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Dressing and sauce recipes

How to cook marinated tofu in a pan?

Prep time 5 minutes | Cook time 15 minutes
serves 2 cup

Photography by Tracey Creed
Recipe by Tracey Creed and Amandine Paniagua
Words by Amandine Paniagua

Published August 16 2022


1 tofu block
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tsp sesame oil
14 tsp vegan sweetener
1 tbsp of acid, either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar


First, roughly cut the tofu into cubes.

Transfer the cut tofu in a pan (we prefer cast-iron) and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Toss regularly to avoid the tofu sticking to the pan, and lower the heat if that happens. Feel free to add a few pinch of salt to fasten the process.

Meanwhile, prepare the marinade in a small bowl. Whisk together the tamari, miso, sesame oil, vegan sweetener and acid, until smooth, without lumps.

Add the oil in the pan, tossing to coat and cook again for 5 minutes over high heat.

Finally, drop the heat to lower and pour the marinade over the tofu. Toss again for 5 minutes. Your tofu is ready!

This tofu will keep up for 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tofu. The ultimate veg- protein, controversial for those without a clue yet not at all complicated to prepare. And here, we love tofu; we enjoy it maybe two to three times a week, sometimes more, with pasta, on toast, in a burger, or paired with lentils dahl. There are many ways to prepare tofu. Our favourite is cooked in a pan, as per this simple recipe—a fast, still flavoursome way of cooking this delicious plant protein.

You barely need anything. Some oil, a pan and a quick, easy marinade to season the tofu will produce the most scrumptious dish. A marinade is the main secret, not so secret, to master the bland taste of tofu; add some flavour yourself, good salt, pepper, crushed garlic or, like us, bathed in an umami-powered marinade.

I thought about sharing our go-to tofu recipe like forever and finally got the time, the space, to put it together this month. Funnily enough, at that exact moment, I received the latest "In the Kitchen" series from my favourite food writer, Alicia Kennedy, wording her thoughts on this soy bean curd, why she likes it, including recipes, ingredients and book references! After this recipe, rush to read her piece. Always so insightful.

The health benefits of marinated tofu

Tofu is a popular food, in the sense that many people know about it, compared to seitan, for example. However, it doesn't mean that the crowd knows the soybean curd's advantages. Many times as plant-based eaters, we got challenged on whether tofu is responsible for worldwide deforestation. The answer is no, of course. It is also an excellent crop to grow, bringing favourable carbon-nitrogen balance to the soil and improving soil fertility and structure.

Historically, tofu is a traditional food, believed to be born two centuries before Christ in China. It was only in the 60s that Westerners got interested in tofu for its health positives, and there are many! Tofu is a multi-benefit food with anti-inflammatory properties, is a complete protein as fairly balanced in amino acid profile, and is a source of fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese. Just that!

Here we paired tofu with an umami marinade based on tamari sauce and miso paste. Gluten-free, the first is a by-product of the second. Originating from Japan, miso paste is made from the fermentation of soybeans with kōji (a fungus) and salt, resulting in a thick mixture. This process creates a liquid used to make tamari sauce. Circularity is always best! Logically, our marinade is supercharged in protein, vitamins and minerals and rich in flavours.

To deepen your knowledge of the health benefits of tofu and debunk biases around tofu and hormones, we recommend the Plant Proof podcast episode with Dr Matthew Nagra. Most importantly, enjoy what you eat!

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