Marinade is one of the most flexible recipes there is, because there is no set recipe: just combine a few liquids with herbs and spices, you don’t even really need to measure. I usually use three liquids in roughly equal amounts – some kind of oil (olive, sesame, walnut…) plus two flavoring liquids, such as juice, wine, vinegar, vegetable stock, tamari/soy sauce, or coconut milk. Throw in a clove or two of minced garlic and maybe some other herbs and spices, mix well, and voilà!

Marinating tofuWhen marinating tofu to be baked or grilled, you should marinate it for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better and overnight is the best. You can also marinate seitan and tempeh.

My basic marinade recipe is just

  • Olive oil
  • Cider vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Garlic

When tofu is cooked in this marinade, it’s not just the tofu that tastes better – the marinade itself is also delicious, so be sure to drizzle some over the rice or quinoa you serve the tofu with. My husband likes the marinade so much that I usually make extra, which he then uses as salad dressing.

It’s fun to play around with different flavors – here are some combinations to get you started, but don’t be afraid to experiment to get the perfect flavor. Herb and spice amounts are based on 1 cup of marinade made with equal parts (1/3 cup) of the first three ingredients, unless otherwise indicated.

Fruity marinade

  • Grapeseed oil (1 part)
  • Orange juice (1 part)
  • Balsamic vinegar (½ part)
  • Cider vinegar (½ part)
  • Garlic
  • 1 T tamari
Herby marinade

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 T fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, sage…)
  • Garlic
  • 1 t tamari
Nutty marinade

  • Walnut or hazelnut oil
  • Walnut or sherry vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Garlic
Tropical marinade

  • Macadamia or avocado oil
  • Orange juice
  • Coconut milk
  • Garlic
  • 1 T tamari
Asian marinade

  • Sesame oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Garlic
  • 1 t fresh ginger

 

French marinade

  • Olive oil
  • White wine
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 T fresh tarragon
  • 1 T tamari
Greek marinade

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 t dried dill
  • 1 T tamari
Indian marinade

  • Olive oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 t turmeric
  • 1 t cardamom
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 T tamari
Italian marinade

  • Olive oil (1 part)
  • Red wine (1 part)
  • Tomato juice (½ part)
  • Veggie stock (½ part)
  • Garlic
  • 2 t dried basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 T tamari
Middle Eastern marinade

  • Olive oil (1 part)
  • Vegetable stock (1 part)
  • Tamari (½ part)
  • Raisin or cider vinegar (½ part)
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t cumin
North African marinade

  • Olive oil (1 part)
  • Vegetable stock (1 part)
  • Tamari (½ part)
  • Cider vinegar (½ part)
  • 1 t fresh ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t turmeric
Provençal marinade

  • Olive oil (1 part)
  • White wine (1 part)
  • Tomato juice (½ part)
  • Veggie stock (½ part)
  • Garlic
  • 2 t herbes de Provence (or 1 T each fresh rosemary and thyme)
  • 1 T tamari
Spanish marinade

  • Olive oil (1 part)
  • Red wine (1 part)
  • Tomato juice (½ part)
  • Veggie stock (½ part)
  • Garlic
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T tamari
  • Pinch saffron
Tex-mex marinade

  • Sesame oil
  • Cider vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Garlic
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t coriander
  • Hot sauce (to taste)

Marinating tofu

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