Tofu Jerky using a Dehydrator

I’m having more fun with the dehydrator and tofu jerky has never been easier. I have made a lot of baked tofu products trying to get that crispy chewy texture and the problem I have is I usually cannot get the heat low enough and texture I want without burning some of my marinade. If I don’t dress it the tofu, it is flavourless, so I thought I would try and make tofu jerky in the dehydrator and it totally worked. Of course if you don’t have a dehydrator using your lowest setting on your oven for about 4-6 hours will probably do the trick but you’ll have to turn it every 1-2 hours.

I used a special rub I got from our local market called a Rub Tlalelolco. This rub contains chipotle, chile arbol, sea salt, quatre epices (also known as ‘four spice’ which usually ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger) epazote and avocado leaves. If you live in Halifax you can get this in the old market for about $7. A good substitute would be ground chipotle powder with a mix of jerk seasoning or Chinese five spice. The idea for me was to have a BBQ flaoured jerky, something smokey and spicy in flavour, chewy in texture, with a touch of sweetness.

Tofu Jerky 

  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained/pressed overnight

spice rub

  • 1 tbs demera sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp rosemary or Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbs Tlalelolco Mexican Rub
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

marinade

  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Press your tofu overnight (see preparing tofu for better instructions).

Thinly slice tofu, about 1/4 cm (or 1/8 inch pieces). Lay out evenly on a piece of tin foil or parchment paper.

Mix all ingredients for rub in a small bowl. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients for the marinade.

Sprinkle half of the rub evenly over the tofu and work in gently with your fingers. Flip each piece and do the same on the other side.

With a pastry brush, brush each side with wet marinade. Flip and repeat the process.

Turn on your dehydrator to 130 F, or your oven on it’s lowest setting. Layer the tofu in trays or on a cookies sheet.

Dehydrate for about 6 hours, checking after 4 hours. You can brush with more marinade, although you would need to make more, if you want a chewier texture. Be-careful to not let it go past 8 hours without brushing more marinade otherwise it become crisp in an unpleasant way. If the tofu doesn’t have enough moisture it is hard to eat.

If you are making this in the oven, the oven’s lowest temperature is usually around 170, you will probably reach the desired texture at about 4 hours. Remember to brush with more marinade and turn every 1-2 hours.

When you are finished store in an air tight container for up to a week in the fridge.