Tofu has a certain kind of magic – it has the ability to turn into any flavor you ask of it! This is certainly true with these Tofu Taco Crumbles. You can use them as an accompaniment in almost any vegetable-based Mexican dish. I top my Loaded Nachos and Loaded Potato Nachos with these Tofu Taco Crumbles.
I wouldn’t use the Tofu Taco Crumbles as the “main event” in any dish though, because at Veggie Fun Kitchen we aren’t about using the fake meats but rather finding delicious vegetable-based alternatives. Even still, sometimes it’s nice to have a little familiar flavor in your food and the Tofu Taco Crumbles provides just that.
I use a little short cut with a couple of Tablespoons from a premixed taco seasoning packet. Feel free to mix your own if you are comfortable with that.
The Tofu Taco Crumbles get their savory taste from a little soy sauce, smoked paprika and a secret ingredient: tahini paste. Tahini paste is ground sesame seeds and is typically used in hummus. It also lends a rich flavor to sauces, gravies, and as it turns out, “meaty” tofu. I use it in most of my Tofu Crumble recipes as well as some salad dressings and sauces and such as my Smokey Tahini Tomato Sauce.
The most important step to making tofu crumbles is to start with an extra firm tofu and then really squeeze the liquid out. It took me a really long time to go ahead and buy a tofu press. I gotta tell you, it’s a game changer! Using an actual tofu press is so much quicker and less labor intensive than pressing with weight.
It’s okay if you are still pressing your tofu the old fashioned way – with weights and plates. It’s just more work and takes a little longer. I can press the same block of tofu in about 10 minutes verses an hour with the weight method.
While your tofu is being pressed, prepare the other ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Crumble your pressed dried tofu into the bowl. I really don’t know a better way to do it other than by hand. I’ve tried cutting it and mashing it but the hand method really gives the best sized, most natural looking crumbles.
When it’s well crumbled, stir to coat well and then turn onto a baking sheet. You need to use parchment or silicone or it will stick.
Spread evenly and put into an a 375° oven. You’ll need to check it and stir around at 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes. You can continue to cook for another 10 minutes if not browned enough – but do check and stir every couple of minutes because it over cooks very quickly. Note: This will NOT brown up as much as hamburger meat does. If you wait for that to happen, it will dry out.
It’s nicely browned and ready to go. Put in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week. If it dries out, add a little veggie broth.
And here, gotta tease you with the Loaded Nachos!
And the Loaded Nacho Potato dish🙂
Tofu Taco Crumbles
These Tofu Taco Crumbles get their flavor from a pre-packaged taco seasoning as well as other seasonings, and tahini paste. They are a perfect accompaniment to sprinkle on vegetable dishes needing a little bit of Mexican flavor.
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu get non GMO/organic if possible
- 1 Tablespoon tahini Paste
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce low sodium
- 2 Tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375° fahrenheit.
Press and drain tofu, pouring off liquid as necessary until no more liquid drains off. If you have a tofu press this should go quickly - about 10-15 minutes. If you need to use the weight method then put between plates and put weight on top. This will take longer - up to an hour.
While tofu is pressing, stir together all other ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl.
After tofu is thoroughly pressed and drained, crumble into bowl with other ingredients and toss to fully incorporate.
Spread mixture evenly onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Cook in a 375° oven for a total of 30-40 minutes. You will need to check and stir at the 15 minute point and at the 30 minute point. When stirring, move the tofu from the outer edges into the middle and the middle tofu to the outer edges. After that, check and stir every 2 minutes as it over-browns and dries out quickly.
If you don't use right away then put into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. Pay attention the the expiration date on the tofu and if it expires during that week then don't keep beyond that. Add a little vegetable broth if if gets too dry.