in this recipe.

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Don’t have a dehydrator?  You can make this recipe in the oven.  Just line baking sheets with parchment paper and bake at the same temperature (or lowest possible  temperature setting) and time settings, or until your preferred texture has been reached!

Did you make this Smoky Dehydrated Tofu Jerky recipe? Share your pics on Instagram using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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